Yatsuhigata Nature Observation Center
Minami-Funabashi: Park/garden
Yatsuhigata Nature Observation Center: Minami-Funabashi
Minami-Funabashi / Park/garden
Open 9am-5pm (enter by 4:30pm). Closed Mondays.
Y300 (general admission to Nature Observation Center)
Average visit time: 45-90 minutes

Yatsu Higata, a 1000-acre mudflat connected to Tokyo Bay, is one of the better bird-watching spots in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The wetlands here are an excellent place to see migrating shorebirds during their stopover in Japan, with good bird-watching opportunities all through the year. And it's relatively accessible via public transportion - roughly a twenty-minute walk from JR Minami-Funabashi station and Ikea, which are about 25 minutes from Tokyo station.

Although it's a mudflat there's no need to bring your wading boots - with an investment of Y300 you can enjoy the wrap-around view from the site's Nature Observation Center. There you'll find good-quality telescopes and binoculars, bird-spotting guidebooks, and a fairly extensive avian-focused library (all in Japanese). A play area is provided to keep younger children busy, and the center's store sells books and bird-themed souvenirs. The cozy little cafe serves pastas and curries, coffee and microbrew beers.

Narashino-shi, Chiba, Akitsu 5-1-1.
From Minami-Funabashi station (JR Keiyo line) take the pedestrian overpass and cross to the north side of the highway as soon as you can, then walk east parallel to the highway until you reach the park entrance; it's about 15-20 minutes on foot. [There's also onsite parking for 100 cars.]
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