Japan | Toyooka Tourism Innovation | Reintroduction of the Oriental White Stork into the Wild

Toyooka City, located in northern Hyogo prefecture, is home to the national natural treasure, the Oriental White Stork. Commonly known as ‘kounotori’ in Japan, had become extinct in the wild in 1971. Toyooka City set out on an arduous project to preserve and reintroduce the stork back into the wild by creating a captive breeding project with the remaining captive storks.

The project includes efforts for captive breeding, reintroduction to the wild, habitat preservation and education for sustainable development.

Wetlands have been created and unused rice paddies have been turned into biotopes. Even rice cultivating methods have been developed and changed to help support the storks. As a result, a safe and wholesome rice called “Stork Natural Rice” is now cultivated. This rice bans agrochemical use or requires an 80% reduction in use.

More than 40 years since the last stork vanished from the wild, Toyooka has begun fulfilling their promise to the kounotori to “one day, bring you back to the wild”.

Currently, more than 100 storks can be found soaring through Toyooka’s skies.

Top Five Birds

  1. Oriental White Stork!


At Terra Incognita we support tours that do good in the world. They must help to conserve the environment, support local people, and educate their guests. Here’s what Peg Abbott from Naturalist Journeys said to us…

What conservation activities do you support through the tour, and your wider operations?

We donate to the Oriental White Stork Foundation.

How does the tour support local people?

‘Stork Natural Rice” uses an environmentally friendly farming method that cultivates quality rice while nurturing various living creatures, but was originally created to support the Oriental White Storks revival. This farming method enforces agricultural laws that aim to enrich the culture, community and environment, to cultivate delicious rice and various creatures, including Oriental White Storks. It does not rely on agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers, making it healthy and safe for consumption. When the consumption increases, the rice paddies to cultivate ”Stork Natural Rice” also increase. That helps keep the good ecosystem both for local people and Oriental White Storks.

What type of environmental education activities do you incorporate into your tour?

Learn about the project of ”Reintroduction of the Oriental White Stork into the Wild”. This project by Toyooka City is a unique and notable project with international recognition. The countless hours, great efforts and expenditure put into the revival of the Oriental White Stork by Toyooka city has brought these once extinct storks back to live in coexistence with humans in a habitat they once had lived in.


Have you visited and want to leave a review? Please click here.



Tour Operator | Toyooka Tourism Innovation
Contact Name |  Yuka FUJII
Contact Email | y.fujii@toyooka-tourism.com
Website | http://birdfair.org.uk/2018/04/25/https-visitkinosaki-com-oriental-white-stork/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *