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Kyoto, Japan

Travel Expert - Mark Brazil

Introducing Dr. Mark Brazil - Expert Leader

Your tour leader will be Dr. Mark Brazil, an English-speaking guide & Ornithologist who developed this tour over 20 years ago.

Mark developed his fascination with the natural world, especially birds and mammals, during his boyhood in the landlocked English county of Worcestershire. He pursued academic interests in biology during studies in England and Scotland, while exploring the coasts and mountains of Britain in search of birds.

Mark earned his Ph.D. from Stirling University, Scotland, for his work on avian behavioural-ecology in Iceland and Scotland. Ornithological research, natural history consultancy for TV companies, and guiding naturalists and wildlife photographers, have taken him to all continents, but his particular passion is Asia in all its diversity.

Fascinated by island biology, he is a leading authority on the natural history of Japan, where he worked as a professor of biodiversity and conservation at Rakuno Gakuen University, near Sapporo, until 2007. Since 2007 Mark has been a freelance leader and author.

In addition to working as a field naturalist, Mark is a scientific editor and a prolific writer with seven books to his name. His Wild Watch column is the longest running natural history column in the world; it appeared in The Japan Times newspaper for 33 years from 1982 until 2015 and continues today on the Japan Nature Guides website. Mark’s books include Wild Asia: Spirit of a Continent, The Birds of Japan (the definitive text of bird biology and distribution in the Japanese archipelago), a monograph entitled The Whooper Swan, A Field Guide to the Birds of East Asia, The Nature of Japan and most recently (2018) A Field Guide to the Birds of Japan. He is already at work on his next book.

Mark juggles international travel with writing and enjoys spending as much time as possible exploring Hokkaido. Mark and his wife Mayumi live near Teshikaga, in east Hokkaido.

Through-out this tour, Mark and the group will also be accompanied by a local Japanese guide.

Expert Knowledge In:

  • Ornithology and the natural history of Japan
  • Japanese culture
  • Years of experiencing of living, travelling, and working in Japan


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mark brazil
About Mark
Expert Leader