Nearly 1000 swans are wintering on paddy fields in a village called Motono, Chiba.
Most of them were Bewick's Swans, or Tundra Swans (Kohakuchoコハクチョウ).
a Whooper Swan (Oohakuchoオオハクチョウ)
a young one
This area is now called 'Hakucho no Sato' (A Village with Swans). The sign says a man noticed a few swans land on the paddy fields, which happened to have water, even in the winter of 1992. He went out to feed them but the swans were too cautious and flew away. But he was determined and kept feeding them every morning and evening wearing the same clothes the next few consecutive winters and finally the swans seemed to decide to winter there in a big flock. The farmers, who own the fields, kindly agreed to keep water in the fields after harvest, then the locals and volunteers set up an organisation to manage the area suitable for swans.
I was spoken to by a local lady and she told me the swans are still fed every day with rice.
I feel so jealous of her life with those beautiful birds!
Hakucho no Sato is about 1.5 miles from Kobayashi Station on the JR Narita Line. A primary school called Motono Daini Shogakkou is a landmark. You could either walk for half an hour through paddy fields or take a taxi as there is no public transport to get there.
Motono Daini Shogakkou update their blog about the swans every day. (in Japanese)