Canon’s global headquarters / Shimomaruko Forest

Canon’s global headquarters, located in the Shimomaruko area of Tokyo, Japan, includes a green zone that we call the “Shimomaruko Forest.” This area serves as a model site for the Canon Bird Branch Project, where we carry out various activities aimed at conserving biodiversity, including birds and other living beings.


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The Shimomaruko Forest, the forest located at Canon’s global headquarters

Canon Global Headquarters, located in Ohta ward, Tokyo, Japan
Ohta ward is located in the southern part of Tokyo’s 23 wards and is the city’s largest ward. Shimomaruko is located in the southeastern region of Ohta ward. The Tama River is located southeast of Shimomaruko, an area that includes many apartment buildings, houses and factories. Green space covers approximately 30% of Canon’s Shimomaruko headquarters campus. Many birds and insects from the neighborhood visit these green areas. We call this green space the Shimomaruko Forest and promote the preservation of its biodiversity.


Birds of Shimomaruko Headquaters: Spot-billed Duck

This bird lives waterside across a wide area of Honshu, Japan, from the plains to mountainous areas.
For the most part, algae, leaves, and seeds feed the Spot-billed Duck. They eat pond snails as well and build nests on grasses near water. They breed from spring to summer and young Spot-billed Ducks hatch about 4 weeks after they lay their eggs. Since 2008, they have come to a pond at Shimomaruko Headquarters to feed. Employees enjoy watching parents and their young, who swim together in the spring and summer each year.


Major activity

Route census

Since April 2014, we have conducted a monthly route census of the birds in the area.
A route census is a method to investigate birds using a standard procedure and route. We record the type, number, sex, bird sounds and songs, and breeding conditions using a format provided by the Wild Bird Society of Japan. We have observed more than 30 types of birds at our site. Also, we have found that the types of birds at Shimomaruko Forest change seasonally.


Major activity

Installing bird baths and bird houses

A bird bath is a basin-shaped bathtub for birds. Birds use them to wash their feathers and remove insects. We installed two bird baths at our site under the supervision of Mr. Hitoshi Sato, Managing Director of the Wild Bird Society of Japan. Many kinds of wild birds visit these bird baths, which were made using a special sandstone from Shimane prefecture called Kimachiishi. We can watch them as they care for their feathers in the bird baths and have recorded movies of them washing themselves. Additionally, we installed seven nests at our site to provide a good habitat for the birds.

Activities: Case study 1

Observing a falcon

Falcons live among picturesque cliffs. Occasionally one can be seen among the eaves of the upper floor of our headquarters building. It will usually pay us a visit in the spring. This year (2015) it came on March 11. Raptors occupy the top of the ecosystem pyramid and their visits to our site demonstrate that we have been able to maintain the biodiversity around Shimomaruko. We will continue looking forward to welcoming them in the future.


Activities: Case study 2

Protecting swallows

Swallows visit Japan in spring and summer every year, where they breed and then fly away to other places. They tend to build their nests near where humans live because these areas tend to be safe from crows and snakes. According to the Wild Bird Society of Japan, sometimes people dislike them and remove their nests because of the odor. We strive to preserve swallows by cleaning their nests and installing protection under the nests to catch chicks should they fall out.


Activities: Case study 3

An education program for Canon employees and their families

We organized an internal event to bird watch at Shimomaruko and invited our employees and their families. Mr. Hideaki Anzai, Senior Scientist at the Wild Bird Society of Japan, provided a lecture covering a wide range of information about nature, including information about bird parents and children, as well as biological evolution. We organized a parent/child quiz competition and held an experiment using feathers. More than 100 people attended the event, which provided attendees with a good opportunity to appreciate the importance of preserving biodiversity.


Activities: Case study 4

Green space conservation

At the Shimomaruko site, we keep lush green space beyond what's required by law. Many plants grow there, including potentially native vegetation that grows in areas that haven't been impacted by humans. Many seasonal flowers and trees are planted, including cherry blossoms. We enjoy them year-round! To enjoy the rich environment, many kinds of birds and insects visit the Shimomaruko site, and various living things grow at our site.


Introducing our partner

The Wild Bird Society of Japan (WBSJ), a public interest incorporated foundation, is the largest nature-conservation organization in Japan.
In addition to such nature-conservation activities as maintaining wild bird habitats and establishing bird sanctuaries, the WBSJ carries out wild bird surveys and research, and engages in activities aimed at educating and raising awareness.
Mr. Hitoshi Sato is the WBSJ's Managing Director and a specialist in bird baths, bird nests and tree curation.
Mr. Hideaki Anzai is the Society's Principal Scientist, birdwatching expert and author of bird guidebooks.
Mr. Teppei Ara is a young scientist who travels around Japan.
The Asia Club is a volunteer group that handles translation for the WBSJ.
The conservation activities for Shimomaruko Forest are supported by these experts.

Birds at the Shimomaruko site

  • Spot-billed Duck

    Spot-billed Duck

    A frequent visitor to the Shimomaruko headquarters, this wild bird can be seen year-round in Japan in waterside settings. It makes its nest and breeds in meadows, and while it is similar in appearance to other female ducks, it is larger in size.

  • Peregrine Falcon

    Peregrine Falcon

    Although raptors live in picturesque cliffs, they can also be seen in the eaves along the upper floors of the Shimomaruko site. When one finds food, it hunts it by nose diving. The birds are registered as a “rare species of wild animal” in Japan.

  • Swallow


    This is one of the migratory birds that come to Japan from Southeast Asia in March and stay until September, and can be seen at the Shimomaruko site. They have long been a part of the nature of Satoyama, in the mountains near the village, and are a symbol of the coexistence of humans with nature.

  • White-cheecked Starling

    White-cheecked Starling

    This bird is often seen taking casual strolls on the grass. A few of them will form a group and peck for food. It has a vivid orange beak and legs and sings in a loud voice such calls as: “kyuru-kyuru,” “jye,” and “tuie.”

  • White Wagtail

    White Wagtail

    This bird can be found in such wide-open areas as lawns or streets. Notable for their white cheeks, clear voice and distinctive walk, in which the tail swings up and down, they are quite endearing to behold. We often see their chicks at our site.

  • White-eye


    A distinguishing feature of this bird is its white eye ring, which contrasts well with its yellow and green body. They are very fond of the syrup from camellia flowers. At our Shimomaruko site, we found one of it old nests.
    It is sometimes confused with the Bush Warbler, which sings, “hookekyo.”

  • Japanese Tit

    Japanese Tit

    The tit looks quite dapper as it seems to be wearing a black necktie. In spring and summer, the male tit constantly repeats its song of “tupii” or “tutupi.” In the Shimomaruko Forest, we can watch them feeding their young.
    Note: The tit shown in this photo is a chick.

  • Naumann’s Thrush

    Naumann’s Thrush

    This bird, which pays visits to Shimomaruko Forest in the fall, can be found in open grassy areas as well as around cropland and along riverways. The brown body coloration can be either dark or light.

  • Brown-eared Bulbul

    Brown-eared Bulbul

    Bulbuls will use their longish beak to feed on insects and nuts but are also fond of flower syrup. They play together and enjoy singing. They will sometimes visit our operating site in large numbers and take over the bird baths.

  • Bull-headed Shrike

    Bull-headed Shrike

    Shrikes breed in slightly open spaces, such as the edges of forests, croplands, and riverways, and will swoosh their longish tails around. They live among hills and mountains in the spring and summer, and in the hills and lowland during the fall and winter.