Kaz Shinoda has been integrally involved in the logistics and planning of VENT’s Japan tours. He was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1957. From age 11 to 14 he lived in South Africa with his family and often went on safari where he learned about the fascinating world of wildlife. He later became a birdwatcher and has now been a keen birder for nearly 20 years. Kaz graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo, and then taught English to high school students for more than two decades before dedicating himself to guiding visiting birders in the Tokyo area and around Japan. As a birding guide with more than a decade of experience, he has led birders throughout the Japanese Archipelago. As a nationally licensed English-speaking Tour Guide, Kaz is knowledgeable not only about birding in Japan, but also about Japanese geography, history, and especially culture, important subjects that help enhance a birding trip to this culturally unique country. His guiding experience has taken him throughout the country from Hokkaido to Okinawa and many places in between including Tobishima, Karuizawa, Hachijo-jima, Kyushu, and Amami. Kaz’s considerable organizational and logistical skills are key to the success of VENT’s Japan tours, while his philosophy of giving clients an enjoyable and rewarding birding experience makes him an extremely popular guide.