Highlights and access methods of Kushiro Marshland (Hokkaido Prefecture)

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The Kushiro Wetland is the largest wetland in Japan, located in Kushiro City, Hokkaido, and forms part of the Kushiro Wetland National Park. It has a rich ecosystem, with a wide variety of flora and fauna inhabiting the area. It is particularly known as a habitat for the Red-crowned Crane, an endangered species. In addition, beautiful scenery can be viewed from the wetland, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature in all four seasons.

In this article, we will explain the attractions of Kushiro Marshland in Hokkaido Prefecture and how to access it for those who are traveling to Japan from overseas.

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(Prefecture : Hokkaido , Category : Nature and Scenic Spots)

Highlights of Kushiro Marshland

The Kushiro Shitsugen, or Kushiro Wetlands, in Hokkaido, Japan, is the largest wetland in the country and a key spot for nature lovers. It covers an area of over 183 square kilometers, and it's renowned for its natural beauty and its unique ecosystem.

One of the most prominent features of the Kushiro Shitsugen is its rich biodiversity. It's home to over 600 types of plants and numerous animal species, including the endangered Japanese red-crowned crane, also known as the "Tancho." These cranes, symbolizing luck, longevity, and fidelity in the Japanese culture, can be seen throughout the year in the marshland, providing fantastic opportunities for bird watchers and photographers.

The wetland also offers a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors, including nature trails for hiking, river cruising, canoeing, and winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. One of the recommended ways to appreciate the wetlands is by taking a walk on the wooden walkways of the Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, which provide spectacular views of the area.

Depending on the season, Kushiro Shitsugen presents different charms. In the spring, visitors can witness the revival of life as the snow melts and migratory birds return. The lush green in summer provides a serene environment perfect for leisurely walks, while the autumn foliage creates a stunning contrast against the deep blues of the sky and rivers. The harsh, snowy landscape of winter highlights the resilience of wildlife, providing a unique spectacle of the cranes dancing in the snow.

In terms of recommended seasons, winter and summer are especially noteworthy. Winter brings a stark yet beautiful contrast to the wetland with its pure white snow, and visitors can witness the Tancho cranes' courtship dance. In summer, the landscape transforms into lush greenery, perfect for hiking and river activities.

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Address and access method of Kushiro Marshland

The address of Kushiro Marsh (Kushiro Marsh Hosooka Observatory) is "22-9 Takkobu, Kushiro-cho, Kushiro-gun, Hokkaido". The nearest station is JR Kushiro Station, transfer to the JR Senmo Honsen Line, and get off at Kushiro Shitsugen Station. It takes about 10 minutes on foot from the station.

Attractions near Kushiro Marshland

Several notable attractions are located near Kushiro Marshland:

Akan Mashu National Park
Akan Mashu National Park is renowned for its stunning caldera lakes - Lake Akan, Lake Mashu, and Lake Kussharo. Here you can enjoy hot springs, hiking, and in winter, ice fishing. The park is also home to the marimo, a unique spherical moss and a natural monument.

Kushiro City Zoo
Known as one of the largest zoos in Japan, Kushiro City Zoo is home to a variety of animals, with an emphasis on species that thrive in colder climates. It's also one of the few places outside of the wetland where you can see the red-crowned crane.

Nusamai Bridge
Known for its beautiful views of the sun setting over the Kushiro River, Nusamai Bridge is an iconic symbol of Kushiro city. It's also famous for its four bronze statues, which represent the four seasons and are said to be the first female statues in Japan.

Lake Akan Ainu Kotan
This Ainu village at Lake Akan provides a fascinating insight into the culture of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido. Visitors can explore craft shops, watch traditional Ainu dance performances, and visit the Ainu Museum.

Other information about Kushiro Marshland

Official site about Kushiro Marshland :


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Movie about Kushiro Marshland :

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Thank you for reading to the end.

( Written by Tatsuo Ikura )