- July 7th, 2014
[Kushiro Shitsugen National Park] Magnificent Scenery Can Be Enjoyed in Japan's Largest Wetland
- Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park
- Western Part of Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland
- Eastern Part of Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland
- List of Onsen
- List of Activities
- List of Accommodations
Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park
Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park (釧路湿原国立公園) among Kushiro city, Kushiro town, Shibecha town and Tsurui village is a famous tourist attraction in the Eastern Hokkaido, and about 500,000 people visit every year, and is the largest wetland with 18,290 ha in Japan. It has been designed as Ramsar Convention since 1980, and developments had been limited strictly. More than 700 plants grow, and about 200 birds and about 1,100 insects inhabit. A lot of rare animals inhabit and plants including Japanese cranes, Blakiston's fish-owls that are only 100 in Hokkaido, Iijima Ruriboshiyanma (イイジマルリボシヤンマ) that is a remaining specy in the glacial epoch, Itou fish (イトウ) that is said to be a very rare fish, Kushiro jacob's ladder (クシロハナシノブ) that is a remaining specy in the glacial epoch, Bogberry and Yachibouzu (ヤチボウズ) are in the wetland.
Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park PDF
Tourist attractions of the Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park are roughly divided into 2 parts, the western part and the eastern part. In the western part, boardwalks are enriched, and an activity to go down a river by canoe is featured in the eastern part. To enjoy a damp plain, there are 3 points. 1. Enjoying views to visit lookouts dotted with the wetland. 2. Walking wooden paths and studying plants up close. 3. Going down Kushiro River (釧路川) by the canoe. For very large wetland, I recommend that tourists should go around by a privately-owned car or a rental car. Because a service interval is long in the case of the public transport bus services, the tourists might run out of the time.
Tourism Map PDF (Japanese)
"Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko Train (くしろ湿原ノロッコ号)", a train specialized in the sightseeing of the wetland, is operated from Kushiro Station (釧路駅) to Toro Station (塘路駅) from April to September. Because a railroad is constructed across the Kushiro-shitugen wetland from the north to the south, passengers can see the Kushiro River and Iwabokki Water Gate (岩保木水門) that the tourists using cars can not see. "SL Fuyu-no-Shitsugen Train (SL冬の湿原号)" travels from the Kushiro Station to Shibecha Station (標茶駅) in a winter, and is a time-limited train from January to March. When the Japanese crane, a representative animal of the winter Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, is watched, the train seems to be stopped for watching that. As for a sightseeing bus, Kushiro-shitsugen bus Isshu-go (釧路湿原一周号) runs. Finally very many mosquitoes fly in the sky. Please, make sure that the preparation for insect measures will be perfect!
A direct bus does not run between Sapporo or New Chitose Airport and the Kushiro. But highway buses "Star Light Kushiro-go (スターライト釧路号)" and "Kuhsiro Limited Express New Star-go (釧路特急ニュースター号)" run between the Sapporo and the Kushiro, and Sunrise Asahikawa-Kushiro-go (サンライズ旭川・釧路号), an express bus, runs between the Kushiro and Asahikawa, and Sweets Liner-go (スイーツライナー号) runs between Obihiro and Tancho Kushiro Airport, and Senpoku-go (釧北号), an express bus, runs between the Kitami and the Kushiro, and Akan Airport Liner (阿寒エアポートライナー) runs between Lake Akan and the Tancho Kushiro Airport. Besides, Rent-a-car can be rented around Kushiro Station and Kushiro Airport.
Kushiro (釧路) that about 170,000 people live is the 5th largest fisheries city in Hokkaido, and is one of regional hub cities of the Eastern Hokkaido area. The Kushiro became incorporated with Akan town (阿寒) and Onbetsu (音別) in 2005, and has became the 3rd largest city by area in the Hokkaido. In Japan, it is the 7th latgest city by the area. The Kushiro is also well-known as a tourist city with rich nature, and has 2 very famous national parks, Kushiro-Shitsugen wetland (釧路湿原), the largest wetland in the Japan, and Lake Akan (阿寒湖) consisted by primeval forests and lava. In addition, the beautiful sunset can be seen, too, and the Kushiro is one of the three major places to see the beautiful setting sun in the world together with Manila in Philippines and Bali in Indonesia. Read More
Western Part of Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland
In the westpern part of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, there are Kushiro Shitsugen Observatory (釧路湿原展望台), Hokuto Lookout (北斗展望地) and Onnenai Visitor Center (温根内ビジターセンター). Wooden pathes that tourists can take a walk through wetland are built, and are enriched, and it is the most enjoying way to experience the wetland on foot. My visited places are as follows.
Kushiro Shitsugen Observatory
Kushiro Shitsugen Observatory (釧路市湿原展望台) is a viewpoint in the west side of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, and is one of the most famous tourist attraction in Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, and is well-known for enjoying a scenery like African savanna in a north country. The Kushiro Shitsugen Observatory is built on a small hill at about 85 m above sea level along Hokkaido Road 53, and Kushiro Shitsugen Observatory Boardwalk is built around the observatory. Hokuto Ruins (北斗遺跡) is along the boardwalk, too. Here is a few place to see the morning sun in the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, and a night view from here is beautiful, and it is a dating place. Read More
Hokuto Lookout (北斗展望地) is at the west side of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原), and is about 1 km away from the northern direction of Kushiro Shitugen Observatory (釧路湿原展望台). It is built beside Hokuto Parking (北斗パーキング) on a small hill at about 78 m above sea level along Hokkaido Road 53, and the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland can be viewed here. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Onnenai Visitor Center
Onnenai Visitor Center (温根内ビジターセンター) is an information center at the west side of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原). A large parking lot is built along Hokkaido Road 53, and the Onnenai Visitor Center beside the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland is located a little below the parking lot, and is a few tourist attractions to be close the wetland in the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland tourist attactions. Onnenai Boardwalk (温根内木道) is built at the wetland, and visitors can freely observe various plants such as a reed, a sedge, a bog moss. At the Onnenai Visitor Center, informations about marsh plants, marsh insects and wild birds are displayed, so the visitors can collect knowledges and informations about wetlands. The building has resting places and a restroom, but there is not a restraunt. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. By the way, various events such as crayfish fishing are held, so check below out. Read More
Eastern Part of Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland
There are Shitsugen-no-Kaze Arena Obsevation Deck (湿原の風アリーナ展望台), Hosooka Observation Deck (細岡展望台), Hosooka Canoe Port (細岡カヌーポート), Lake Takkobunuma (達古武沼), Lake Toro (塘路湖), Sarubo Observatory (サルボ展望台) and Sarurun Observatory (サルルン展望台), Nihonmatsu Lookout (二本松展望地), Kottaro Marsh (コッタロ湿原), Lake Shirarutoro (シラルトロ湖) and Kayanuma Station (茅沼駅). Some tourist attractions are along a railroad. Tourists can enjoy the beauty and the grandeur of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland while looking over a view using mountain ranges of Akan Area (阿寒) and serpentine Kushiro River as the backdrop. In the east side, ways of enjoying wetland are various, the tourists can enjoy seeing nature, and can enjoy walking the nature, and even the tourists can enjoy going down a river on a canoe, and can experience it in various ways. There are little‐known good spots, Cape Miyajima (宮島岬) and Cape Kirakotan (キラコタン岬), too. It looks the sea, so those are called "Cape". * Because the Cape Kirakotan and the Cape Miyajima are private land, only ordinary tourists are not allowed to enter. My visited places are as follows.
Hosooka Observation Deck
Hosooka Observation Deck (細岡展望台) is the most famous tourist attraction in Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland in the east side of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland. It is a popular reason that visitors can enjoy a famous scenery with using ridgeline of Mt. Oakandake (雄阿寒岳) and Mt. Meakandake (雌阿寒岳) as the backdrop, and Kushiro River (釧路川) meandering through the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland. It is rumored that the setting sun is beautiful, and it is said that everyone would like to go to at least once. There are Hosooka 1st Observation Deck (第一展望台), Hosooka 2nd Observation Deck (第二展望台), Hosooka Visitor Lounge (細岡ビジターラウンジ) and a public restroom, and it takes about 10 minutes from Kushiro-Shitsugen Station (釧路湿原駅) to the Hosooka Visitor Lounge on foot. Steps from the station to the Hosooka Observation Deck are steep, so you will get tired a little. Except above, the Kushiro-Shitsugen Station and Inn Nomu, there is nothing. A road to the Hosooka Observation Deck is a narrow unpaved road, so drive carefully. A restroom, a cafe and a souvenir shop are at the Hosooka Visitor Lounge, so tourists can take a break. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Hosooka Canoe Port
Hosooka Canoe Port (細岡カヌーポート) near Hosooka Station in the western direction of Lake Takkobunuma is a landing place for canoes along Kushiro River. There are only the canoe port and a parking lot. Tourists can enjoy the canoe that is most popular extreme activity in Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, and ordinary people can view the river. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Lake Takkobunuma (達古武沼) is a freshwater lake in the east side of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原). The perimeter is around 5 km. Lake Balls (マリモ) grow on the bottom of the lake as well as Lake Akan (阿寒湖). There is Tatsukobu Auto Campsite (達古武オートキャンプ場) on the north shore of the lake and that is only facility. There is Center House (センターハウス) that everybody can enjoy meals and can take a rest on the Tatsukobunuma Auto Campsite. Tatsukobu Yumegaoka Walks (達古武夢ヶ丘歩道) with 2.3 km in total length is built along shore of the lake. Yumegaoka Observatory (夢ヶ丘展望台) is on the terminal, and tourists can see a scenery that a railroad track sails across Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland. Therefore visitors can discover a variety state of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland that artifacts blended into nature. Read More
Lake Toro (塘路湖) is a freshwater lake in the northeastern part of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原). The Toro means "A place with a lake" in the Ainu language. The perimeter of the lake is about 18 km. The maximum water depth is about 7 m. The lake is the largest lake in the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland. Lake Balls (マリモ) grow on the bottom of the lake as well as Lake Akan (阿寒湖). In addition, here is well-known for enjoying a canoe, most popular activity in the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland. Tourists can float down through Kushiro River by the canoe. Some activity companies serve a paid canoe tour. There are Sarubo Observatory (サルボ展望台), Sarurun Observatory (サルルン展望台) and Nihonmatsu Lookout (二本松展望地) around the lake, and tourists can look over around the Lake Toro. Those are not so famous, but it is popular as sightseeing spots with tourists expert. Read More
Sarubo Observatory and Sarurun Observatory
Sarubo Observatory (サルボ展望台) and Sarurun Observatory (サルルン展望台) are observation decks in the northeastern part of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原), and is located at the northwest side of Lake Toro (塘路湖) and at the south side of Lake Shirarutoro. There are a lot lakes and marshes around here in the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, so wetlands, lakes, a road and a railroad make a good combination. 2 trailheads to the Sarubo Observatory and the Sarurun Observatory are provided, and there is the nearest trailhead on a parking lot. After visitors go up along the precipitous trails, the trails ahead split in two way around the top of a hill. The trails are rough, so you should wear comfortable shoes. By the way, please be careful for thefting from your vehicle on a parking lot. You had better bring an insect repellent because a lot of gnats try to bite your skin in a summer. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
Nihonmatsu Lookout (二本松展望地) is near Nihonmatsu Bridge cross Kushiro River (釧路川) in Shibcha town. It is not a tourist spot officially, so there is not a facility at all. A signboard is not provided, too, and a lot of tourists are hard to find it. It is known as a secret tourist spot. In my case, I was somehow able to find trails (foot stamps) on a hillslope. It took about 10 minutes on foot, and white mountaintop came into sight. That is the Nihonmatsu Lookout. It commanded a fine view, and Kushiro-shitsugen wetland different from Hosooka Observatory (細岡展望台) can be seen. Cars can come to the mountaintop, but a path is very uneven, I think only off-road vehicles can get there. Admission free. Read More
Kottaro Marsh (コッタロ湿原) is a wetland beside the north side of the Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park. The Kottaro means "A place that water gushes out from underground" in Ainu language, and the place is fitting its name. Because it is not the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, few tourists come, but it is a little-known spot that the tourists can enjoy nature. A scenery looks like original nature, and it has been designated as the special protection district of the Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park. The Kottaro Marsh is well-known as a nesting place for Japanese cranes. Visitors may have a chance to watch the Japanese cranes from a spring to a summer. A half gravel road called Hokkaido Road 1,060 "Kucchoro-genya Toro Line (クチョロ原野塘路線)" stretches on the marsh, and there are 1st Kottaro Viewpoint (第一展望台), 2nd Kottaro Viewpoint (第二展望地) and 3rd Kottaro Viewpoint (第三展望地) along the road. The 3rd Kottaro Viewpoint seems to be on a hill, but I have never found it. Read More
Lake Shirarutoro is a freshwater lake in the northeastern part of Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原) and at the east side of Kottaro Marsh (コッタロ湿原). It is said that the Shirarutoro means "Something between rocks in river (川の中の岩の間)" in Ainu language, but that has not been known in detail. The perimeter of the lake is about 6.5 km. The maximum water depth is about 2.3 m. Lake Balls (マリモ) grow on the bottom of the lake as well as Lake Akan (阿寒湖). The lake is between Mashu National Route (National Route 391) on the east side of the lake and a railroad on th west side of the lake. Lake Shirarutoro Campsite (シラルトロ湖キャンプ場) and Kayanuma Onsen (茅沼温泉) is located at the north side of the lake, and Shirarutoro Onsen (シラルトロ温泉) is located at the northeast side of the lake. Read More
Kayanuma Station (茅沼駅) is famous for feeding to Japanese cranes. Ikenaka Genta 80 kilo, a Japanese famous drama Tv series, picked up the Japanese cranes, so a lot of visitors has came to here in a winter. There is Ikoi-no-Ie Kayanuma (憩の家「かや沼」) near the station, and it takes 15 minutes on foot. Tourists can take a bath at hot springs.
Atmosphere of Japanese Crane Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Parking lot is not provided * Pull over to the shoulder|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Open all year round|
|Home page||Home page is not provided|
List of Onsen
Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland used to be the sea. Therefore, hot springs with salty taste can be enjoyed at Kayanuma Onsen (茅沼温泉) in the north side of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland and Yamahana Onsen (山花温泉) in the southern part of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland. In addition, moor hot springs can be enjoyed at Shimo-osobetsu Onsen (下オソベツ温泉) and Aurora Onsen (オーロラ温泉) beside the northern part of the Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland, too.
Kayanuma Onsen is a hot spring place in Shibecha town located in the northern direction of Kushiro city, and is located at the northern tip of Kushiro-Shitstugen Wetland National Park (釧路湿原国立公園). Visitors turn along Mashu National Route (National Route 391), and go straight for around 2.5 km along Hokkaido Road 959, and the end of the road is the Kayanuma Onsen. Only Kushiro Marshland National Park "Ikoi-no-Ie Kayanuma" (くしろ湿原パーク 憩の家 かや沼) that is one of compound facilities called Kushiro-shitsugen Wetland Park (くしろ湿原パーク) built on a hill facing Lake Shirarutoro (シラルトロ湖). Except a hot spring facility, there are a park golf course, Shirarutoroko Campsite, Shirarutoro Walking Path (シラルトロ歩道) and Cho-no-Mori Observation Deck (蝶の森展望台). Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built around there. Kayanuma Station that is famous for feeding Japanese cranes is at the middle of the Hokkaido Road 959, and a lot of photographers come to take a picture of Japanese cranes with SL Winter Wetlands (SL冬の湿原号). Read More
Shimo-osobetsu Onsen is a hot spring place in Shibecha town located in the northern direction of Kushiro city. Only Ajikoen (味幸園) is built in Osobetsu plain (オソツベツ原野) beside the northern tip of Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原), and is about 1 km away from Mashu National Route (National Route 391). Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built around the building. Read More
Aurora Onsen (オーロラ温泉) is a hot spring place in Shibecha town located in the northern direction of Kushiro city. Aurora Farm Village (オーロラファームヴィレッジ) is around 1.5 km distance through a graveled path from Tsurui National Route (鶴居国道 * National Route 274), and is a nature experience village surrounded by forests beside the northern tip of Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland (釧路湿原). Total area is 991,735.537 m2, and Center House (センターハウス), hot spring facilities, cottages, a camping ground and a lookout are built on the site. Here with rich nature is popular for people came from outside Hokkaido, A whole mountain is like the Aurora Farm Village. There are the Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland, 900 Sogen Grassland (900草原) and Tawadaira Observaton Deck (多和平キャンプ場) around the Aurora Onsen. By the way, an entrance gate is closed at 20:00. Read More
Yamahana Onsen (山花温泉) is a hot spring place in Kushiro city, and is around 20 km away from the center of the Kushiro. Yamahana Onsen Refre (山花温泉リフレ) is built in a grassy plain next to Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park (釧路湿原国立公園). There are Kushiro Zoo (釧路動物園), Horse Park and Kushiro Yamahana Park Auto Campsite (釧路市山花公園オートキャンプ場) near here, and those are near Tancho Kushiro Airport, too. The Yamahana Onsen is a little away from Otanoshike (大楽毛), restraunts, cafes and convenience stores are built around there. Speaking of the Otashike, I ate a pork rice bowl at Butafuku (ぶた福). It was so tasty. Tourist attractions relatively near here are the tourist attractions related with the Kushiro-Shitsugen Wetland National Park, for example, Kushiro Marsh Observatory (釧路市湿原展望台), Hokuto Lookout (北斗展望地) and Onnenai Visitor Center (温根内ビジターセンター). Read More
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations near or in the Kushiro. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Kushiro is this
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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Japanese Travel Agency
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