- July 14th, 2017
[Lake Kutcharo in Hamatonbetsu] Brackish Water Lake Is Famous for Tundra Swan and Sunset
Lake Kutcharo (クッチャロ湖) is a brackish water lake in Hamatonbetsu town located in the southeastern part of Wakkanai city, and is near Beniya Primeval Flower Garden (ベニヤ原生花園) and Esanuka Line (エサヌカ線) in North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park (北オホーツク道立自然公園). The lake has been designated as the Ramsar Convention Wetland since 1989, and has been chosen one of 500 Important Wetlands in Japan (日本の重要湿地500). The Kutcharo means "A river mouth that lake water flows out" in Ainu language, and it and Lake Kussharo (屈斜路湖) in Eastern Hokkaido mean the same thing. The perimeter of the swamp is 27 km. The maximum water depth is 2.5 m. Waterfowl Observation Center (水鳥観察館), Kutcharo Lakeside Shop (クッチャロ湖畔売店), Kutcharo Lakeside Campsite (クッチャロ湖畔キャンプ場), Hamatonbetsu Onsen Wing (はまとんべつ温泉ウイング), a footbath, Kutcharo Lakeside Shrine (クッチャロ湖湖畔神社) and Hakuchosha House (白鳥の舎) are built at the southeastern side of the lake. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.
Esanuka Line (エサヌカ線) is a village road in Sarufutsu village located in the southeastern part of Wakkanai city, and is near Lake Kuccharo (クッチャロ湖), Beniya Primeval Flower Garden (ベニヤ原生花園), Moukeni Swamp (モウケニ沼) and Poro Swamp (ポロ沼), and has Esanuka Primeval Flower Garden (エサヌカ原生花園) is along the road. The official name is Sarufutsu Village Road Esanuka Line (猿払村道エサヌカ線), and the total length is about 16 km. A part of the road is a straight road of about 4 km and a straight road of about 8 km, and the roads grow straight towards the horizon, so a typical scenery of Hokkaido is popular with motorcycle touring riders and tourists. I guess that 80 % of people using this road is the tourists. Telephone poles and road traffic signs are not built along the road, so nothing is disturb visitors' sight. The bare horizon can be enjoyed. There is no sightseeing facility. The visitors enjoy only driving or taking a photo. I think that nothing is worth. An amazing scenery appeared in CM of Asahikasei, TOYOTA and ISUZU, and those used here as a shooting place. The CM of the Asahikasei used the former road, and I wonder if it triggered a popularity. By the way, I mistakenly remember Enusaka Line instead of A the Esanuka Line. In a winter, snow is not removed away on the road, so watch the road. Read More
Beniya Primitive Flower Garden
Beniya Primitive Flower Garden (ベニヤ原生花園) is a wild flower garden in Hamatonbetsu town located in the southeastern part of Wakkanai city, and is near Esanuka Line (エサヌカ線) and Lake Kutcharo (クッチャロ湖) in North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park (北オホーツク道立自然公園). The Beniya is named after the name of a farmer that used to cultivate a pyrethrum around here. The primitive flower garden consists of a wetland, a coast, a grassland and a forest, and more than 100 types of wild plants such as Japanese Rose and Japanese Iris Ensata are in the bloom from May to August in the site of 330 ha. Motacilla Flava and Zootoca Vivipara inhabit only the northern part of Hokkaido, too. Here is popular as a good place to watch wild birds. An observation tower, a rest station named Hana-Hana House (花花ハウス), a stall at the building, a public restroom and a parking lot at the site. The Hana-Hana House and the stall open a business from June to September. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Read More
The Lake Kutcharo consists of 2 lakes, Lake Konuma (小沼) in the north side of the lake and Lake Onuma (大沼) in the south side of the lake, and is surrounded by trees such as Japanese alder and wetlands. About 290 types of wild birds can be watched around the lake, and the lake is well-known as a paradise for the wild birds, and is famous as a landing zone for Tundra Swan. In a spring and an autumn, about 6,000 Tundra Swan come flying, and a sight of crowded swans is popular. The lake is also famous as for the beautiful sunset, and the view can seen at the popular campsite. Lake Kutcharo Lakewater Festival (クッチャロ湖湖水まつり) is held between 2days in mid July. Speaking of tasty restaurants in the Hamatonbetsu, Ramen Yawaraya (柔家) is popular in particular. As for onsen, a day trip bathing can be enjoyed at the Hamatonbetsu Onsen Wing. The campsite is convenient because it is close to the center of the Hamatonbetsu.
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park (北オホーツク自然公園) is a natural park among Sarufustu village, Hamatonbetsu town and Esashi town in the northern part of Hokkaido, and has been designated as the prefectural natural park since 1968. The area is 3,927 ha. Groups of lakes and swamps such as Lake Kutcharo (クッチャロ湖), wild flowers in Beniya Primitive Flower Garden (ベニヤ原生花園), and wild birds such as Motacilla Flava and Swan can be observed in this area. A lot of tourists do not come. The natural park has been chosen as one of 100 Unexplored Regions in Japan (日本の秘境100選), and is contained in 500 Important Wetlands in Japan (日本の重要湿地500). A straight road without signals is one of worth seeing places, too. Tourists can enjoy the nature of the typical Hokkaido without being crowded. I think that here is a little-known tourist attractions in the northern Hokkaido. Read More
Look of Lake Kutcharo
A southeastern part of the Lake Onuma faces the lake, and I guess that people can approach the lakeside only here. The Waterfowl Observation Center and the campsite are the center of a lake sightseeing, and views and the wild birds can be enjoyed. At the Waterfowl Observation Center, a restrrom is provided, and materials related to waterfowls are exhibited. Visitors can go in and out freely. Admission free.
Atmosphere of Lake Kutcharo Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (60 Cars)|
|Business hours||open 24 hours * Waterfowl Observation Center 09:00-17:00|
|Regular closing day||Open year all round * Waterfowl Observation Center Monday (if a national holiday falls on Monday, it is closed the next day.) and Year-end and New Year holidays|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||644 747 570*37|
List of Activities
Lake Kutcharo Eco Workers provides some activities such as a canoe tour. Refer to following websites for the activity companies. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|Lake Kutcharo Eco Workers(NPO法人 クッチャロ湖エコワーカーズ)||
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Hamatonbetsu and the Sarufutsu. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park is here
North Okhotsk Prefectural Natural Park
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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