Two thousand spectacular varieties of animals and plants thrive in Kushiro, Japan's largest marshland.
Kushiro Marsh stretches out to the north of Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido. This is a huge marsh with an overall area of 183 square kilometers, and was the first Japanese marshland registered under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Two thousand varieties of animals and plants live there, including Hokkaido deer and the white-tailed sea eagle. In summer, all sorts of wild flowers bloom, while in winter it is home to Japanese cranes, a designated special natural monument.
Observation points for viewing the wide marshland have been set up in the surrounding hills. A sightseeing walkway has been built at the marsh observatory in Kushiro so that you can walk around the marsh. The Hoso'oka Observatory offers great views of the winding Kushiro-gawa River beneath and the Akan Mountain Range in the distance.
In summer, the sightseeing train Norokko shows visitors the marsh as it slowly makes its way from Kushiro Station to Shibecha Station. There are also plenty of other ways to enjoy the marsh, such as canoeing for 9 kilometers down the river from Lake Toro-ko to Hoso'oka, looking down at the marsh from 50 meters above ground in a hot air balloon, or while riding a 'dosanko,' a Hokkaido-bred horse.
From Tokyo:[Air]1h 35 min from Haneda to Kushiro Airport.
From Osaka:[Air]h 5 min from Kansai International Airport to Kushiro Airport.
FromSapporo:[Rail]3h 32 min from Sapporo to Kushiro Station by JR Nemuro Line (limited express).