300 kinds of wild birds live in the diverse natural habitats of
the lake and adjacent Shunkunitai (large sand reef)
Furenko is a large brackish lake of about 60 to 100km circumference situated in Notsuke-Furen Prefectural Natural Park. 17 large and small rivers flowing into the lake have formed a delta here. You can enjoy diverse natural habitats including coastal sand dunes, grasslands, bogs and forests around the lake.
Here, various plants such as Japanese rose, Lilium pensylvanicum and Thermopsis lupinoides grow. About 300 kinds of wild birds such as Japanese crane (Special Natural Monument,) black woodpecker, yellow-breasted bunting, bean goose (Natural Monument), Steller's sea eagle, white-tailed eagle and Whooper swan live here and on the sand reef, which makes the place famous as a wild bird paradise attracting many bird watchers. The best seasons to see Whooper swans are from October to December and from mid-March to early-May.
The lake and a large sand reef called Shunkunitai at the mouth to the Sea of Okhotsk (Nemuro Bay) are registered as wetland under the Ramsar Convention. A natural forest of Japanese spruce on the coastal sand dune of Shunkunitai is very rare. Around May, the local fishery cooperative organizes shellfish gathering for participants to dig large clams and surf clams. In winter, people come to see raptors flying to frozen lake or to fish lake smelts.
A complex named "Swan 44 Nemuro" on the south side of the lake along Route 44 houses a restaurant, stores selling specialty products and a tourist information. Visit the place when you come to the vicinity for sightseeing and you make your trip even more memorable.
Address: , Nemuro City, Hokkaido
Phone: 0153-24-3104 (Nemuro City Tourist Information)
Directions: Train: Take Nemuro Kotsu bus for Attoko at Nemuro Station on the JR Nemuro Honsen (45 minutes by air from Shin Chitose Airport and one hour and 50 minutes from Nemuro Nakashibetsu Airport), ride 24 minutes, get off at Hakuchodai Center and take a short walk
Car: One hour and 15 minutes from Nakashibetsu Airport