Koshimizu Gensei-kaen (wild flower preserve)
Short summer in Okhotsk
Covered by carpet of flowers created by great nature
The Koshimizu Gensei Kaen garden, sandwiched between the Sea of Okhotsk and Tofutsu Lake, creates a carpet of colorful flowers on a long sand-hill area, about 8 kilometers long and occupying 275 hectares, along Route 244 in summer. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Japan and designated as part of Abashiri National Park.
Fantastical black lilies blossom in June, announcing the advent of a short summer in the Sea of Okhotsk, and then baptisias and Arctic Irises come into bloom one after another. Siberian lilies, the local town flower, lemon lilies, rugosa roses and other flowers begin to bud out of green leaves in July. Visitors may well forget the passage of time by "Competitive" opening of orange, yellow, purple, pink and various other colorful flowers. The best season of the garden is between June and August when some 40 species of flower color the ground by blossoming separately.
Tofutsu Lake adjacent to the garden is also enjoyable, having a walking trail and observatory barn. Known as offering God-given bird-watching points, the lake has visitors all the year round. From the barn, horses pastured during summer can be observed. Visitors feel comforted by watching birds and horses cuddled by flowers. The area was registered in 2005 under the Ramsar Convention calling for the conservation and rehabilitation of wetlands as important waterfowl habitats.
Address: Aza-Hamakoshimizu, Koshimizu Town, Shari County, Hokkaido
Phone: 0152-62-4481 (Commerce, industry and tourism section of industry department at Koshimizu town office)
Hours open to visitors: From late April to end of October
Hours: All day
Admission Fee: Free
Directions: Near Gensei Kaen Station of Hokkaido Railway Co.'s Kushiro Honsen Line (between May and October) or 10-minute car ride from Hamakoshimizu Station of Kushiro Honsen Line (1 hour and 15 minutes to Hokkaido Railway's Abashiri Station from New Chitose Airport via Memanbetsu Airport). Car ride of 50 minutes from Memanbetsu Airport (free parking lots available).