Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

Boasting the title of Japan’s largest marshland, Kushiro Shitsugen National Park is a whopping 269 square kilometers of wetlands found between Kushiro City and Akan National Park in Eastern Hokkaido. Not to be underestimated, this protected national park is home to a huge number of complex ecosystems and fascinating wildlife including the iconic Japanese crane.

Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

Officially recognised as a national park in 1987, Kushiro Shitsugen National Park, or Kushiro Wetlands, is a huge expanse of marshland that is home to many living things both beneath and above its surface. The wetlands straddle the Kushiro River which runs through down the eastern side of the park with the Senmo trainline running perpendicular to the river.

Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

While Kushiro may not be the prettiest of Hokkaido’s national parks, what it lacks in idyllic landscapes it makes up for in adventurous activities and enriching stories of wildlife. The numerous observation points and boardwalks around the park, both along the river and in the west, give visitors splendid panoramic views onto the far-stretching marshlands that appear to continue for kilometers upon end. Observatories along the way also provide more in-depth explanations of the multifarious ecosystems, plants, and wildlife found all around the national park.

Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

Kushiro Shitsugen is home to more than 600 types of plant across its 269 kilometer expanse. To get a closer-up look there are certain points where visitors can take a canoe out onto the marshland. As well as the huge variety of plants and small wildlife including dragonflies and the lizard-like Siberian salamanders, the park attracts red-crowned cranes. The Akan International Crane Center 20km west of Kushiro Shitsugen pays homage to these graceful birds that at one point risked extinction in Japan until a conservation program was established in Kushiro.

Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

Surrounded by alluring forests, Kushiro Shitsugen makes the ideal day out for walkers. While the paths remain relatively flat, they drift through dreamy woodland whose colors change with the seasons with wooden paths, staircases, and bridges adding to the area’s charm. With the JR Senmo Line running down the east side of the national park, visitors without a car can catch the train in order to stop off at observation points as well as the three picturesque lakes to the east of the park: Lake Takkobu, Lake Toro and Lake Shirarutoro.

Kushiro Shitsugen National Park
Facility Name
Kushiro
Address
Hokkaido Kushiroshi Wakamatsuchou
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kushiro National Park
Address
Hokkaido Kushiroshi , Kushiro-gun Kushiro-cho, Kawakami gun Shiba-cho, Akan-gun Tsurui Village
Introduction
Rare flora and fauna such as menyanthes, Yezo rhododendron (Ledum palustre) and the Yezo red squirrel can be found in this national park which is also Japan’s largest wetland “Kushiro Marsh.” There are five observation decks including Hoso’oka Observatory and six wooden walkways so it is possible to comfortably walk on the wetlands and lakeside enjoying bird watching. In addition, part of the promenade is barrier free and can be used for wheelchairs and strollers. It is located in the area of the Onnenai Visitor Center, where Kushiro Wetland National Park seasonal attractions are introduced and you can borrow binoculars, wheel chairs and snowshoes.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Akan International Crane Center “Grus”
Address
Hokkaido Kushiroshi Akanchoukamiakan 23sen 40
Phone
0154664011
Hours
9:00-17:00
Closed
open everyday
Fees
High School Students over 470 yuen, Elementary and junior high school students 240 yen (common with Tancho observation center)
Parking Lot
Available (Road station parking lot)
Credit Card
Not available
Introduction
“Grus” is the only center which analyzes the ecology and behavior of the Tancho Japanese crane and was built in 1996. There are displays of the crane’s life cycle and its anatomy. They also have videos where you can see the crane in glorious flight. The Tancho Observation Center is next door with a feeding place in front where, depending on the time of year, you can see vicious fights between white tailed sea eagles and red foxes that come looking for food. “Grus” is located 20 minutes from Tancho Kushiro Airport by car.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Toroko
Address
Hokkaido Kawakamigunshibechachou Touro Wilderness
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Takkobuko

    Lake
    Hokkaido Kushiro County Kushiro Town Tatsukobu
  • dummy image

    Toroko

    Lake
    Hokkaido Kawakamigunshibechachou Touro Wilderness
  • dummy image

    Kushiro

    Station
    Hokkaido Kushiroshi Wakamatsuchou
  • Akan International Crane Center “Grus” image

    Akan International Crane Center “Grus”

    Other famous place
    Hokkaido Kushiroshi Akanchoukamiakan 23sen 40
  • Kushiro National Park image

    Kushiro National Park

    Park
    Hokkaido Kushiroshi , Kushiro-gun Kushiro-cho, Kawakami gun Shiba-cho, Akan-gun Tsurui Village
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