Nature in the raw
Visit magnificent Eastern Hokkaido to see some of the most pristine scenery and wildlife habitats in Japan. Home to three of Hokkaido's six national parks, this vast and secluded corner of Japan is well worth the trip at any time of year.
- Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Akan-Mashu National Park and Shiretoko National Park
- Encounter Eastern Hokkaido's varied wildlife on land and sea
- Visit the Kushiro Marshes, Japan's largest marshland
- Come for the spectacular drift ice season
How to Get There
More than five airports serve the extensive eastern Hokkaido region. You can also access the various areas by train from Sapporo and other major cities, covered by the Japan Rail Pass .
For Obihiro and Monbetsu: Tokachi Obihiro Airport and Okhotsk Monbetsu Airport have direct flights to Tokyo.
For Kushiro Marsh and Akan-Mashu National Park : Kushiro Airport has direct flights from Sapporo (Okadama/New Chitose Airport), Tokyo (Tokyo International Airport/Narita International Airport) and Osaka (Kansai International Airport). Seasonal flights include direct flights from Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) and Osaka (Osaka International Airport).
Cruise through the ice
Once winter begins, start your journey on the Okhotsk Coast with an icebreaker cruise to see the amazing ryuhyo drift ice pressing up against miles of coast from Monbetsu to Utoro. Try a snowshoe hike across frozen lakes in Shiretoko National Park or check out the ice diving in Utoro.
See migrating swans and dancing cranes
Also in winter, take the Mashu National Highway to Kawayu Onsen, where you can see the migrating whooper swans on frozen Lake Kussharo and Lake Mashu . Continue on to Akan-Mashu National Park or head south to Kushiro Marsh to see more red-crowned cranes.
Whale watch and watch out for bears
In the warmer months, fly to Memanbetsu or Nakashibetsu and take a tour of Shiretoko National Park . Jump on a cruise from Utoro or Rausu for the best views of Japan's great untouched wilderness, and spot bears on the beach or sperm whales diving in the sea.
Soak in the water and the scenery
Drive south along the coast to admire the magnificent views and birdlife at Notsuke Peninsula , Lake Furenko, and Cape Nosappu, or turn inland to Akan-Mashu National Park . Don't miss the stunning scenery around Lake Mashu and the serene blue waters of Kaminokoike Pond on the east side of the park, before heading for a hot soak in an onsen overlooking beautiful Lake Akan.
To complete the trip, follow the main road past picturesque Lake Onneto into the Tokachi plains to enjoy the pretty gardens in bloom and a rejuvenating spa at Tokachigawa Onsen near Obihiro .
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.
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