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Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Kushiro Shitsugen National Park

 

Pristine wetlands rich with plant and animal life

City of Kushiro Tourism Promotion Office

 

 

Japan’s largest wetlands, Kushiro Shitsugen National Park is home to around 700 plant species and about 1,300 different animals, including the revered red-crowned cranes.

 

Located approximately 5km north of Kushiro City in eastern Hokkaido, the huge 287 km sq area was originally a part of a sea, before it was isolated from the ocean by a sand dune that developed along the coast. The accumulation of peat started 3,000 years ago and formed the marshland seen today. The Kushiro River and its tributaries run through the area. Three large freshwater lakes - Toro, Shirarutoro and Takkobu - are also in this wetland national park.

 

A birdwatcher paradise, take some binoculars to observe Steller's sea eagles, Latham's snipes, herons, songbirds and, of course, the iconic cranes. Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, believe spirits inhabit all things. They called the red-crowned crane ‘sarorun-kamuy’ which means the ‘god of wetland’. It is also the only habitat in Japan for the unique amphibian Siberian Salamander.

 

Spend a few days in the area to canoe on the Kushiro River through the park, birdwatch, appreciate wildflowers on a boardwalk stroll, and take a ride on a steam train that slowly follows the river through the marshlands. Head to one of the park’s many view points and observatories for magnificent views of the marsh, the meandering Kushiro River, Kushiro City and the Pacific Coast.

 

 

How to get there

 

Kushiro Shitsugen National Park is about 20 mins from Kushiro Airport by car or about 30 mins from JR Kushiro Station by car.

 

 

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