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Midwinter Canoeing on Kushiro River Headwaters



HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Midwinter Canoeing on Kushiro River Headwaters


Slowly canoe through a frosty world and discover the sparkle of Hokkaido’s winter

Lake Mashu Tourist Association



One of Japan’s most beautiful and pristine rivers, Kushiro River originates from Lake Kussharo in eastern Hokkaido and flows through breathtaking landscapes of lush forests and wetlands teeming with wildlife. In its upper section, the river is shallow and gentle and do not freeze in winter, making it ideal for canoeing even during the cold season.

A winter canoe tour on the slow-moving headwaters of the Kushiro River offers you the rare opportunity of paddling through a magical white world created by snow, rime, and frost. The weather in Eastern Hokkaido has a high percentage of clear skies in winter, so you can expect a bright blue sky as the backdrop of your adventure.




The tour starts early in the morning, in time for sunrise, when the temperature can drop to about minus 25 degrees Celsius. You will board from Lake Kussharo, pass through under the Choko Bridge, then descend the Kushiro River headwaters to Midori Bridge. On Lake Kussharo, you can face the pure white mountains turning redder and redder as the morning sun hits them. Once the canoe enters the Kushiro River, the steam rising from the surface of the river turns into frost sparkling in the light. The Kushiro River headwater section is narrow, with a lot of trees protruding from both banks, and you will slowly pass through tunnels of ice-covered branches.

The tour takes about an hour and a half and is operated by experienced local guides from late December to late April. Enjoy a fantastic adventure full of excitement that can only be experienced in Teshikaga Town!





How to get there


From Kushiro Airport, take a shuttle bus to Kushiro Station (45 minutes), then take the JR Senmo Line to Mashu Station (about 90 to 110 minutes). The tour meeting point is at Choko Bridge, which can be reached by taxi from Mashu Station in 20 minutes.


Choko Bridge: Kussharo, Teshikaga-cho, Kawakami-gun, Hokkaido





Teshikaga Navi




More Information


Hokkaido Prefecture | JNTO Official Website

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