Kushiroshitsugen National Park

Japan's largest marsh and a meandering river 

Encompassing the Kushiro River flowing through the eastern part of Hokkaido and its tributaries, Kushiroshitsugen National Park comprises Japan's largest marsh, the Kushiro Marsh, as well as the surrounding mountainous area. The vast, untouched horizontal landscape is the park's greatest attraction. The birth of a national park centering on a marsh was a first in Japan and a direct result of the local efforts to have the marsh recognized for the value of its natural environment.

Visiting Japan's National Parks

Kushiroshitsugen National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and a permit is not required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.

Park Highlights

The Kushiroshitsugen National Park is a primitive lowland natural environment. It is a rare environment because this type of land has already been lost in other regions in Japan. The park’s natural, expansive, horizontal landscape is unique and unparalleled in the country.

DON'T MISS

  • Expansive views of the Kushiro Marsh and Akan mountains from Hosooka Observatory
  • Glimpse of the "god of the marsh," the very rare Red-crowned Crane
  • Walking through the Kushiro Marsh on the Onnenai Wooden Path

The Kushiro Marsh is home to diverse wildlife, including the Ezo red fox and Yezo deer; rare species like the white-tailed sea eagle; the Japanese huchen, Japan’s largest freshwater fish; and the Red-crowned Crane. Try and spot some of this rare wildlife from one of the many observatories.

KUSHIRO MARSH OBSERVATORY

The exterior of this observatory and exhibition facility is designed in the shape of Yachibouzu, which are common in the marsh. From the roof it is possible to see not only the marsh but also Kushiro City and as far as the Pacific Ocean.
*An entrance fee is charged for the observatory and exhibition facility. 

ONNENAI WOODEN PATH

This is the only boardwalk built in the Kushiro Marsh that enables visitors to walk through the marsh. Not only can you enjoy the scenery as you walk, but you can also observe seasonal flowers and changes in marsh plants and wild birds up close.

YACHIBOUZU

View the strange scenery of clumps of grass appearing like bald heads on the marsh. Referred to fondly by locals as “Yachibouzu,” “Yachi” in Japanese refers to the marsh lands and “bouzu” refers to a bald head, so this literally means the bald head of the marsh lands.

TORO LAKESIDE TRAIL

This 600 meter footpath enables visitors to take a stroll while enjoying the view of Lake Toro. Around the lake are signs explaining the history of Lake Toro and the birds that can be observed here and in the surrounding area. Benches and rest areas are also provided.

About the Park 

Kushiroshitsugen National Park is a valuable habitat for many flora and fauna, including the red-crowned crane, which has been designated a National Special Natural Monument. 

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Date of National Park Designation: July 31, 1987
  • Area: 28,788 ha (287.88 square kilometers)
  • Location: Hokkaido

PARKS RULES & SAFETY 

As with any national park or conservation area, visitors to Kushiroshitsugen National Park are required to observe the following rules for safety and to protect the area's natural biodiversity:

  • Carry in, carry out: Take all of your trash with you. 
  • Do not pick wildflowers or damage plants. 
  • Do not feed the wild animals. 
  • Hunting is not permitted. 
  • No fishing unless with a certified guide.
  • No smoking while walking. 
  • Campfires are only permitted in designated areas. 
  • When entering the marsh, stay on the designated footpath for the protection of animals and plants and to prevent falling into yachimanako—pot-shaped ponds within the marsh.
  • For the protection of animals and plants, when canoeing downriver do not land the canoe other than at the designated landing sites.
  • Be careful not to frighten the red-crowned cranes.