釧路湿原Kushiro Marsh

© City of Kushiro

Kushiro Marsh was formed by rise and fall of the sea level with cool and moist climate 10,000 years ago in the ice age. It’s 30,000ha in size and the largest marsh in Japanここが小さな島国だとは思えないくらい広大に広がる湿地。そしてその上を長く蛇行した釧路川。一万年前の氷河期の氷河による海水面の上下降と、冷涼多湿な気候もあいまってつくられていった釧路湿原。その広さは約3万ヘクタール(東西最大幅25km、南北36km)で、東京都心が丸々入ってしまう程の日本最大の湿原だ。








Text: Tamami Kadowaki

The main part of the marsh is designated as a Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat) site and is home to rare animal species like the Red-crowned Crane.

The marsh spread across areas of Kushiro-cho, Tsurui-mura and Shibecha-cho. Both Route 391 and JR Senmo Main Line run parallel to each other in north-south direction, and you can see various sceneries starting from Kushiro in the south to Iwabokki, Hosooka/Takkobu, Touro, Kottaro, Shirarutoro and Kayanuma in the north. There is another area of Hokuto and Onnenai to the west of the marsh.

There is an observatory in the ares of Hosooka/Takkobu and Iwabokki, you can enjoy panoramic views at Kushiro Marsh Observatory and Hosooka Observatory. Kayanuma and Shirarutoro are nice spots near to the hot springs and great for hiking. You can view not only Red-crowned Crane but also a kind of plant Yachi-Bozu growing in clusters. The best of all might be the great view of sunset over the Shirarutoro Lake.

Renting a bicycle at Touro Station, you can make a little side trip to Kottaro, where is famous for Red-crowned Crane’s nestling site and is considered to be the most important place for it. From spring to summer, you can see pairs of Red-crowned Crane and little ones. In the winter you can see them at the feeding place such as Tancho Sanctuary and Tsuruimidai.

The popular activity at the marsh will be canoe tour, mostly starting from Touro area and down to Kushiro River. You can fully enjoy the nature. You can also have a relaxed experience viewing Kushiro Marsh, taking Norocco train running between Kushiro Station and a famous hot sulfur spring Kawayu Onsen.

Kushiro Marsh will deliver you various great experiences every season. Look for your own style to enjoy the beautiful and rich nature taken from the ancient time.

Kushiro Marsh
Address: Kushiro-cho – Tsurui-mura – Shibecha-cho, Hokkaido
Tel: 0154-31-1993 (Kushiro Tourism Association)

Text: Tamami Kadowaki
Translation: Ayano Yamada, Mariko Takei

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