OFFICIAL WEBSITE arrow right white

Enjoy winter adventure in East Hokkaido!
#3 Kushiro Area


  • Best Places to Visit
  • Nature
  • Activities
  • Seasons

February has begun, and temperature below 0℃ are commonplace on the eastern side of Hokkaido.

The area is covered with pure white snow and ice, creating a fantastical world.

You can enjoy a variety of scenery and activities in eastern Hokkaido in the midst of the extremely cold season.

Why not go outside this winter and fully experience nature with your body?

Through out next few posts, we will introduce winter experiences by area in eastern Hokkaido!

▼ Click here for previous articles

#1 Lake Akan Area

#2 Teshikaga Area

Kushiro Area

In the Kushiro area, which includes Kushiro Wetlands National Park, you can see up close the wetlands covered in snow during the winter and the red-crowned cranes visiting feeding grounds to overwinter.

Enjoy the Kushiro Wetlands, which offers a vastly different landscape than in the summer, and the winter wildlife.

▼Walking through Kushiro Wetland in winter

The Onnenai boardwalk, which allows you to walk through the wetlands, can be visited even during the winter. In winter, the visitor center offer free rental of snowshoes, ski shoes, and binoculars, so you can fully enjoy the magnificent scenery of the wetland even if you visit empty-handed!

As you walk through the unobstructed snow-covered wetland, if you're lucky, you might be able to spot deer running through the wetland or wild birds such as the long-tailed tit, also known as the snow fairy.

Please enjoy the magnificent nature while clearing your five senses to the sounds and signs of nature around you.

▼Enjoy the scenery from the observation deck

After walking through the Kushiro Wetlands, you can see how wide the wetlands are by looking at them from an observatory.

From the Hosooka Observatory, located on the opposite bank from the Onnenai Visitor Center, you can get a panoramic view of the Kushiro Wetlands, where the meandering river flows.

If you visit at dusk, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of the wide sky that becomes a gradation of color as the sun sets.

▼Let's go see red-crowned cranes!

Red-crowned cranes live in Kushiro wetlands during the summer time. In winter, they are covered in snow, making it difficult for the cranes to find food.

During this time of the year, you can see red-crowned cranes up close at designated feeding grounds nearby.

At the International Crane Center [Gurus], located on the way from Lake Akan to downtown Kushiro, artificial feeding is carried out twice a day, once in the morning and once at noon.

The red-crowned cranes that roost in the Akan River during the winter come to this feeding station in the morning, eat food, and perform courtship dances.

We never get tired of watching them fly gracefully or dance happily.

Winter is the only time you can see so many red-crowned cranes up close, so be sure to come and see for yourself!

What did you think?

Winter in eastern Hokkaido is the season to go outside and experience the beauty, majesty, and strength of nature.

If you happen to visit during this time, be sure to experience winter to the fullest!

Lake Akan Winter Illumination Event Information

LAKE AKAN Winter Illumination

-Mystic cave of Marimo in Lake Akan-

Event Period:2023.12.9-2024.2.29

Time:EVERYDAY 17:00~21:00

Place:Lake Akan Information Center Marimu Hall

(〒085-0467 2-6-20 Akanko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan)

\Share your photo on Instagram for a chance to win prizes!/

How to entry:

1. Follow @akan_tourism_association on Instagram.

2. Take photos of the Marimu Hall illumination.

3. Post the photos on Instagram at #lakeakan

Campaign Period:2023.12.9-2024.2.29

▼Announcement of Winner

Photos posted on Instagram will be screened to determine winners. Winners will be informed by DM from the Akan Tourism Association, and are asked to please reply via DM on Instagram with the required items by the deadline shown in the DM from the Akan Tourism Association.

Lake Akan Winter Illumination

Lake Akan Information Center
Marimu Hall
2-6-20 Akanko Onsen, Akan-cho, Kushiro, Hokkaido, JAPAN