Japan's largest marsh sprawls across four towns and villages. The area is designated as Kushiroshitsugen National Park as well as a Ramsar Convention Wetland. The red-crowned crane, a protected species, inhabits this marsh, along with around 600 species of wild flora. The sightseeing season runs from late April to September, and the area offers a particularly fine view of the green grass and colorful flowers during the spring and summer seasons.
Stroll the promenade that snakes around the marsh for a satisfying tour of the area, and stop at the observatories to take in the magnificent views. Riding the sightseeing steam train, trekking on horseback, or paddling a canoe along the waterways will get you up close and personal with the marshland's flora and fauna as well.
The city of Kushiro is 30 minutes by car or 45 minutes by Akan Bus from Tancho Kushiro Airport. Access routes differ for each observatory or starting point of the promenade; see below for details.
View the Marsh from Two Observatories at the East and West
Read on to discover more about the main observatories offering panoramic views of the marsh. The east observatory hosts views of the marsh and Kushiro River running through it, while the west observatory provides a magnificent view of the expansive marshland.
- Kushiro Marsh Observatory
This observatory also serves as the promenade's starting point. The observation room on the third floor and the rooftop are ideal for absorbing the marsh vista. You can also browse exhibits on the marsh and descriptions of the flora and fauna residing there on the first and second floors. The observatory also includes a restaurant and takeout shop.
8:30am–6:00pm (9:00am–5:00pm between November and April), closed during the New Year's holiday period, admission costs 470 JPY. It is situated 30 minutes by car from JR Kushiro Station.
- Hosooka Observatory
This observatory serves as the hub for sightseeing on the eastern side of the Kushiro Marsh. Perched on a hill, the observatory presents a sweeping view of the meandering Kushiro River, and even Mt. Oakan and Mt. Meakan on a good day. A tourist information center, the Hosooka Visitors Lounge, is located at the entrance to the promenade and allows you to bring in your own food and drink to have a break.
The observatory is free to visit. The Hosooka Visitors Lounge is open 9:00am–6:00pm (open until 5:00pm in April and May, open until 4:00pm in October and November, and open 10:00am–4:00pm from December to March), closed during the New Year's holiday period. Admission to the lounge is free. From JR Kushiro Station, take a train for 25 minutes, get off at JR Kushiro-Shitsugen Station and walk for 10 minutes.
* No other forms of public transportation are available around JR Kushiro-Shitsugen Station apart from the train, and there are few trains running. Check the train timetable before visiting.
Walk along a Promenade with a Panoramic View
The promenade is approximately 2.5 km long, starting at the Kushiro Marsh Observatory. One circuit takes about an hour. Passing through the forest, the promenade includes a suspension bridge and a long stairway. The view from the Satellite Observatory at the promenade's midpoint will take your breath away. You can walk it in light clothing, though it is best to wear clothes that are comfortable to move around in.
Kushiro-cho, Kushiro-gun, Hokkaido toritoushi wilderness Minami-5-sen, 088-2148
- Nearest Station
･ Senmo Main Line
- Phone Number
0154-31-1993Available languagesonly in Japanese
- Public Site
- Official Site