Kushiro Shitsugen Marshland
Japan's Largest Wetland
Kushiro Shitsugen Marsh, Japan's largest wetland, was registered as a site of the Ramsar Convention in 1980 and a National Park (Kushiro Shitsugen National Park) in 1987. Of the total area of 19,290 hectares, an area of 7,863 hectares is registered under the Ramsar Convention, and an area of 5,110 hectares, including the Kottaro Marsh inhabited by Japanese Red-Crowned Cranes, is designated as a natural monument.
Kushiro Shitsugen Marsh is located near the lower reaches of the Kushiro River, which widely meanders in the vicinity of the marsh. In addition, the marsh contains a number of lagoons (Lake Takkobu and Lake Shirarutoro) and many small ponds and bogs
Kushiro Shitsugen Marsh is also the habitat of the Japanese Red-Crowned Crane, a designated special protected species, and Japan's largest fresh-water fish, the Japanese huchen, also called “illusionary fish,” and many other rare creatures. The marsh itself is an off-limits area, being designated as a special zone of the national park. Visitors can admire the breathtaking view of the marsh from several observatories built on elevated ground, walk the promenade, canoe down the river, watch rare birds and flowers, and enjoy fishing and camping.
Kushiro Marsh Observatory
An observation lounge and rooftop offer impressive views of the wetlands that change depending upon the season. An exhibition room on the second floor has a diorama of the marsh and introduces the flora and fauna, remains and geographical and geological characteristics of the marsh with graphic panels on display. The Japanese huchen ("illusionary fish") can also be seen here.
Hoso'oka Observation Platform Hokuto Observation Platform
Both observation platforms offers a clear view of the marsh, allowing viewers to ascertain the uniqueness of the meandering Kushiro River and vastness of the wetlands
Lake Toro Eco-Museum Center
A hub for information about the marsh located to the east of Kushiro Shitsugen National Park. General information on the natural environment of the Kushiro Shitsugen Marsh and use of the park is provided here.
Onnenai Visitor Center
A hub for wetland information located to the west of Kushiro Shitsugen National Park. General information on the natural environment of the Kushiro Shitsugen Marsh and use of the park is provided here.
Wildlife Protection Center
Articles related to the protection of wetland and rare wildlife species on display.
Takkobu Auto Camping Ground
This camping site has well-maintained outdoor and indoor lodge facilities. Rental canoes also available.