As the center of eastern Hokkaido, Kushiro City has developed along the ocean. Kushiro Marsh and the forests of Akan that lie beyond the city escaped human development and still maintain their outstandingly deep, dense nature to this day.
This was made possible in part by the efforts of our ancestors who cherished and protected the nature of this land and passed it down to younger generations. We recommend that you see and feel for yourself the various romantic charms of this area, including the nature, history and unique food culture.
One of the Three Best Sunset Sites in the World
It was during the time when Kushiro used to have the largest catch of fish in Japan for over a ten-year period that fishermen aboard foreign ships who visited Kushiro Port reportedly said that the beauty of the sunset off the coast was comparable to that of Manila and Bali. The view of the sunset from "Nusamai Bridge" located in the center of the city is truly worthy of applause.
Kushiroshitsugen National Park, a Campaigner of Wise Use
In 1987, "Kushiro Marsh", the largest wetland in Japan, became designated as the 28th national park. It was also a moment of joy for the people who exerted themselves to convey "the wonderful value of the wetland" which was merely treated as an obstacle to development.
As many as 2000 animal and plant species inhabit the wetland, which is 28000 ha in area. Rare species such as red-crowned cranes and Siberian salamanders inhabit and breed in the wetland.
Akan National Park, a Pioneer in Environmental Protection
In 1934, Akan National Park was designated as the second national park of Japan. Despite the scenic beauty created by the three caldera lakes of Akan, Mashu and Kussharo as well as other beautiful forests, lakes and volcanoes, this national park also experienced a few threats rof human development.
The history of our ancestors' efforts to overcome the threats has been passed down to this day. At visitor centers in Lake Akan, Teshikaga, Kawayu as well as other locations, explanations and books on the nature and history of Akan National Park are on display.
Red-crowned Cranes and Marimo Lake Balls, Two Special Natural Monuments
Kushiro City is also inhabited by two symbolic organisms designated as Special Natural Monuments. They are the red-crowned cranes, the largest bird species in Japan, and marimo lake balls, an algae species that becomes perfectly spherical in shape.
Although both of the species were thought to have been lost to extinction at one point, the populations have been increasing thanks to the efforts of previous generations. Since both species are still endangered, vigorous conservation activities are still being conducted to this day.
Delicious Food Gathers in Port Towns
The port has always been visited by people from various regions and experienced the influx of many types of delicious foods. Thanks to an abundance of seafood in the area, Kushiro is the birthplace of "Robata" (Japanese-style grilling), which is well-known nationwide today. As well, "Zangi" (Hokkaido-style deep-fried food) and "Teppan Spaghetti" (spaghetti served on an iron plate) are said to have originated in Kushiro.
Becoming popular in recent years are "Katte-don" (self-chosen sashimi on rice) and "Kushiro Ramen", while unique "Kushiro-style Sushi" and "Kushiro-style Soba" (buckwheat noodles) are also popular. The city is more gourmet than one would expect.