Despite being located in the Kushiro Area in which most of the municipality names originated from the Ainu language, the name of the village came from "Tancho" (red-crowned cranes), a Special Natural Monument. Every year, the village which literally has red-crowned cranes is visited by many tourists who wish to see the cranes. Although the population of the species decreased so badly that it was once thought to have been lost to extinction, many people living in and outside the village made efforts to protect the cranes.
Of the population which currently exceeds 1000, about half have been confirmed to inhabit Tsurui Village.
Winter Roosts of the Cranes
"Otowa Bridge" spans the Settsuri River which flows through Tsurui Town. It is a popular spot where amateur photographers hooked on the charm of the red-crowned cranes visit frequently. The roosts on which the cranes try to sleep as warmly as possible while protecting themselves from predators attract people by creating fantastic scenery early in the morning.
The relationship with human settlement is one of the key elements for the inhabitation of red-crowned cranes in Kushiro Marsh with severe winter. The fine balance between the people of Tsurui Town and the cranes is the product of efforts made to this day. In midwinter, over 200 cranes gather daily at the two major feeding spots in "Ito Sanctuary" and "Tsurumidai".
Two Capes within the Wetland
In Kushiro Marsh which used to be part of the ocean, there are two hills named "capes". These are "Kirakotan Cape", where red-crowned cranes believed to have been lost to extinction were once again found, and "Miyajima Cape" which provides beautiful scenery of the meandering Kushiro River. The deep nature is protected to this day on both of these capes, which are referred to as the sacred regions of the wetland.
Swaying on the Back of a Horse Native to Hokkaido
The indigenous horse breed which originated in Hokkaido, affectionately nicknamed "Dosanko", greatly contributed to the early development of Hokkaido due to its high strength and tolerance to poor management. Despite its small body size, the breed has high endurance and speed as well as a mild disposition. Wetland exploration tours on "Dosanko" to relive the romance of the early development era are very popular.
Beautiful Village of Dairy
Dairy is the core industry of Tsurui Town, which is part of "the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan Union". The dairy products including cheese and ice cream are highly evaluated nationwide.