A town surrounded by vast nature with the Kushiro Marsh to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. One of its most famous spots is the Hosooka Observatory, which overlooks the Kushiro Marsh and offers wondrous views of the winding Kushiro River. On clear days, you can also enjoy views of the setting sun tinting the marshland with a fiery glow. Go out for a drive on the seaside line area along the Pacific coast, and feel the sea breeze while enjoying the stretches of cliffs and ocean rocks shaped by nature.
Kushiro Town has a flourishing vegetable industry. Famous products include white turnips, spinach, and the “Kushiro Hokugen Daikon”, known for its sweetness and high water content.
The coastal area also has a diverse fishing industry, with fixed net fishing for trout and salmon, trawl fishing for flounders, and sea urchin and kelp fisheries. One product which has made a name for itself is the Senposhi oyster, known for its large lobes and rich, succulent flavor.
A village that is famous for the Tancho or Japanese Crane, a bird that is synonymous with the Kushiro Marsh. In winter, many visitors come to see the flocks of Japanese Cranes at the Tsurumidai and the Tsurui-Ito Sanctuary. The village also has a thriving dairy industry, and its cheese is a past winner of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister’s Prize.
The village has plenty of spots to enjoy the Kushiro Marsh. At the Onnenai Boardwalk, you can take a walk into the marsh and experience the vegetation and the chirping of wild birds up close. A hike through a forest road takes you to the Kirakotan Cape and Miyajima Cape, where you can enjoy a rare, breathtaking view of the Kushiro Marsh.
Tsurui Village also has a beautiful townscape in addition to its views of nature. Though it is a small village of around 2,500 people, it has increasingly attracted visitors to stay for the long term.
A large-scale dairy farming town situated in the Konsen plain, famous for its views of the quiet countryside. At the Tawadaira Observatory, you can enjoy a refreshing breeze and a magnificent 360° panoramic view of the surrounding nature. It is also a perfect spot for stargazing at night.
Located in this town is Lake Toro, the largest lake in the Kushiro Marsh and a popular wakasagi (smelt) fishing spot in the winter. Another popular activity is the canoe tour that goes from the lake to Hosooka in Kushiro Town and lets you experience the Kushiro Marsh up close. Beginners need not worry as there will be a tour guide to help you. For train enthusiasts, why not take a leisurely ride through the Kushiro Marsh on the Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko train (from Kushiro Station to Toro Station) or the Fuyu-no-Shitsugen Steam Locomotive (from Kushiro Station to Shibecha Station).
Teshikaga Town is home to the famous Lake Mashu, a caldera lake that formed from a volcanic eruption. With no rivers flowing into or out of it, it is one of the clearest lakes in the world. On clear sunny days, the lake takes on a deep blue hue which has been called “Mashu Blue”. Visitors at night can enjoy watching the starry night sky above the lake, or see surreal views of the moonlight reflected on its surface.
There are numerous onsens or hot springs located around Lake Mashu. One of these is Kawayu Onsen, a hot spring district with a river of hot spring water flowing through the area. The hot spring originates from the nearby Io-zan (sulfur mountain), and the smell of sulfur and steam permeates the air here.
Lake Kussharo, the source of the Kushiro River, is also located in Teshikaga Town. One of the most popular activities here is a canoe tour where you can experience the clear waters, lush forests, and abundant wildlife around the lake.