Kushiro, the largest city in eastern Hokkaido, is a marine food production center that boasts one of the top catches in Japan.
The Kushiro River, which originates in Lake Kussharo, runs through the vast Kushiro Marsh and flows into the ocean, and the city flourishes at the river mouth. Washo Market, which deals primarily in seafood, is believed to date back to the days immediately after the war when fishmongers started selling fish out of crates from the backs of their cars. Washo (friendly business) was chosen as a name because this was the philosophy of the merchants. The market today features throngs merchants in a building, instead of in rows of shops. It has restaurants and 65 shops selling fresh fish, dried salted fish, fruits and vegetables, and sundries. The building was refurbished in March 1999.
Figure: Map of Downtown City of Kushiro (Kushiro-Shi) and Downtown Kushiro City (from in front of JR Kushiro Station to Kita-Odori)
Kushiro Shitsugen National Park – Kushiro Marsh (Wetland) and Japanese Cranes (Tancho)
The Kushiro Marsh is a wetland registered under the Ramsar Convention and Japan’s largest wetland with an area of 18,300 ha. Blessed with diverse ecosystems, the park is particularly renowned as a habitat for the Japanese crane (Red-crowned Crane), a Special Natural Monument. Reduced to a population of over a dozen, the Japanese crane became endangered as a result of indiscriminate hunting. Thanks to the conservation efforts of neighboring residents, however, the population has increased and the Japanese crane was designated as a Special Natural Monument in 1952. Currently, approximately 1,000 Japanese cranes live in East Hokkaido throughout the year. More Details: Kushiro Shitsugen National Park – Kushiro Marsh (Wetland) and Japanese Cranes (Tancho)
Akan National Park
Akan National Park features a rich natural landscape of primeval forests surrounding crater lakes that were formed by volcanic activities. This park is also renowned as a hot spring resort. It features Lake Onneto, Lake Akan (Akan-ko), Lake Mashu (Mashu-ko), Lake Kussharo (Kussharo-ko), Ainu Kotan, Akan Onsen, Mt. Iou/Io/Iwo (Io-zan) etc.. More Details: Lake Onneto, Akan, Mashu and Kussharo at Akan National Park
Nusamai Bridge over the Old Kushiro River, which separates the city into a new and an old urban area, is a Kushiro landmark. It measures 124 m in total length and 33.8 m in width. By its handrails, four sculptures of nudes represent the four seasons. These were created by famous sculptors of Hokkaido, such as Shin Hongo and Churyo Sato. Nusamai Bridge is one of the top three bridges in Hokkaido, along with Toyohira Bridge in Sapporo and Asahi Bridge in Asahikawa. It is enveloped with white sea fogs in summer and colored red by the setting sun in autumn.
The current bridge is the fifth. It was completed in 1976. The first bridge was Aihoku Bridge, a private toll bridge erected in 1889. The bridge was washed away and another was built in 1900, using national funds. An iron bridge was constructed in 1928. The Old Kushiro River was the main stream of the Kushiro River until the Iwabokki floodgates were closed in 1931.
Statues of the Four Seasons Bronze statues symbolizing the four seasons of East Hokkaido, made by a sculptor representative of modern Japan, are standing on the rails of Nusamai Bridge.
Downtown (from in front of JR Kushiro Station to Kita-Odori) center of Kushiro City, which also serves as the starting point for transportation systems. Seafood and souvenirs from Hokkaido can be found primarily at the Washo Market, one of the top three markets in Hokkaido located in front of JR Kushiro Station, and Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO at the foot of Nusamai Bridge.
Access: 10-min. walk from JR Kushiro Station
Accommodating approximately 60 shops, Washo Market is considered to be the kitchen of the residents of Kushiro City. Crabs, salmon and other fresh seafood landed in Kushiro as well as processed seafood can be bought here. In recent years, “Katte-Don (Donburi Rice Bowl)” has been very popular among tourists. Katte-Don – Top your boiled rice, available at a delicatessen, with your choice of sashimi (slices of raw fish) from a variety of stores.
Access: 2 min.-walk from JR Kushiro Station
Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO
Representing the waterfront of Kushiro, Fisherman’s Wharf MOO consists of restaurants and shops. The wharf accommodates numerous souvenir shops and eateries ranging from large-scale restaurants and food stalls at the port. (Minato no Yatai). Access: 10-min. walk from JR Kushiro Station.
Adjoining MOO, EGG is a dome-shaped greenhouse. Why don’t you enjoy briefly basking in the woods when you become tired from shopping or walking along the wharf.
Kushiro City Museum
Located at the edge of Lake Harutori, the Kushiro City Museum building is featured by its shape as a Japanese crane spreading its wings. The museum offers information on the geography, history and climate of Kushiro.
Hours: 9:30-17:00 (admission until 16:30) Admission fee: 460 yen (adult), 240 yen (high school), 110 yen (elementary and junior high school) Closed: Mon., national holidays (open on national holidays between Apr. and Nov. 3) and Dec. 31 – Jan. 5 TEL/FAX: 0154-41 -5 809/0154-42-6000
Access: Take Kushiro Bus, Route Nos. 2, 12, 17, 30 or 55, from JR Kushiro Station Bus Terminal (approx. 10 min.) to Nusamai Chugakko (Junior High School) mae Bus Stop, and walk 5 min.; 210 yen (adult)
Kushiro City Lifelong Education Center (Manabotto Nusamai)
The Center’s appearance is based on the image of a lighthouse. From the restaurant and the observation room on the 9th floor, you can enjoy not only a panoramic view of Kushiro City, but also the mountains in Akan and Cape Erimo in the distance. Closed: Mon., Dec. 31 – Jan. 5 Hours: 9:00-22:00
Access: 20 minute-walk from JR Kushiro Station
The Yonemachi Park area, overlooking the Port of Kushiro, is the birthplace of Kushiro City. On the opposite side of the park is Yonemachi Heritage Museum, the oldest wooden house in Kushiro City. Yonemachi Heritage Museum
Yonemachi Heritage Museum has an archive dedicated to Takuboku Ishikawa, a poet associated with Kushiro, and a cafe, where visitors can also enjoy drinking coffee in a retro-flavored atmosphere.
Closed: Mon., Dec. 31 – Jan. 5
Access: Take Kushiro Bus Route No. 1 from JR Kushiro Station Bus Terminal (10 min.) to Yonemachi Koen (Park) mae Bus Stop; 210 yen (adult).
Model Course (Kushiro City Tour):
Summertime Model Course (Tour Idea): Kushiro Marsh One Day Course (using public transportation systems)
Winter Model Route (Tour Idea): Lake Akan One Night Plan (mid-January – late March)
Golf Courses in the Suburbs of Kushiro City
There are a number of first-class courses in Kushiro Subprefecture. It is exceptional to play golf in the midst of magnificent nature and in the refreshing air.
Kushiro Country Club 36 holes, 14,044 yards, par 144 Shimohororo, Tsurui Village, Akan-gun TEL: 0154-65-2331 FAX: 0154-65-2078
Period open to the public: throughout mid Apr. – late Nov.
Akan Country Club 27 holes, 10,594 yards, par 108 14, Shitakara, Akan Town TEL: 0154-66-3833 FAX: 0154-66-3835
Period open to the public: throughout mid Apr. – late Nov.
Kushiro Furin Country Club 27 holes
TEL: 0154-65-2121 FAX: 0154-65-2445
Kushiro Airport Golf Club 27 holes
TEL: 01547-5-3131 FAX: 01547-5-3133
There is a large-scale shopping mall, and surrounding it are drug stores, toy stores and electric appliance shops.
Access: Take Kushiro Bus Route No.77,66 from JR Kushiro Station Bus Terminal (approx. 30 min.) to AEON Kushiro Showa Shopping Center Bus Stop; 360 yen
Featuring a shopping center with stores that carry brand names popular among young women, men’s tailors and sporting goods retailers.
Access: Take Kushiro Bus Route Nos. 10.26.32.35.55 or 101 from JR Kushiro Station Bus Terminal (approx. 30 min.) to AEON Kushiro Bus Stop; 260 yen
With a shopping complex dealing in stationery, CDs, videotapes and publications on a vast one floor as the core, there are also drug stores, fashion volume retailers and revolving sushi bars, and other restaurants. Adjoining the shopping complex is the Harutori Ice Arena, where you can enjoy ice skating.
Access: Take Kushiro Bus Route Nos. 17,30 from JR Kushiro Station Bus Terminal (approx. 20 min.) to Coach & Four Bus Stop; 250 yen (adult)
Harutori Ice Arena
Hours: 10:00-16:00 Fees: 480 yen (adult), 360 yen (high school), 240 yen (junior high school), 170 yen (elementary school & younger) Closed: Dec. 31, Jan. 1, June 1 – July 31 Skates for rent: 300 yen
(Area Code +0154)
(Area Code +0154)
|Ekimae Hotel Palude Kushiro||22-3111||22-3116||98||3.900|
|Kushiro Castle Hotel||43-2111||42-0318||48||6.300|
|Kushiro Seaside Hotel||41-1717||41-2306||29||3.500|
|Kushiro ANA Hotel||31-4111||24-8640||180||5,500|
|Kushiro Royal Inn||31-2121||31-2122||153||5,300|
|Kushiro Tokyu Inn||22-0109||24-5498||150||5,000|
|La Vista Kushirogawa||31-5489||31-5335||245||7,000|
|Kushiro Prince Hotel||31-1111||31-1202||400||7,000|
|Ekimae Hotel Ocean||24-4000||24-4100||93||4,000|
|Hotel Rasso Kushiro||23-3311||23-6433||113||4,500|
|Super Hotel Kushiroi Ekimae||25-9000||25-9001||84||4,480|
|Super Hotel Kushiro||24-9000||24-9100||101||4,480|
|Hotel Paco Kushiro||23-8585||31-0085||221||7,350|
|Toyoko Inn Kushiro Juji-gai||23-1045||23-1046||208||4,480|
|Comfort Hotel Kushiro||21-5711||21-5712||126||6,800|
|Hotel 1-2-3 Kushiro||24-5000||24-5200||74||4.980|
|Business Hotel Nakazono Daiichi||23-1764||23-1900||8||3.800|
|Yamahana Hot Spring Refre||56-2233||56-2277||16||8,200|
|Hotel Route Inn Kushiro Ekimae||32-1112||32-0090||220||5,700|
|Pension Green Park||41-2685||44-3565||14||3,150|
|Minshuku Family House||22-0208||22-0209||10||2,500|
|Fujihana Onsen Hotel||485-1650||485-2809||27||5.250|
|Apartment Hotel Minato 21||22-7251||25-2335||40||18,000|
Essential Contact Info:
Kushiro Tourism Association (Kushiro Tourism and International Relations Center)
3-3 Saiwaicho 1F, Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture 085-0017, Japan Tel: 0154-31-1993 Fax: 0154-31-1994
Kushiro Tourist Office – JR Kushiro Station
14 Kitaodori 1F, Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture 085-0015, Japan
Kushiro Tourist Office – Kushiro Airport
2 Tsuruoka 1F, Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture 084-0926, Japan TEL: 0154-57-8304
Kushiro Airport Website: http://kushiro-airport.co.jp/
Kushiro Tourist Office – Nusamai Bridge
2-1 Kitaodori, Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture 085-0015, Japan
Kushiro Shitugen Wetland
10-3 Saiwaicho, Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture 085-0017, Japan Tel: 0154-32-7500 Fax: 0154-32-7575
Kushiro Shitugen Wetland Website: http://www.kushiro.env.gr.jp/saisei/0912/english/news.html
Specified incorporated nonprofit organization – Kushiro Wetland ‘Yachi no kai’: http://www.marimo.or.jp/~tancho/yati.htm
NPO Incorporated organization Trust Sarun Kushiro: http://homepage3.nifty.com/sarun/
Wild Bird Society of Japan: http://www.wbsj.org/nonshocked.html