Kushiro’s true charms enjoyed each season季節に合わせて楽しめる、釧路・阿寒湖の醍醐味
Spring in Kushiro begins with a gradual warming from the frigid cold and the melting of snow even around Kushiro Shitsugen Wetland. Typically, the average temperature in April is about 3.7 degrees Celsius. Instead of cherry blossoms like other parts of Japan, the arrival of spring in Kushiro is signaled by white skunk-cabbage seen in the wetlands or along forest roads. The cherry blossoms do bloom here, but not until mid May. This means that every year Kushiro is among the last places in all of Japan where the cherry blossoms bloom. Kushiro is home to a number of locations famous for cherry blossom viewing. These include Harutori Park, where around 950 Sargent’s cherry trees bloom, as well as the popular Yanagimachi Park and Tsurugadai Park. Every year in May Tsurugadai Park also hosts the Tulip Fair.
Sightseeing cruises on Lake Akan start up from the end of April to the beginning of May. You can also ride one of the vessels when there is still ice in the lake for about the first week after the cruises start back up. During the trip, the vessel will make its way through the melting ice, breaking it up along the way.
・Lake Akan Icebreaker Cruise：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/things_to_do/6533/
・Head out to view Kushiro’s cherry blossoms, the final bloom in all of Japan!：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/overview/8171/
There is very little change in the temperature in the downtown area of Kushiro from spring until the start of summer. The arrival of sea fog marks the arrival of summer. Downtown Kushiro is your best bet if you want to enjoy a refreshingly cool summer. In recent years, Kushiro has become a popular extended stay destination for people from hotter climates who want to escape the heat for several weeks or several months. Spring and summer is also when the colorful flowers begin to bloom in Kushiro Shitsugen Wetland and the new leaves appear like they are right out of a painting. Head to the inland area and Lake Akan if you are looking for a more summer-like experience. Many days the high temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius, which makes this season the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities like camping and fishing. The inland area offers easy access to nature where there are mountain trails easy for beginners and countless rivers perfect for anglers.
・Three reasons to spend an extended holiday in Kushiro：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/overview/6385/
・Two National parks with differing ecosystems only found in Kushiro：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/things_to_do/6389/
・In summer, each area offers its own rewards.
Explore the culture of the city, glide across the wetlands by canoe, or immerse yourself in bountiful nature at Lake Akan. Where will you enjoy?：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/things_to_do/2838/
The autumn foliage begins as early as the first part of October. In particular, Takiguchi at Lake Akan offers the stunning scenery of Akan River and trees colored in hues of red, yellow and orange. Of course, you can also enjoy the reflection of these same vivid colors in and around the waters of Lake Akan from a laid back sightseeing cruise. Even Kushiro Shitsugen Wetland changes in the autumn, featuring grasses that turn a golden yellow color, producing grand and magnificent scenery.
Autumn is the season for beautiful sunsets in Kushiro. The city is said to offer the third best sunset in the world, next to Bali in Indonesia and Manila in the Philippines. Most autumn days are clear and there is a higher degree of humidity in the air from the Pacific Ocean, which provides the perfect ingredients for beautiful sky patterns dyed in vivid hues of orange.
・Check out this selection of eight spots to watch the stunning sunset in Kushiro, considered to be among the top three locations in the world for sunsets：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/overview/3747/
・Lake Akan Pleasure Boat：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/things_to_do/3822/
Winter is the season to encounter tancho cranes, a symbol of Kushiro. Tancho cranes spend summer deep in the wetlands where the foliage is thick, but in the winter they come to human habitats in search of food. The sight of tancho cranes fluttering about on a snow field is so beautiful it will take your breath away. Such scenes draw many photographers from both Japan and abroad to Kushiro in the winter time.
Although there are many clear days, the temperature can fall to negative 20 degrees Celsius. However, this cold produces a number of rare natural phenomena, too, which will make you forget about just how cold it really is. These include steam mist, a winter fog that can shroud the entire downtown area in white mist, lotus leaf ice, where ice crystals that look like lotus leaves form on the surface of ice in the port and river, and frost flowers, where frost forms flowers that appear to bloom atop the frozen Lake Akan. In this manner, there are a number of activities where you can fully enjoy the beauty and majesty of nature in Eastern Hokkaido. Winter time is also a great time to take in the white winter wonderland scenery from the comfort of a hot and rejuvenating hot spring bath.
・The best place to view the tancho cranes, steward of the wetlands：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/overview/3760/
・Two mystical scenes created by the bitter cold ｢steam mist｣｢frozen lotus leaves｣：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/overview/3756/
・Frost flowers blooming across the lake surface — an unforgettable winter scene：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/overview/2824/
・In winter, tempts travelers with a variety of beautiful sights, fun activities, and rewarding nature experiences.Which genre interests you?：http://en.kushiro-lakeakan.com/things_to_do/6559/
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