The 10 Best things to do in Kushiro and Lake Akan of Hokkaido in winter.冬の釧路・阿寒湖で体験できる10のこと
Various outdoor activities can be experienced in Kushiro area and Lake Akan during winter time.
What would you like to do?
1.Snowshoe through Kushiro Wetland's wondrous world of snow and ice
Kushiro Wetland under a thick blanket of snow and ice is a vast, serene and wondrous world. Leisurely snowshoe your way through fields of fluttering snow and diamond dust. Observe the animals active in winter, and if you're lucky you may see tancho red-crowned cranes.
2.Gliding through Kushiro Wetland in winter in a Canadian canoe
Kushiro Wetland in winter is enveloped in a silvery white silence. Travel in a guided canoe through headwaters inaccessible on foot or by car. Take in the crisp, clear air with all five senses, see the sparkling rime and encounter Yezo sika deer, white-tailed eagles and other wildlife.
3.Experience the classic sports of Hokkaido on a skating rink
Skating is a popular sport in Hokkaido, not to mention in Kushiro. You'll find plenty of skating rinks in Kushiro, where skates for various purposes, including speed skating and ice hockey, are available for rent. Enjoy the freedom and thrill of skating on a wide-open rink or watching a spectacular game of ice sport.
4.Gaze across the snowy landscape of Kushiro Wetland on the SL Fuyu-no-Shitsugen Train
The SL Fuyu-no-Shitsugen Train is a 90-minute ride through a snow-covered landscape. With its resonating steam whistle and white steam puffing from the smokestack, the old-fashioned exterior abounds with retro charm. Listen to the local guide and peer outside through the window at the silent beauty of straight out of ink wash painting. If you're lucky, you may catch sight of tancho red-crowned cranes, Yezo sika deer and white-tailed eagles.
5.Relish some Katte-don loaded with seafood
When it comes to fresh seafood, don't miss the Kushiro Washo Ichiba (market), one of the three largest markets in Hokkaido. Get yourself a bowl of white rice and wander around the market topping it with your favorite seafood as you go. This is what Katte-don is all about! Blue king crab, saury fish, botan shrimp, salmon, scallops, sea urchins, tuna, hairy crab and more are all so mouth wateringly delicious you'll be talking about it for years to come.
6.Observe nationally protected tancho red-crowned cranes up close at Akan International Crane Center [GRUS]
Akan area has long protected tancho red-crowned cranes, as a Special Natural Monument, at its habitat in this wintering spot as the first artificial feeding ground. Established in 1996, Akan International Crane Center [GRUS] is an observation and research facility specializing in the tancho red-crowned crane. It's where you can see these noble birds in a state as close as possible to their natural state throughout the year, and the center hosts as many as 300 at a time.
7.Enjoy the Lake Akan Ice Festival on the frozen lake
The Lake Akan Ice Festival runs from early February to mid-March every year on Lake Akan. Approximately 300 fireworks color the clear winter sky every night. Entertainment for the whole family features traditional Ainu ceremonies, attractions on ice and a host of other fun events.
8.Ski down through the magnificent scenery at the Akankohan National Ski Area [UTARA]
The Akankohan National Ski Area [UTARA] boasts outstanding snow quality and treats skiers to the grand landscape of Lake Akan and Mt. Oakan. There are two slopes, one for beginners and intermediate skiers and another for advanced skiers, as well as a board park for snowboarders and a kid's park for snow fun. The area attracts pleasure skiers and competition skiers alike. You'll also find a full line-up of rental items, including full ski and snowboard sets, sleds and snow outfits.
9.Appreciate Ainu art and experience Ainu culture
Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga Hotel exhibits many sculptures by Takeki Fujito and Masamitsu Takiguchi, famous artists in the Akanko area. Etched into each of the delicate and elegant hand-carved works is their respect for ancestors and appreciation for nature. Encounter the Ainu culture through these works of art.
10.Gently heal in the hot spring waters of Akanko Onsen during winter
Akanko Onsen is a famous hot spring tourist sight in Hokkaido. Immersing yourself in the warm water of Akanko Onsen in the chill of winter is truly a most pleasant healing experience. Many of the hotels at Akanko Onsen have open-air baths that allow guests like you to enjoy the splendid landscape of Lake Akan and the mountain range spreading before your eyes. It's a supremely blissful occasion to warm your body and mind.
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