The 10 Best things to do in Kushiro and Lake Akan in spring.春の釧路・阿寒湖で体験できる10のこと
Various outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Kushiro Area and Lake Akan in spring. What would you like to do?
1. Glide through the Kushiro Wetland in a canoe
Kushiro Shitsugen, the Japan's largest wetland. Take a guided canoe
boat tour and immerse yourself thoroughly in the enormous green field in soft breeze as you glide across the water surface. The lush fresh green look bright and beautiful. Water is abundant and the wide stretching view raises your anticipation to spot tancho red-crowned cranes, white-tailed eagles, Hokkaido deer and other wildlife.
2. Tasting local foods and shopping
Just a minute's walk from Kushiro Station, Kushiro Washo Ichiba is one of the three largest markets in Hokkaido along with Hakodate Morning Market and Sapporo Nijo Market. There are some 60-odd shops plying fresh seafood, processed marine products, dried foods and more, right here where the Kushiro locals gather to shop. A vibrant atmosphere prevail the place while the shoppers chatting with shopkeepers about the food of the season.
3. Savor the unique local gourmet dishes
Kushiro is known as a treasure chest of Hokkaido foods. Other than the seafood, it offers many unique local dishes that couldn't be seen any other place. Popular dishes include zangi (deep-fried chicken differently flavored by each restaurant), robata-yaki ( a variety of grilled seafood), and the spa-katsu (a spaghetti and pork cutlet combo served on a hot plate). Give it a try!
4. Immerse yourself in retro atmosphere
Evoking the feel of the Showa Era (1926-1989), the Kushiro Akayoko (the line of food & pub stalls) is around 1 km from JR Kushiro Station. The oldest place of food stalls in Hokkaido, there are about 25 unique izakaya (Japanese pub) and other eateries nestled along a narrow alley. Share time with the owners and other customers for a memorable and delightful experience. Try to find your own place among them!
Akan River fishing
The Akan River is eastern Hokkaido's prime spot for rainbow trout. The fact that it flows through a beautiful primeval forest with its variation of scenery is charming in itself. The primitive beauty of the natural environment around the river remains untouched by man. Another appealing aspect is that the water's flow is stable except after very heavy rains.
6. Bokke Walking Trail
Bokke means "boiling" in the Ainu language, and refers to the mixture of heated mud and volcanic gas bubbles from underground. The mud is approximately 97 degrees, inspiring the name "mud volcano." The perfect spot to observe this natural phenomenon is from the Bokke Walking Trail behind Akankohan Eco-museum Center. It's the perfect nature spot to feel the earth breathing.
7. Spring signs
Every year from late April to mid-May, the white flowers of skunk cabbage bloom across the wetlands behind the Akankohan Eco-museum Center to announce the arrival of spring. The round, white part of the skunk cabbage flower is the bud, called butsuenho (spathe). The bud, which is the upper grainy part of the stick-shaped structure, holds seeds.
8. Strolling in Akanko Onsen Town
A leisurely stroll is a way of enjoying Akanko Onsen Town. The town has three zones: Akanko Ainu Kotan, Koun-no-Mori Shopping Street and Marimo-no-Sato Shopping Street, and together the three zones offer over 60 souvenir shops and eateries. What's more, you'll encounter a fascinating collection of wood-carvings and other craft products, and you can watch the masterful skills of artisans up close.
9. Lake Akan boat cruise
Lake Akan sightseeing cruise starts operating from late April. The first week of the operation runs in a short time ( 15 minutes ) cruise. The boat slowly moves between the big chunk of ice. If you're lucky, you'll have magnificent views of Mt. Meakan & Mt. Oakan.
10. Ainu culture
The Ainu Kotan, located in Akanko Onsen Town, features over 20 shops selling craftwork and souvenirs. It's a place where you can feel close to Ainu culture through the flavors of Hokkaido and Ainu dishes. Akanko Ainu Theater
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