The 10 Best things to do in Kushiro and Lake Akan of Hokkaido in spring.春の釧路・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 spring time.
What would you like to do?
1.Glide through the spring landscape of Kushiro Wetland in a canoe
Kushiro Wetland is the largest wetland area in Japan. Take a tour on a canoe with a guide to immerse yourself in the enormous wetland, feeling the soft spring breeze as you glide across the surface. The fresh green buds along the shore look bright and beautiful. Water is abundant and the view stretching wide in spring raises your anticipation to spot tancho red-crowned cranes, white-tailed eagles, Yezo sika deer and other wildlife.
2.Revel in eating local food and shopping for local goods at Kushiro Washo Ichiba (market)
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 Kushiro locals gather to shop. The market is bristling with fun things to do on top of shopping for fresh food and chatting with shopkeepers about the food of the season.
3.Enjoy Kushiro's unique local gourmet dishes
Kushiro is famous as a treasure chest of Hokkaido foods. Other than the seafood that puts Kushiro on the map, there are many unique local dishes found only here. Particularly popular dishes include zangi, deep-fried chicken uniquely 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. You won't be able to decide which one to try first!
4.Immerse yourself in retro atmosphere of Kushiro Akayoko (food stalls)
Evoking the feel of the Showa Era (1926-1989), you'll find Kushiro Akayoko (Akachochin-Yokocho) 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 shopkeepers and other customers for a memorable and delightful experience. You're bound to find your favorite among them.
5.Experience rainbow trout fishing along the Akan River that flows through primeval forest
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.Feel the breathing of the earth from Bokke
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.See and appreciate skunk cabbage as it announces the arrival of spring
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.Enjoy a stroll through Akanko Onsen Town
A leisurely stroll is one 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.Feel the power of an icebreaker on the Lake Akan Icebreaker Cruise
The Lake Akan sightseeing cruise starts operating from late April to early May of each year. The first week of operation doubles as an icebreaker cruise, when you'll experience the rare thrill available only on Lake Akan as the cruise ship crushes the ice on the lake's surface as it pushes through. Magnificent views of Mt. Meakan, Mt. Oakan, and Lake Akan provide a spectacular backdrop to the ride, and the chill in the air will pass by unnoticed as you surge ahead through the ice, feeling it crack and crunch as you go.
10.Sense the Ainu culture through Akanko Ainu Kotan
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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