Kushiroshi Tanchozuru Natural Park
Kushiroshi Tanchozuru Natural Park is a sanctuary for endangered Japanese red-crowned cranes called Tanchozuru located in Kushiro city of Hokkaido. They are one of the most popular and beloved birds of Japan that appear in numerous tales. The bird has a beautiful contrast of white, black, and red, along with its elegant figure. The Japanese cranes were thought to be extinct in Japan due to habitat destruction and overhunting, but in 1926, a group of about 20 cranes was discovered in the marshes. With conservation efforts, they have made recovery and now the count is more than 1,000 cranes. Currently, there are about 20 cranes that are living at the park where they breed and are being fed and protected. The park offers visitors with bird watching, nature viewing, and walking trails. The cranes are spectacular to watch when they dance, often in pairs, with dips and jumps that may seem choreographed.
The Akan International Crane Center is a popular feed site where visitors can see the cranes being fed in the winter. The facility is committed to researching the ecosystem and behavior of the cranes. It includes an exhibit about the crane's life, traits, and mechanisms of their bodies. You can observe scientists feed tancho cranes in the winter and wild tancho cranes in the summer.
You can visit the park during any season and in any weather. However, Tancho cranes give birth and raise their babies in the wetlands from spring to summer, and can be found in human habitation from autumn until winter. During the summer, the cranes live deep in the wetlands, meaning it is quite rare people can see them living in nature. The best time to see the cranes are in the winter when they gather at the feeding sites, where you can witness up close.
Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00
Entrance Ticket: free
Address: 112 Tsuruoka, Kushiro, Hokkaido
Duration: 1-2 hours