National Parks in Hokkaido Photo Week: Kushiro Wetlands

I recently traveled around Hokkaido, and wish to share the photos I took in the national parks, complete with alt-text descriptions for the visually impaired. Click on the pictures to see them at full size. Enjoy!


This is the Kushiro Wetlands National Park.

Note: Some of these photos were taken at the Tsuru Nature Park, which technically is not part of the national park, but considering that the tancho tsuru are the symbol of the national park, and the nature park is very close to the national park, I decided to include it here. The Tsuru Nature Park rescues tancho tsuru which can no longer survive in the wild (due to broken wings, broken beaks, etc.), provides them with a home, and helps tancho tsuru have more chicks.

We see a tall tancho tsuru, with its neck curving up to the left, its profile on the right, with its left leg standing and its right leg slightly lifted and poised to move.  It has a red bald spot on the top of its head, with a black head, neck, beak, legs, and tail - the rest of its body is covered with white feathers.

This is a tancho tsuru; there are only about 3000 alive in the world today. They once were common throughout Hokkaido, but due to habitat loss and hunting, they were believed to be extinct until about 10-20 birds were found in the Kushiro wetlands in the 1920s. All of the tancho tsuru in Kushiro – and thus Japan – are descended from that small flock.

There is a tancho tsuru standing, with its head/neck on the left side of the picture.  Behind it is the head of a two-month old tancho tsuru.

Who is hiding behind the big bird?

This is a grassy wetland environment, on the left we see an adult tancho tsuru bent down pecking at the ground - the head is not visible - and on the right we see a two-month old tancho tsuru standing up, with long legs, a short peak, and very small wings.

Tancho Tsuru: Parent and child

We see the profile of a big bird standing on one leg which apparently has not head - in fact its head is buried within its body while asleep.

This is how tancho tsuru sleep.

There is a green and brown train at a train platform.  The sky above is white.  A few people are getting off the train and using umbrellas.

This is the tourist train which goes extra slow so you can see the river.

The sky above is white.  We can see that this photo was taken through a window with raindrops on it.  There are trees and greenery around a wide river making a bend towards the left.

This is the Kushiro river as seen from the train.

We see a light grey building that is about a hundred and fourty years old with some trees behind it and a lawn in front and some cars off to the side.

A historic building in the village of Toro.

Above is a white sky.  Far away are some forested hills, and we see a lake with reflections of the hills in the water.  Closest to the viewer is a weedy plain.

This is Lake Toro. It is a saltwater lake, since it used to be connected to the ocean.

In the upper left we see overhanging tree branches in the foreground.  Far in the distance is the bottom of a forested hill.  In the center of the photo we see a long pool of water with some green stuff growing on it, reflecting the white sky above.  Closer to the viewer is a group of broadleaf trees.

One of the swamps.

It is a mostly cloudy sky above, but a sliver of blue sky is seen.  In the distance are green forested hills, and beneath is a lake.  Closer to the viewer is a train platform amid the greenery.

One last look at Toro train station.

Continue to the next post: “Shikotsu-Toya National Park”


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3 thoughts on “National Parks in Hokkaido Photo Week: Kushiro Wetlands

  1. Pingback: A Second Trip to Japan | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

  2. Pingback: This Blog’s 3rd Anniversary! | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

  3. Pingback: National Parks in Hokkaido Photo Week: Akan National Park | The Notes Which Do Not Fit

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