Japan’s largest protected wetland, at 45,200 acres, is the Kushiro Shitsugen National Park (釧路湿原国立公園). Birdwatchers flock here in winter to see tancho cranes, but the wetlands are home to many other birds and animals, including deer, grey herons, whooper swans and eagles.

One of the best places to observe the cranes is actually just north of the park, in the fields near the village of TSURUI (鶴居), an hour’s drive north of Kushiro, at the Tsurui Itō Japanese Crane Sanctuary (鶴居•伊藤タンチョウサンクチュアリ). Half an hour further north of here towards Akan, the Akan International Crane Centre GRUS has breeding facilities and an interesting exhibition hall.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Japan features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

Japan travel tips: 13 things to know before you go

With its glittering royal palaces, ancient temples and sacred shrines as well as sandy beaches, some of the world’s best skiing and beautiful national parks, …

14 Nov 2016 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Where to stay in Tokyo: an area by area guide

Where to stay in Tokyo: an area by area guide

As the biggest city in the world, it’s unsurprising that Tokyo is crammed full of different places to stay – and with each district boasting its own charact…

11 Nov 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
What happens when you blend English tradition with Japanese craftsmanship

What happens when you blend English tradition with Japanese craftsmanship

In a delicious meeting of two worlds, the most English of drinks has been combined with Japanese craftsmanship to create a premium craft gin, KI NO BI (“the b…

06 Oct 2016 • Rebecca Hallett insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month