• Hokkai Shrimps newly boiled in salted water

    On June 6, the Akkeshi Fisheries Cooperative began fishing for Hokkai shrimps in Akkeshi Bay and Lake Akkeshi, heralding the arrival of early summer. Immediately after landing the shrimps, the fish...

  • On May 11, a ninth baby sea otter was born and is growing up quickly on the coast of Cape Kiritappu (Cape Tofutsu) in the Kushiro region of eastern Hokkaido, which is a breeding ground for the endangered sea otter. The pup sleeps on its mother's abdomen and suckles her breast. In the harsh natural environment where more than half of the pups that are born, die, a new sea otter story has begun.

  • On May 26, launching ceremonies were held in the eastern Hokkaido city of Nemuro, for two new fishing boats: a kelp-fishing boat and a gillnet fishing boat that catches cod and other fish.

  • On May 20, Kushiro's famous ‘Ganpeki Robata’ – a charcoal-grill eatery – opened in a specially established tent next to Kushiro Fisherman's Wharf MOO in Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido. Locals and tourists alike enjoyed fresh seafood delicacies from eastern Hokkaido along with views of the Kushiro River and Nusamai Bridge at sunset.

  • Black beaked whales (Berardius minimus), a species newly confirmed in the town of Rausu in the Shiretoko area of eastern Hokkaido in 2019, have been photographed off the coast by a guide on a tourist boat from the town. The four whales were photographed and videoed surfacing before diving back down beneath the waves.

  • The indigenous tanuki is ubiquitous throughout the four main islands of Japan, including Hokkaidō, and I see it quite frequently here, where I live, in the Akan–Mashu National Park. For most Japanese residents however, this creature remains rarely seen and more mythical than real. After all, it is widespread and numerous, at least in ceramic form, appearing outside taverns and eateries throughout the land, and every child learns, via folk tales and fables, of its strange guile and bewildering shape-shifting capabilities. By Mark Brazil

  • The third attempt to artificially create large colonies of common glasswort, the representative vegetation of the town of Akkeshi in eastern Hokkaido, has begun in earnest along the shores of Lake Akkeshi. On April 19, when the spring tide creates the largest difference in ebbs and flows, the town sowed seeds for the first time on cultivation land created last autumn. The three-year plan will explore appropriate environments and cultivation methods.

  • The Kushiro Local Meteorological Office announced on May 8 that Sargent’s cherry blossoms had bloomed in the city of Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido. This was the last of the 58 observation points in Japan to announce the blossoms, and the city ranked as “Japan’s latest blossoms” for the sixth consecutive year.

  • The town of Shiranuka in the Kushiro region of eastern Hokkaido has produced a video with Japanese and English explanations of the traditional Ainu ‘marek’ fishing method, as well as embroidery and the like, and have begun distributing it online. This is the third in a series of efforts to convey the town's Ainu culture to people in Japan and beyond through videos, which are available on YouTube.

  • Kushiro on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido has produced a television program for Taiwan in a bid to promote the attractions of winter in the coastal city. The program features a celebrity from Hokkaido and a Taiwanese social media influencer visiting sightseeing spots in Kushiro, including the Kushiro Marsh and the Akanko Onsen hot spring resort.