• The terrestrial tanuki is a unique species native to northeast Asia.

    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 Japane...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Konbumori Fisheries Cooperative in the Eastern Hokkaido town of Kushiro started spring stocking of young sea urchins on April 14. From April through May, the Cooperative plans to stock a total of 2.2 million sea urchins (approx. 60 million yen) over four days, which is on par with the normal amount. Amidst the continued threat of red tides yet again this year, fishermen are praying for the sea urchins to grow healthily so they can be harvested in about four years from now.

  • he Kushiro Wetland Nature Restoration Council has revised its ‘Canoeing Guidelines’ for enjoying the nature of the wetlands while canoeing down the Kushiro River. The guidelines provide information on areas where navigation is prohibited due to revetment work, and dangerous areas where there are frequent accidents, as well as re-emphasize consideration for nature.

  • Seals have been seen on the breakwater in Kushiro Port in eastern Hokkaido and near the mouth of the Kushiro River, which flows into the port. They swim and feed leisurely as fishing boats come and go.

  • On March 10, five ninth-grade students who were about to graduate from Kushiro City Akanko Compulsory Education School observed ‘Lake Akan marimo,’ balls of algae that are designated special natural monuments of Japan, is they await spring beneath the ice-covered Lake Akan. The students visited Chuurui Bay in the northern part of Lake Akan – to which access for visitors is normally limited – and rediscovered the value of this local ‘treasure.’

  • On February 27, the Kushiro Zoo held a naming ceremony for the red panda twins born in July of last year. The zoo announced that they had chosen the names "Rim" and "Rera". Both cubs are male. The zoo staff considered names from among the 310 suggestions received nationwide, ultimately using the names suggested by sixth year Kushiro elementary school student Shibuya Mana (12). Mana visited the zoo and received a "Name Giver Certificate" and commemorative red panda dolls.

  • "Tokuchi Furniture Kogyo", a wooden furniture manufacturer based in Eastern Hokkaido's Kushiro Town, has developed and is selling smartphone speaker amplifiers and dismantlable mini-tables made with locally-sourced karamatsu larch wood. Karamatsu larch was grown for harvesting as mining timber to support mine shafts in coal mines after WWII. Amidst considerations on how to use this larch wood, product development has been advancing from the summer of 2020, backed by young woodworkers involved in efforts to promote the usage of locally-sourced lumber.

  • On January 20, low-cost carrier Peach Aviation broadcast a livestream session from Kushiro Washo Market in the city of Kushiro. This is a Peach campaign in which cabin attendants livestream the fun of flight destinations on the photograph sharing app "Instagram". For this session, a cabin attendant browsed the market area and ate the famous "kattedon" (a rice bowl with customer-selected seafood toppings), promoting the amazingness of Eastern Hokkaido food.