Our final stop before heading out into the Pacific Ocean was Kushiro Japan. Kushiro is located in eastern Hokkaido and is most well known for the marshlands which are outside the city. Here you can see wild Japanese red-crown cranes which are quite rare. Of course, you would need to do a ship’s excursion or tour to see these but if you are keen on wildlife watching then this is a must-do. Instead, we decided to explore the city on foot.
We were informed that we had to do face-to-passport immigration in order to leave Japan so this was scheduled for the afternoon. Unfortunately, we were woken at 8 am by the captain’s dulcet tones over the loudspeaker in our cabin telling us that we were not able to get into Kushiro as it was too windy and the channel was narrow.
Instead, we waited offshore until the winds died down. Eventually, we docked around lunchtime and so headed ashore after lunch. Both the ship and passengers were welcomed into Kushiro by this band. A nice touch!
Fortunately, this still gave us time to see the town of Kushiro. Firstly, we walked along the river which heads inland from the dock area. It’s a pleasant walk but then I like walking along rivers. There is something about wandering along with water at your side which appeals to me.
Evergreen Garden (EGG)
Shortly, we discovered a strange building called EGG – which apparently stands for Evergreen Garden. Basically, it is a large greenhouse but inside is rather pretty with trees and plants including some pretty blossoms. We watched as some tourists dressed up in traditional Japanese costumes for photos so it seems a popular spot. It was also nice and warm inside which was rather nice as outside was getting quite chilly.
It is worth walking as far as Nusamai Bridge as it’s only a short walk from where the ship docks. You can get a good view across the harbour area from here and it also has some interesting bronze statues. At night it lights up although we didn’t see that as we left earlier in the day.
Nearby is a market so we had a look around. We found a lot of our fellow passengers there sampling the local delicacies but we just looked. When we’re on a cruise the last thing we need is more food although I understand the temptation to sample local foods. If you like seafood then we are reliably informed that it is well worth trying it here.
We enjoyed a stroll around the port area of Kushiro. Of course, we had 7 days at sea ahead of us so we were keen to stretch our legs on dry land before we set off.
As you can see, it’s a clean, well laid out area and idea for walking along the water.
Goodbye to Japan
As we boarded the Volendam for our long trip across the Pacific Ocean we were a bit sad to leave Japan. It’s one of those bucket list destinations and although we saw some fantastic sights there is so much more to see. We will definitely be back again.