October 7th, Kushiro
We started the day with a 1 hour drive to Lake Akan. At 11 we boarded a boat for a lake cruise with a short stop at a smalll island where we saw the Marimo, a unique algae that grows in balls.
After the boat dropped us off we walked to the nearby Ainu Kotan, a village of indigenous people. The many shops all have handycrafts for sale.
On the other side of town we followed a path to the mudpools but we were a bit disappointed as the pools were small and there was little activity.
Heading back we visited the Akan International Crane Center. In winter crane birds gather here but now there were only 4 in captivity.
Our final stop was Kushiro March Observatory where we walked a 3 Km roundtrip track to a viewpoint overlooking the marshlands. We had to conquer a suspension bridge and many steps to get back to the parkinglot and we had to hurry a bit as we were in the final minutes of daylight. The sun sets around 16:57 and darkness is only 15-20 minutes later.