The 59-sq-km lagoon Furen-ko (風蓮湖) is the natural highlight of Nemuro, providing sanctuary for 330 species of birds, including sea eagles, whooper swans and tancho (Japanese crane). Furen-ko is surrounded by pine forests, wetlands and dunes.
Points of interests around Furen-ko
Shunkunitai is a short walk from Tobai (東梅) stop on the bus route between JR Nemuro Station (19min) and Attoko Station (29min) or Nakashibetsu Airport. All buses stop at Onne-numa and Michi-no-eki Swan 44 Nemuro.
(春国岱) Located about 12km west of the city center, Shunkunitai is a 8km-long scenic sandbank separates the Nemuro Bay and Furen-ko. Much of the landscape is covered with pine trees and beach roses. It is also called the ‘miracle sandbank’.
Shunkunitai Nature Center (春国岱ネイチャーセンター) on Route 44 has a practical information and the latest trail conditions. From here, winding short and long boardwalks pass trough a wildlife sanctuary. The longest return hike for the dune takes about 3.5 hours.
(温根沼) Just 1km east of Shunkunitai, Onne-numa is also a sizable brackish lagoon and a viewing point of tancho. There is no footpath around the lake, but the local fishermen runs boat cruises on the lake.
More info www.marimo.or.jp/~nemu_nc/workn
Michi-no-eki Swan 44 Nemuro
(道の駅スワン44ねむろ) On the southern shore of Furen-ko, this roadside station offers a grand panorama of the lake. There is a short wooden walkway and you can borrow a binocular.
This place has a good restaurant. You can try a wide variety of local dishes: Esukaroppu (fried pork cutlet with demi-glace sauce on butter rice), supakatsu (pork cutlet with meat sauce on pasta), ramen topped with Hanasaki-gani, kaki-furai (fried oysters) and sanma negitoro-don (onion and raw saury on rice).
More info www.swan44nemuro.com