Kushiro City Museum
Located on a lakeside hill of Harutori-ko (春採湖), the crane-shaped Kushiro City Museum (釧路市立博物館) was built in 1983 to a design by Mozuna Kiko. It focuses on Kushiro’s nature and history, with displays on many artefacts of Ainu, finds from local ruins, stuffed animals and specimens.
From Kushiro Station stop 11, take bus 12 to the Shiritsu Byoin-mae (釧路市立病院前: twice hourly; 10min; ¥220), from where it is a 3-minute walk to the museum. More info www.city.kushiro.lg.jp/museum
Kushiro Art Museum, Hokkaido
This red brick art museum (北海道立釧路芸術館) on the river bank presents permanent and frequently changing exhibitions on varied themes. There is a cafe, shop and library. More info www.kushiro-artmu.jp
Kushiro Children’s Museum Kodomo Yugakukan
If you need a break from the kids, bring them to this glass-covered science museum of the Koromo Yugakukan (釧路市こども遊学館) I. It has hands-on interactive exhibits on planets, technologies, playgrounds and a planetarium. More info www.kodomoyugakukan.jp