Below is the University we visited:

Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere Hokkaido University – Akkeshi Marine Station


Government Foundation

Below are the local government organizations that we visited:

Akkeshi Waterfowl Observation Center

Hosooka Observation Deck and Visitor Center

Institute for Raptor Biomedicine Japan
獣医療機関 猛禽類医学研究所

Kushiro City Municipal Government

Kushiro City Museum

Kushiro Fisherman’s Wharf MOO

Lake Toro Eco-Museum Center Arukotto

Ministry of the Environment (MoE)
Kushiro Office of the Natural Environment
環境省 釧路自然環境事務所

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism(MLIT)
Hokkaido Development Department, Kushiro Development Division, Flowing Water Section
国土交通省 北海道開発局 釧路開発建設部 活水課

Onnenai Visitor Center

Shiranuka Town Koitoi Hall Roadside Station
道の駅 白糠 恋問館

Shiranuka Town Government

Taiheiyo Tanko Coal Mine Exhibit Hall
旧太平洋炭礦 炭鉱展示館

When Marnie was there

After coming back from Hokkaido, Minami and I went to see “When Marnie was there” by Ghibli. In the beginning of the movie Anna (the short haired Japanese girl) goes to Kushiro to spend summer there for relief from asthma. This scene shows the beautiful landscape that looks just like the place we were staying. I really liked how the Ghibli staff had observed details of the wetland landscape. Even the trees were accurate, with both conifer trees and broad-leaved trees. However, I couldn’t help thinking about bug attacks when Anna was drawing by the wetland. This movie really made me want to go back to Kushiro again. Highly recommended!

I came across an article that said an organization called “釧路生まれのマーニーズ” (Marnies born in Kushiro) was established, to promote and vitalize Kushiro. It would make a map of the movie, offer special menus in restaurants (I don’t know what this is going to be like), and replication of Marnie’s house. It is said that the mayor is also a member of the organization. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a website and I couldn’t find out what they actually do. It is a shame because I am sure many people who have watched this film would like to visit Kushiro, but the city is not good at promoting itself.


The Bay

         What can be more fun than getting to wear what they called the ‘wader’. A suit that is used to wade in the water without getting yourself wet that looks like the ‘Slipknot’s’ jumpsuit? After visiting the observation deck, we moved to a new location and then we were taken to the marine station where we got to board the ship in order to take samples of weeds and some sea creatures.  Professor Nakaoka Masahiro was the guide for us as he lectured us on the way. We caught some prawn, flat fish, amphipod etc. That was the first time I saw and amphipod.
      We met some students from the Hokkaido university on their field research and we were educated on different species and natures of these creatures and plants. After that we went to the mountain near the museum for lecture.
  The most fascinating thing there was the beauty of the area which connected land to the sea. It is like a perfect area for both sea-lives and land animals such as deer and at the same time for  the birds too. 



Project: Prodigal Son

   This project focused on consultation and marketing with the objectives of having work force return to Hokkaido or migrate to the region. The project will be taking the carrot principal and try to adapt the area intrinsicly towards the needs of the migrants. In this case, the focus of the migrants would be the younger working generation. The evaluation stated that the major demands of these group of people consist of properties such as:
    If these needs are met, there would be a really good chance able to attract the people back to the area. The solution should focus on something like, using the media to recognize the occupations such as farming, forestry, wild life protection etc. to form a new persona. Creates community network and improve connectivity for the user and finally a cross exposition where allowing the people to travel to and fro from the region to urban parts easily. And of course, economics incentives should be there too.

(Note: this is an outlined idea based on feasibility assumptions)