2015年02月26日

Lake 'Tofutsu' in Abashiri City, Hokkaido, is one of the 46 wetlands in Japan, on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

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On the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, northwest of Hokkaido, a chain of lakes and marshes such as Lake 'Kuccharo' and 'Saroma', is found. Lake Tofutsu as shown in the picture, located at the southernmost tip of the chain, is a brackish lake since it is connected with the sea by a short and narrow waterway. This lake is known as a wintering place for all sorts of water birds, like wild ducks and swans.
Thanks to the shallowness of the lake, the avarage depth of water is no more than 1.1 meters, a variety of gregarious wet plants is seen on the lakeshore from spring to autumn. Especially in autumn, when 'Akkeshi-so' glasswort turns red, many sightseers visit here to enjoy the unique scenery.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:04 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年02月24日

The coast waters facing the Sea of Okhotsk, in the northeast of Hokkaido, are usuallly packed with 'ryuhyo' drift ice for two months from the end of January.

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The Amur River flows into the north of the Sea of Okhotsk, which lowers the salt density of the sea near the mouth of that river. Consequently, the sea waters in that area are apt to get frozen in winter. This ice, coming all the way to Hokkaido blown in the wind, is what is called ryuhyo drift ice.
Sightseeing boats only to see this ryuhyo are in operartion in Abashiri City and Monbetsu City, Hokkaido, usually from January to March.
As plankton derived from the Amur River come with the ryuhyo, the vast sea area where the ryuhyo comes becomes rich in nutrition when spring arrives.   Thanks to the ryuhyo, Hokkaido enjoys one of the best fishing grounds in Japan.
It is a matter of concern, that the thickness and quantity of the ryuhyo are decreasing year after year supposedly resulting from global warming.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:45 | Hokkaido | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする