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Hokkaido Wetlands Tour Offers Views of Diverse Plant Life

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Masahiro Toyama, center, a curator of the Nemuro City Museum of History and Nature, explains the charms of wetlands on the Nemuro Peninsula during a tour on June 24.

NEMURO, Hokkaido — The charms of wetlands in the Nemuro Peninsula of Hokkaido were on display to visitors during a June 24 tour arranged by the Nemuro city government.

Clusters of buttercups and beachhead iris could be seen growing in the Fureshima wetland, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and in the Ochiishi wetland, Eurasian dwarf cornel was in full bloom. There were also round-leaved sundew, an insectivorous plant, and bog moss around the Habomai wetland, which was designated a natural treasure by the city government in February this year.

Some of the wetlands are regarded by the Environment Ministry as important from the viewpoint of biodiversity. Visitors enjoyed the range of plants in the surrounding wetlands, where cotton sedge and slender cottongrass also flourished. “I’ve realized for the first time that valuable plants can be seen up close,” said a tour participant.

“The cool climate of Nemuro City, surrounded by sea mist, has helped preserve local precious wetlands,” said Masahiro Toyama, a curator of the Nemuro City Museum of History and Nature, who served as a tour guide. “I hope people will learn about the wetlands, which are the pride of Nemuro, and protect them.”