Collected car from Times Car Rental, within walking distance from Superhotel Kushiro Ekimae. I made the booking through a website called Tabirai - English-friendly and very responsive to every question asked.
- Car collection on Day 3 at 10am, return on Day 5 at 11am.
- Price 11 800 yen (rental and included CDW coverage) + 3240 yen (for NOC coverage) = total 15 040 yen. NOC coverage is 1080 yen per day, hence for 3 days would be 3240 yen.
- The car was completed with 4WD (four wheel drive), snow tire and a built-in GPS device.
- CDW and NOC are some sort of a safety insurance package and super safety insurance package respectively. You could read about it here. It is highly recommended that you get the NOC package.
The easiest way to navigate in Japan is either with (a) map code, or (b) phone number of the destination. In my case nothing went wrong with map code that I found using this website. Of course, all these research had to be done beforehand.
Visited Kushiro Tanchozuru National Park or 釧路市丹顶鹤自然公园. Entrance fee 470 yen. Free parking just outside of the park.
Drove to Akan Lake and checked in to ryokan (Japanese style hotel).
Visited Ainu Kotan Village. Everthing in the Akan Lake town is within walking distance.
Accommodation: Lake Akan Tsuruga Wings, 12 100 yen per person per night for a 3-person-room, addtional 250 yen is payable for onsen (hot spring) charges. Buffet dinner and buffet breakfast included. Free parking available.
There was no outdoor onsen in the Tsuruga Wings, however there was a passage connected to Akan Yuku no Sato Tsuruga, which had a larger onsen located in the open. Both ryokan belonged to the Tsuruga group, and guests from both were free to use any onsen facility. Usually it is more comfortable in a outdoor onsen as there'll be a good view, and it is less stuffy. It is amazing feeling snow flakes falling on your head and face, while your body stays warm in the sulphur-smelled water.
|Kushiro Tanchozuru National Park|
|Posing in a Winter Sonata feel.|
|Our room in the ryokan. The futon will be laid by the hotel staff in the evening when we were out for dinner.|