Release | nobu Kawashima
Visit Shinsen Marsh in Niseko during summer, the high altitude wetland where gods and wizards live
Shinsen Marsh in Niseko Mountain Range in Kyowa Town has clean water and forests with mystic color, fresh air, and great view. There is also a promenade reaches to the marsh in a wetland at high altitude so people can casually visit. Why don’t you enjoy the short summer at Shinsen Marsh?
There are many marshes and ponds in Niseko Mountain Range, but Shinsen Marsh is one of the most beautiful with greatest numbers of visitors. The marsh is at about 750 meters altitude, and the view of marsh and wetland together is astonishing! It makes people want to visit again and again.
Start hiking towards Shinsen Marsh!The entrance of Shinsen Marsh is “Shinsen Marsh Rest House” which is along the Niseko Panorama Line famous as a drive route. The promenade is about 20 minutes walk for one way.
▲Park your car at Shinsen Marsh Rest House. The entrance of the promenade is across the parking.
The wooden promenade to Shinsen Marsh is well-cared. There are some bumps, so you have to be careful, but it is very easy to walk.
▲The entrance is covered with bamboo grasses and birches.
▲Walk through the tree tunnel and go deeper.
There is a branch on the way. The one is short-cut route with stairs, and the other one is detour route with a view of the Sea of Japan. Either route is okay; it will merge a while after.
▲Choose the one you like. You can even choose different routes on the way back!
There are not many slopes going to Shinsen Marsh, but there is a little slope around the branch. This part might be the hardest, but you won’t have to worry too much. There are no steep stairs or slopes that you have to be prepared.
▲The signs like this appear on the way few times. (It says “good luck” in Japanese) Good Luck!
As you keep walking and pass the branch going to different Marsh such as Naganuma, the scenery changes totally. Pine trees appear instead of bamboo grasses and birches.
▲The tunnel of pine trees. I feel like I am at a high altitude mountain!
You will reach “the land of gods” after passing the pine tree tunnelsAfter going through pine trees tunnel with sharp leaves, the scenery changes totally! The view is open, and wetland appears in front of you.
▲There are numerous big and small marshes called “Chitou” in wetlands. The wooden promenade continues between such marshes.
The wooden promenade splits into two and continues to Shinsen Marsh, but the route here is one-way. Go counter-clock wise from the promenade on the right side.
▲The area turns to Spring very late. I saw skunk cabbage flowers when I visited there in mid-June.
Various flowers bloom around the promenade depending on the seasons. You can see skunk cabbage or eastern skunk cabbage in June and Arctic iris and ezo-zenteika flowers in July. I hope you can visit at the right timing to see these flowers!
Arrived at Shinsen Marsh after walking along the wooden promenades in wetlands for 4-5 minutes!
▲Shinsen Marsh is surrounded by Japanese spruce. The view on a sunny day with no wind is amazing!
The water surface reflects blue sky and green forests like a mirror. The place is so quiet, and the only sound you could hear is tweets of birds. I felt really relaxed after standing there for a while.
▲The right side is refreshing.
▲The left side looks mystic.
Toyomatsu Shimoda, the father of boy scouts, named the marsh Shinsen Marsh. When he found the marsh in 1928, people felt so mystic that they all thought gods and wizards must live here. (Shinsen means gods and wizards in Japanese)
They are so right! Just by standing here and looking at the marsh, I really felt like gods and wizards would appear. The atmosphere is amazing! I feel like my mind is purified just by being here.
Go around Chitou on the way backI left the marsh with my purified mind.
▲Going back feeling a little sad to leave here.
The route on the way back contains more Chitou in the wetlands comparing to the route to reach the marsh. The view is still amazing and everywhere is photogenic.
I spent about an hour total including the time I spent at Shinsen Marsh. I felt like I visited a different world from everyday life.
The promenade to Shinsen Marsh, where you can get an amazing natural view and mystic atmosphere, is not boring no matter how many times you visit. Summer is short; I should visit there again.
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
Check the related articles!