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Makunbetsu Wetlands is the best place to see Skunk cabbage

Have you been to Makunbetsu wetlands in Ishikari-City? The place is well-known as the best place to see Skunk cabbage flowers. The wetland will is surrounded by white and light green Skunk cabbage from mid-April to late April every year! The place is easily accessible by car or buses from central Sapporo. Let’s catch some spring sceneries! 


You should visit Makunbetsu wetlands to get the view of Skunk cabbages! 

Makunbetsu Wetlands is located along the downstream of Ishikari River. It is a long and narrow wetland with 1.5 kilometers trail along banks of Ishikari River and approximately 400 meters wooden footpath continuing to the riverside of Ishikari River crossing the wetlands. 
The best place to see Skunk cabbages are the latter: the wooden footpath. 

4月下旬の日曜日、木道には見学をする人たちがいーっぱい訪れていました▲So many people were visiting the wooden footpath on a Sunday in late April to see the flowers. 

It might be difficult to find the entrance of the wooden path since it is a long and narrow wetland. 

To reach Makunbetsu wetlands, drive towards the north along the National Route 231 from Sapporo and Otaru, and turn right at the corner just before Ishikari Kako Bashi. Drive about 700 to 800 meters, pass the restroom on the left and park the car in the first parking from the restroom. This is the most convenient place to park your car. If the parking is full, go back to the parking with the restroom or go further and park another parking and walk back. 

駐車場から堤防沿いの遊歩道を横切り100mほど斜面を下ったところに木道の入口があります▲The entrance of the wooden path is found after approximately 100 meters, passing the promenade along the bank from the parking. 

By the way, if you are taking the bus from Sapporo Bus Terminal, the most convenient bus stop is “Yausuba” where located at the intersection of the road just before Ishikari Kako Bashi. It is approximately 10 minutes walk from the bus stop.
* Note: There are two bus stops called “Yausuba” and the bus going to Atsuda or Tomen Danchi stop at the bus stop I introduced above. If you take the bus going to Ishikari, the bus stops at the different Yausuba bus stop, and it will take about 20 minutes to walk to the wetlands.

堤防沿いの遊歩道は開放感いっぱい♪気持ちよく歩けます!▲The promenade along the bank is very open and feels nice! 


Many many Skunk cabbages on both sides of the wooden path

Skunk cabbages appear on both sides right after the beginning of the wooden path. As you proceed walking, you will see more Skunk cabbage flowers and will be surrounded by the flowers! How beautiful! 


There are alder forest and reed community in Makunbetsu wetlands. Alder forests are near the entrance of the wooden path and reed community appears at the back, near Ishikari River. Skunk cabbages are located under alder trees. 

Alder trees have not sent out leaves yet so you can get further views! Also, the white and green colors of Skunk cabbages stand out! 


Skunk cabbages are very close to the wooden path so you can take pictures closely without zoom lenses. Your smartphone would be enough.




Beautiful Ishikari River and the white mountain range are also must-sees! 

As you proceed walking the wooden path, you will see more reed communities and fewer Skunk cabbages. However, don’t go back in the middle and keep walking towards the further back! 

木道の終点近くへ来ると左右の風景は少し寂しくなりますが、ぜひこの先も!▲The views will be less pretty as you get close to the endpoint of the wooden path, but don’t stop walking! 

There is the river beach of Ishikari River at the end. 
You can see the quiet Ishikari River in front and Shokanbetsu and Mashike Mountain Range with snow on the top at the far back! You will feel relaxed by being in the spacious area. 

大雪山系の雪解け水をはじめ各地から集まったきた水が、右から左へゆっくりと静かに流れています▲The Water comes from different places such as Mt. Daisetsu, etc., flows quietly from right to left. 

残雪が積もる山並が絵になります!▲The mountain range with snow on the top look picturesque! 

After getting the view, turn around and go back the path you walk. Find Skunk cabbages with beautiful shapes and the best angle that you might have missed on the way as you go back. 


When is the best time to see Skunk cabbage flowers in Makunbetsu wetlands?

Skunk cabbage flowers in Makunbetsu wetlands are at its best usually from mid-April to late April. The pictures in this articles are taken on April 23, 2017. I could have encountered the best figure with smaller leaves if I had visited earlier. 

“When is the best time?”
It depends on the weather of the year so hard to say the definite dates. 
However, Ishikari Tourism Association reports the latest situations of flowers on their website! Check their website before you plan your trip. 
Makunbetsu Wetlands flower information (Ishikari Tourism Association website)
  • Makunbetsu Wetlands is the best place to see Skunk cabbage