Walking through Shinsen Marsh, which is considered one of the most beautiful settings in the Niseko Mountains
by Shungo Hanaoka
In the Niseko Mountains there is a plethora of lakes and marshes of all different shapes and sizes, but the one known to be the most beautiful is the Shinsen Marsh. To get there, we ran up the pleasant, winding path of the Panomala Line from the town of Kyowa.
The entrance to the marsh hiking course. You’ll be able to recognize it immediately from the rest house with the large parking lot in front.
We put a donation of ¥100 into the signboard box and set off.
The entire Shinsen Marsh hiking course is lined with picturesque wooden footpaths. There is also a variety of signboards posted throughout, so there is no risk of getting lost.
A map of the entire course. For those with time and energy to spare, I suggest taking the time to enjoy the out-of-the-way areas like the Naga-numa and O-numa.
We walk about 20 minutes and come to a crossroads leading into the marsh. It’s still another 330 meters away.
Moving forward, the view suddenly breaks open. We’ve found the plateau wetland region. The marsh materializes around us.
Continuing along the wooden path, we arrive at Shinsen Marsh. It’s silent except for the echoing calls of the wild birds. It is a truly refreshing spot. Wetland spruce trees reflect upside-down on the quiet surface of the characteristically blue lake water, a veritable portal to another world. The mysterious atmosphere of the area and the fact that it serves as the dwelling of a mountain hermit is evidently what gives the marsh its name (“shin” from the Japanese word for “mysterious,” and “sen” from the word for “hermit”).
A plateau with an elevation of 750 meters emerges, creating a truly sublime sight.
A spot where Mt. Chinsenpuri stands directly ahead. There are apparently mountain trails leading all the way up to the summit.
On the way back we notice that a sea of clouds has gathered around Iwanai.
In a little less than an hour we return to the rest house.
This year, this mountain hut-themed restaurant has changed management and has been renewed in the style of a cafe.
They serve soba and udon noodles, onigiri, and even Belgian waffles, among other things.
Now managing the establishment is Mr. Takahiro Ishizuki from Ishizuki Suisan in Iwanai.
On the second floor of the rest house there is a rest corner and a series of panels introducing the natural environment of Shinsen Marsh. It truly is a place worth visiting again and again throughout the year.