THE FOUR SEASONS OF OKHOTSK
| The Mizubasyou, skunk cabbage,
heralds spring in Okhotsk.|
Summer is decorated with thousands of colorful flowers.
In Fall,mountains and plans are turned into a burning red blanket .
Then silent white winter comes after.
All of nature forms the energetic symphony that is here in the Okhotsk Tourist area.
The spring begins in Okhotsk in April when
the drift ice recedes and the snow begins to thaw. Adnis comes out in the remaining
snow and Mizubasho(skunk cabbage)blooms white at the Abashiri lakeside.|
Spring in Okhotsk has arrived. On the hills of Higashimokoto or in Ttakinoue,Shiba-zakura(flox)colors the ground with small pink flowers. In Onneyu spa,Ezo-purple azalea start blooming all at once as if they are having a race.
In early summer as the leaves turn green and the sky is
The name comes from the transparency of the petals． The flower grows in colorful bunches along the coast producing deep vermillion Petals．Other flowers in− Clude Ezo−Zenteika（or Ezo−Kanzo），Himeougi−Ayame （Sweet flags）that bloom at the same time offering wonderful bursts of color and variation．
This floweris chosen as the state flowe rof Hokkaido and blooms in early summer．
It is a beautiful pale rouge in color，called Latifoliate，Rose family
The bush clover grows along the lake shore and along the Okhotsk coast． In early summer，the bush clover has deep yellow flowers shaped like butterflies．
When in full bloom you see them as if thousands of butterflies are dancing．
| Fall in Okhotsk is a season
of blazing red leaves．Late in September woods begin changing their color and latifoliate
trees change to red．At lake−side in Notoro or at the Coral Cape，Sango−so（coral
grass） spreads like a red carpet．And the harvest season comes reflected in gold．|
are the messengers of winter in Okhotsk． When they come，snow starts falling and
Okhotsk is ready for winter. Drift ice surges across the sea of Okhotsk at the
end ofJanualy and everything is completely buried in snow．|
The winter season，therefore，is full of excitement with the Drift Ice Festival and sightseelng boats by Ice breaking boat in Mombetsu．
The Okhotsk area offers many exciting sports from snow mobiles，para−sailing
to ATV raclng on Lake Saroma(which is the Largest frozen lake in Japan）．|
A lOO KM cross country skiing course，bloom ball，and ice skating are also planned to add to yor winter spots experiences．
Drift Ice，after all，represents the winter in Okhotsk and the
sea of Okhotsk． The ground is covered with sparkling snow and ice．This ice fomed
near the mouth of the Amur is carried by current and wind and then rolls onto
the coast．In the first stage it is just like sherebet ice cream，then it gradually
grows into a hard mass during its long journey．Drift ice varies in its shape due
to the effects of wind and tide．The final forms are strange and magnificent presentations
of art made by the hand of nature．|
AMUSEMENT IN WINTER
|DRIFT ICE FESTIVAL|
The Drift Ice 〈inAbashiri， Mombetsu）
The most exciting events in winter in Okhotsk are the Drift Ice festivals in Abashiri and Mombetsu or the Winter festivalsin many other cities． At night the ice sculptures are illuminated by cocktail lights and are beautifully contrasted against the night sky at the beginning of February．
of people visit Mombetsu and Abashiri for a glimpse of the ice culptures．|| SHIRETOKO
In the northern night sky you see vivid lightning like an aurora created with lasers on the drift ice stage． The Shirtoko Fanasia is held on the ice in February every year．