Kushiro, Japan, was the last stop in Japan before we headed across the Pacific Ocean and the United States. It was foggy and rainy when we pulled into the port. Kushiro was another port with no permanent structures, just several tents with tourist information and another for the port workers to keep dry.

The rain gear was handy today as we were pelted by huge, cold, fat raindrops the minute we stepped off the ship. It was raining buckets, and the shuttle bus was parked a bit of a distance away. I’m happy to report that the raincoats worked well, and our hiking pants dried quickly once we escaped the downpour.

Attractions

Kushiro has several attractions: a couple of museums, a zoo, a park, and a place called the Fishers Wharf Moo. Since it was raining and, as the captain said, there was a 100% chance of liquid sunshine all day, we opted to go to the Fishers Wharf Moo, where we were told we would find several souvenir shops.

Display at Fishers Wharf Moo
Poster of girls playing hockey.

Fishers Wharf Moo

The bus dropped us off at the building, and we entered to find both shops, a couple of cafés, and lots of fish for sale. Our shopping list was short, but we still had one souvenir we hoped to purchase in Japan. When we asked the tourist information volunteer where we might find the item, he directed us to the second floor. We had scoured Yokohama and almost every stop for this particular item and had no luck, so we were not holding our breath.

Crabs for sale in Fishers Wharf Moo.
Fishers Wharf Moo.
Stores in Fishers Wharf Moo.

In Search Of

We went up the escalator, and the first shop we came to had the item! We patiently waited our turn in line, asked the clerk many questions, and finally purchased the gift we had been searching all of Japan for. What we thought would be a messy and useless stop turned into the best stop ever.

Japanese Name

Feeling pleased with ourselves, we maneuvered around the crowds (almost all from the cruise ship) and saw two ladies offering to write our names in Japanese. We told them our family name, and she elegantly wrote out the Japanese version for us. What a great souvenir to take home with us.

Artist in Fishers Wharf Moo.
Our family name in Japanese.

We finished looking at the shops on the second floor and headed back down to the first floor to look a little closer at what was offered there. The building has five stories; we were told the upper three floors were offices. Seeing lots of open space on both the first and second floors was a little surprising. Hopefully, more shops will be set up to make the experience more robust.

Lawsons

Without souvenir shopping complete and with extra yen in our pocket, we once again put on our rain gear and headed across the street to a convenience store called Lawsons. Japan has three prominent convenience store brands: Lawsons, 7-Eleven, and Family Market. They are almost identical inside and have comparable prices. Since we were getting ready for five days at sea, we thought we’d use up our remaining yen on a few supplies.

Umbrella’s up, raincoats zipped, and purchases in hand. We returned to the Wharf to pick up the shuttle bus and return to the ship.

Clearing Customs

Since Kushiro was our last stop in Japan, Japanese Customs and Immigration had set up a temporary office on the ship, and we were all required to go through the exit process. Once we were cleared, it was noted on our key card, and we could no longer leave the ship. We completed the process and headed to the 9th floor for lunch.

It would have been nice to see more of the town, but the rain and the short time in port kept exploring much further at bay. From what we saw of the city, spending a little more time here would have been nice.