So far, 2024 is shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record, with abnormal spring temperatures in the Tokyo area already worrying scientists and residents alike. Escape from the metropolis’ heat may seem impossible, but for Kushiro, far to the north in eastern Hokkaido, scorchers are the exception, not the rule.

Running through the center of the island, the Daisetsuzan and Hidaka mountain ranges form a spine isolating the eastern stretches of Hokkaido from the rest of the prefecture. The frigid Oyashio current flows along the coast, regulating temperatures and creating a near-omnipresent fog in the summer months.

A once mighty fishing port, Kushiro now aims to capture the hearts of tourists seeking escape from sweltering urban jungles for a misty paradise. In a bit of great irony, Kushiro is famed for her sunset: a natural treasure often hidden in the 100-plus days of foggy weather.