Kushiro is a port city in Kushiro Subprefecture, located on Japan's Hokkaido Island (central-eastern coast). By population (around 180,00), it is ranked island's largest. The town was renamed from Kusuri in 1869, and received its city status in 1922. In 2005, two neighbouring towns (Onbetsu and Akan) were merged into the city.
In July 1899, Port Kushiro was established as an "open port" allowing international shipping trade with USA and UK. The seaport is important as an ice-free harbour during winter months. In addition to the seaport, Kushiro is also served by Kushiro Airport - located approx 17 km (10 ml) northwes from downtown. The airport serves only domestic flights (by the carriers Air Do, All Nippon Airways, ANA Wings, HAC-Hokkaido Air System, Japan Airlines, Peach Aviation) offering direct flights to Tokyo, Sapporo and Osaka.
The city is also served by Super Ozora - express trains linking to Sapporo via 7 daily departures. JR Hokkaido (Hokkaido Railway Company) operates two railways - Nemuro Line (Chokubetsu - Kushiro - Onbetsu - Shiranuka - Otanoshike - Kushiro - Fuji (Shizuoka) - Kushiro - Musa) and Senmo Line. A freight-only railway runs within the city (between Harutori and Shireto).