ITINERARIES Into the Wild—The Shiretoko Peninsula Unspoiled nature awaits
Explore the pristine and untouched wilderness bordering the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean
- Participate in a drift ice walk
- Watch the setting sun at Cape Puyuni or Yuhidai
- Visit Shiretoko Five Lakes to see Hokkaido's flora and fauna
How to Get There
A busy information hub filled with pamphlets and guides to help you find your way around Shiretoko , this is the place to visit first to receive information on local weather and traffic conditions. Outdoor goods as well as original Shiretoko-themed goods are sold here.
See a 200-meter-high cliff, strange-shaped rocks and sea caves, various waterfalls that pour into the ocean, and a view of the Shiretoko Peninsula that cannot be seen from land. Depending on the season, you can see brown bears going after salmon and schools of dolphins swimming freely in the vast waters. Runs from late April to about mid-October.
Experience the great outdoors on the Shiretoko Peninsula. Beginners are welcome to participate as many of the following programs include guides with specialized knowledge.
Observe the night sky as part of the Shiretoko Star Watching / Moon Watching tour. You can also see meteor showers depending on the season you visit.
Participate in the Drift Ice Walk, where you actually walk on the drift ice. The drift ice that forms on the Amur slowly travels southwards, approaches the Shiretoko Peninsula in late January, and gradually covers the Okhotsk Sea. Shiretoko is the only place in the world where you can do this.
Shiretoko Fantasia, made possible by local residents trying to recreate the excitement of a bright red aurora that appeared in the Shiretoko night sky some time ago, is a limited-time event that lasts from early February to mid-March. It is held at a special location near Oronko Rock and presents an aurora in the night sky of Shiretoko on a huge screen.
Waterfalls are usually found at the ends of rivers, but at Furepe Falls, water comes from the rain and snow that falls on the Shiretoko Mountain Range. The falls are also affectionately called “maiden's tears” because the falling water resembles tears.
Admire the sun setting over the horizon at nightfall. A famous spot for watching some of the first arrivals of drift ice in the winter, the cape is located at the northern coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula.
Witness the Utoro townscape, Oronko Rock, and the Okhotsk Sea covered with white drift ice in the winter. Along with Cape Puyuni, this is an ideal location for watching the setting sun.
One of the “Eight Scenic Spots of Shiretoko,” this rocky mountain stands at 60 meters tall. Huge flocks of the gulls can be seen from the peak of the mountain, a designated National Natural Treasure.
Head to the top of this waterfall for the walking path and Oshinkoshin Observation Deck at the peak, which commands a view of the Shiretoko mountains and the Okhotsk Sea.
Enjoy riding small canoes at the Shiretoko Outdoor Guide Center located at Shiretoko National Park . Here, visitors can have fun "strolling" on the surface of the sea while taking in a magnificent view.
Journey through a coniferous forest of trees such as the Jezo spruce and Sakhalin fir. One trip on the walking path around all five lakes takes 60 minutes, but walking around one or two of the lakes takes just twenty minutes. You may be able to see some of the wild animals that inhabit Shiretoko, but be careful of any bears that may appear.
Hot spring waters flow into the river, making the entire river a flowing onsen bath. Visitors can enjoy “river climbing” in hot water, but some elementary knowledge and skill in this activity is needed as the rocks are slippery.
Visitors hankering for more of the area's untouched wilderness are advised to visit Kaminoko Pond out of snow season. Situated at Lake Mashu near the town of Kiyosato in eastern Hokkaido is a rare natural phenomenon—a transparent yet luminously blue pond called Kaminoko, where fallen trees are submerged in its waters.