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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

With a natural environment that still remains untouched, the peninsula is called “the last of Japan's undiscovered scenic spots.” Inhabited by over 800 types of plants and over 500 varieties of living organisms, Shiretoko Peninsula was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. A visit to Shiretoko is rewarding throughout the year, but a visit outside of the snow season affords the opportunity to participate in a wide range of outdoor activities.

Highlights

    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

From Tokyo Haneda: 3 hours 50 minutes

Memanbetsu Airport is the most convenient way to access Shiretoko, a 1-hour 40-minute flight from Tokyo Haneda. Take the Shiretoko Airport Liner Express bus to Utoro Onsen Bus Terminal on the Shiretoko Peninsula (2 hours).

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Shiretoko National Park Nature Center And Nature Experiences
Shiretoko Sightseeing Boats
Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship
Shiretoko Nature Experience
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Waterfalls And Breathtaking Sightseeing Spots
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Cape Puyuni
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Yuhidai
Oronko Rock
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Oshinkoshin Waterfall
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Outdoor Activities In Shiretoko
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Shiretoko Five Lakes
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Kamuiwakka Falls
kaminoko pond
Kaminoko Pond
Day 1
Shiretoko National Park Nature Center and Nature Experiences Be informed and get an introduction to Shiretoko's specialized activities

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.

10 minutes

Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship Sights that can only be seen from the water

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.

5 minutes

Shiretoko Nature Experience Experience nature with insider knowledge

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.

Day 2

20 minutes

Walk along the walking path from Shiretoko National Park Nature Center to Furepe Falls

Waterfalls and Breathtaking Sightseeing Spots Strange falls at Furepe

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.

18 minutes

Cape Puyuni

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.

25 minutes

Yuhidai Blood-red sunsets over drift ice

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.

5 minutes

Oronko Rock Majestic peak surrounded by gulls

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.

15 minutes

Oshinkoshin Waterfall Views from atop the waterfall

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.

Day 3

25 minutes

Outdoor Activities in Shiretoko Fun for all ages and abilities

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.

15 minutes

Shiretoko Five Lakes Animal spotting around the lakes

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.

45 minutes

Kamuiwakka Falls Climb in the moving hot spring

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.

More to Explore
Kaminoko Pond Luminous pond set deep in a Hokkaido forest

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.

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