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Icebreaker Cruises & Drift Ice Walks

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Experience magnificent views of the ocean covered in drift ice

Eastern Hokkaido DMO



In the heart of winter, sea ice begins to float down from Siberia, covering the Sea of Okhotsk off Hokkaido with pure-white drift ice.


Feel the power of drift ice on one of the two icebreaker cruises. The Monbetsu Icebreaker Garinko uses a drill to break up the ice as it proceeds through the frozen terrain. This relatively small boat enables you to experience the drift ice from much closer. There’s also the large and powerful Abashiri Aurora, which smashes drift ice at high speeds, breaking up the ice by plowing right through it.


In Utoro, located on the Shiretoko Peninsula, you can go on drift ice walks, with views of the horizon making the perfect backdrop to the fields of ice. Put on a specially designed drysuit and release your inner child by floating in the water between cracks in the ice, or by simply lying on the ice. Here, you can also try drift ice diving, where you can view the drift ice from below.


How to get there


Fly from Haneda Airport to Memanbetsu Airport (about 1 hour 30 minutes), then take the bus from Memanbetsu Airport (about 40 minutes).

Alternatively, walk from JR Abashiri Station (about 20 minutes).


Minami 3-jo Higashi 4-chome, Abashiri-shi, Hokkaido


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