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Shiretoko Peninsula

Shiretoko peninsula mapShiretoko peninsula Shiretoko Peninsula is a long one extending about 70 km toward northeast like a horn.
The tip of the peninsula is Cape Shiretoko.

Whole peninsula is mountainous, and there are several volcanoes as much as 1,500 meters high. Then some hot springs are dotted.

It is a tresure house of primary forests, wild animals and birds, so the northeastern half of peninsula was designated national park in 1964, and was inscribed as a World Natural Heritage site in 2005.

Generally Shari town on northwestern base of the peninsula is the gateway to Shiretoko.

And there are two small towns, Utoro and Rausu, in the middle of the peninsula, and they are the base of touring around Shiretoko.
Utoro is on the side of Okhotsk Sea, and Rausu is on the side of Nemuro Strait.

From Utoro, pleasure ship is operated, and it sails along the north coast of the peninsula.
It takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to visit Cape Shiretoko, and it takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to visit around Mount Iou.

Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship official website
Shiretoko Nature Foundation official website

The northwest side of the peninsula

  • Oshinkoshin Waterfall /1/ : It is a waterfall located about 25 km northeast of Shari town, and is near the coast.
    The flow split with a rock, and the water is falling down on the wall of rock swiftly.
  • Utoro /2/ : It is the main town in Shiretoko located 5 km northeast of Oshinkoshin waterfall.
    It is also a hot spring resort, then there are several hotels. And the sightseeing ship to Cape Shiretoko leaves from here.
  • Oronko-iwa /3/ : It is a huge rocky hill near Utoro port. It is 60 meters high, and we can climb to the top. We hear that the natives called "Orokko" had lived in old times, then it seemes that this rock is named after the natives.
  • Yuhidai /4/ : It is a nice spot for viewing the sunset, and is located in the camp site at the east end of Utoro town.
  • Cape Puyuni /5/ : It is a scenic overlook located 3 km northeast of Utoro. It is at the side of the road, and we can see the Utoro town and the sunset over Okhotsk Sea.
    Real cape is located about 1 km north of this point.
  • Furepe Waterfall /6/ : It is located 4 km northeast of Utoro and is near real Cape Puyuni.
    Groundwater falls down through the crevice on the cliff. The volume of water is low, so it is called "Otome-no-Namida" which means "Drops of maiden tears".
  • Shiretoko-goko lakes /7/ : It is located 10 km northeast of Utoro. There are 5 small lakes in the primary forest.
    There is a walking trail passing through all lakes, and we can also select the route passing through only the First and Second lakes. It takes about an hour to visit all lakes, and about half an hour to visit only two lakes.
    We can feel a peace of the woods and may meet various wild animals.
    But brown bears sometimes appear, then the trail is closed.
  • Kamuiwakka hot waterfall /8/ : It is a hot waterfall located 6km northeast of Shiretoko-goko.
    Hot water is sprung from the hillside of Mt. Shiretoko-Iouzan which is an active volcano, and runs into Kamuiwakka river.
    Some tourists often bathe in this hot river.
  • Shiretoko Pass /9/ : It is a pass on the route between Utoro and Rausu town on the southeast coast.
    It is located at the level of about 740 meters. Mount Rause (1660m), which is the highest mountain in Shiretoko peninsula, towers before us.
    If it is fine, we can see Kunashiri island over Nemuro Strait in the distance.
  • Cape Shiretoko /10/ : It is a cape located on the tip of the peninsula.
    The surrounding cape is designated as nature protected area, then general tourists cannot enter here.
    But we can see this cape only from sea on the sightseeing ship.
    Shiretoko Tourist Ship

The southeast side of the peninsula

  • Rausu Kunashiri Observatory /11/ : It is an observatory located 5 km west of Rausu town and is on the hillside.
    From here we can see Rausu town and Kunashiri island.
  • Makkausu Cave /12/ : It is a cave located about 1.5 km northeast of Rausu town.
    Luminous mosses grows wild in this cave. This is the greatst habitat of them in Japan.
Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By railroad and route bus (to Utoro)

  1. By train on JR Senmou Line, go to Shiretoko-Shari station.
    From Abashiri, it takes about 45-50 minutes. But it is inconvenient to start from Kushiro.
  2. Then by route bus, from the Shiretoko-Shari station to Utoro, it takes 50 minutes.
    To Shiretoko-goko, Kamuiwakka and Rausu, route buses start from Utoro.

By airplane and route bus (to Rausu)

  1. By airplane, about 1 hour and 40 minutes from Haneda Airport (Tokyo).
  2. By route bus, about 6 minutes from the airport to Nakashobetsu bus terminal.
    Then by other bus, about 1 hour and 30 minutes from the bus terminal to Rausu.

Oshinkoshin Waterfall
©Yasufumi Nishi / © JNTO
Hotels in Utoro
Sunset at Yuhidai
A view of Utoro town from Cape Puyuni
Furepe Waterfall
Photo by easthokkaido.com
Photo by easthokkaido.com
Shiretoko-goko Observatory
Photo by easthokkaido.com
Lake No.1
Photo by DO PHOTO
Lake No.3
Photo by DO PHOTO
Kamuiwakka hot waterfall Mt.Rausu at Shiretoko Pass
Cape Shiretoko
Photo by easthokkaido.com
Cape Shiretoko from ship
Rausu Kunashiri Observatory A view of Kunashiri Island
Makkausu Cave Luminous mosses
Pleasure ship
©Yasufumi Nishi / © JNTO
A view from pleasure ship
©Yasufumi Nishi / © JNTO

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