Shiretoko national park and Abashiri area
The Shiretoko-hanto Peninsula in northeastern Hokkaido is protruding out into the Sea of Ohotsuku.
It is said to be the last unexplored region of Japan, and consists of steep mountain peaks covered with virgin forests. No roads lead further than about three fourth up the peninsula, and the northern tip can only be viewed from boats or be reached on multi day trekking tours.
The peninsula is home to a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, dear and foxes. Cormorants and white-tailed sea eagles live there, and the whole area has been designated as a national park. In winter, the peninsula’s coast along the Sea of Okhotsk becomes one of the northern hemisphere’s southernmost regions to see drift ice.
In July 2005, Shiretoko was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for the irreplaceable value of the peninsula’s ecosystem and biodiversity. Visitors can see the whole of the peninsula and its cliffs by boarding a sightseeing boat that departs from Utoro Port. Shiretoko is also known as a “waterfall kingdom,” and many waterfalls can be seen from the sightseeing boat. The warm-water falls, which gives off steam is just one example.
Shiretoko National park
Shiretoko National Park is one of the World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO. Shiretoko, which means “end of the Earth” in Ainu language, located at the northeastern tip of the island of Hokkaido. As much of the park is only accessible on foot or by boat, the area is the home of brown bears.
The park has a hot springs waterfall called Kamuiwakka Falls, which means “water of the gods” in Ainu language.Shiretoko is the southern most point in the northern hemisphere to experience seasonal ice floes.You can enjoy walking, hiking, trekking, camping, sea-kayaking, star-watching…Even during winter, you can try several programs such as walking on drift-ice or diving under drift-ice !
Water fall, Oshinkoshin No Taki, it takes almost 20 mini from Shari town which is main town of Shiretoko peninsula and tourism.
Drift Ice walk : 3 tines a day : 10:00, 13:30 and 15:30 and this tour is available from February 1 to March 23 ( depending on the weather and temperature ). You can book it by internet or ask to hotel concierge where you stay in Shari town. Staff will pick you up at your hotel in Shari town. price per person is 6,000 yen for 3 hours tour.
Raus : Paradies of birds
Rausu is located on the east end of Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula. It is situated on the southeast corner of the peninsula facing the Nemuro Strait.
The town stretches along and narrow strip of land, extending 64 km from southwest to northeast.The Shiretoko mountain range extends north on the peninsula to the sea where it forms steep cliffs.The Shiretoko mountain range, formed by past volcanic activity running through the centre, is the source for a myriad of rivers.Due to its harsh topography and climate, a large part of the peninsula remains accessible only by sea.
The area is covered in primeval forest, 50% of the region has been designated a special preservation district, with permission required for access.Village communities are found mostly on the coast line at the mouths of these rivers.The “downtown” of Rausu is at the mouth of Rausu River where it joins the sea at Rausu Harbor.The primary industry in Rausu is fishing, and every morning scores of fishing boats head off into the Nemuro Strait. Rausu attracts people for many reasons. Visitors come during the summer for whale watching, and to catch sight of the brown bear, as well as deer and foxes.
Winter brings snow on the town, a layer of drift ice on the sea and the chance to take an ice-breaking cruise to see dolphins and the Stellar’s Sea Eagle, the largest eagle in the world. pls come there in winter time and enjoy bird watching from boat. Early morning is best time to enjoy the bird and nature from boat.. but its super cold.
Aurora ship is available from January 20 to April 3. you can take a this board from Abashiri city and enjoy Ryuhyo. 3,500 yen per person.
Abashiri is a small city located on the Okhotsuku Coast of northeastern Hokkaido. To the Japanese, Abashiri is as synonymous with the word prison, as Alcatraz it to Americans. In addition to an abundance of seasonal seafood available throughout the year, it is also blessed with natural beauty, such as primeval flower gardens, lakes in summer and ice floes in winter.
Winters here are harsh. During the winter months, ice flows from Russia clog the northeastern shore of Hokkaido, stretching out to sea for as far as the eye can see.
The most popular way with the Japanese to view the ice flows up-close is to board an ice-breaking boat. Abashiri has lots of places to enjoy: Koshimizu Gensei-kaen (wild flower preserve), where about 40 kinds of flowers bloom in spring and summe.
Mt. Tento-zan in the suburbs is a great place from which to view Abashiri.In the Okhotsk Ryuhyo-kan (ice floe museum) you can see real ice floes even in the middle of summer, and experience a temperature of minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Ice floes arrive in Abashiri every year in late January and you can walk on the frozen Ocean and even play ice hockey above it.