Unexplored Region Designed as World Natural Heritage Site Can Be Enjoyed -Shiretoko National Park in Shari and Rausu-
July 22nd, 2014
Shiretoko National Park
Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島) is one of the only 4 World Natural Heritage Sites in Japan. Bears, deers and blakiston's fish-owls have lived in a deep forest. The sea is separeted from mountains by cliffs. Salmons and whales have lived in the sea. Those are connected with each other, and a great scenery is created. Because Shiretoko means "End of the Earth" in Ainu language, I can understand a reason that it is said to be an unexplored region.
Sightseeing spots of Shiretoko Peninsula divide into 2 parts. The north side is Utoro, Shari town (斜里町ウトロ). The south side is Rausu town (羅臼). The Shari side features nature sceneries represented by Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖) and Oshinkoshin Falls (オシンコシンの滝). As for the Rausu side, the sea is characteristic. A beach that high-quality Rausu Kombu (羅臼昆布) is aired spreads over, and natural open-air baths in Seseki Onsen (セセキ温泉), Aidomari Onsen (相泊温泉) and Rausu Onsen Kuma-no-Yu (羅臼温泉熊の湯) are famous. It is said that the Shari side has the famous sightseeing spots and the Rausu side has the little-known spots.
The Shiretoko Crossing Road (知床横断道路) connecting Utoro to Rausu is one of the good viewing spot. Passing through the foot of Mt. Rausudake (羅臼岳), it is famous that a view from the Shiretoko Pass (知床峠) is good. If it is fine, Kunashiri Island (国後島) can be seen. By the way, the road is closed for heavy snow in a winter. It is possible to pass the Shiretoko Pass during a summer.
I introduce about the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula (around Uroto) on the first page and introduce about the south side of the Shiretoko Peninsula (around Rausu) on the second page.
A Region from the north side of Utoro, Shari town to the tip of Shiretoko Peninsula is designed as the World Natural Heritage Site. There are the sea, cliffs, lakes, mountains, animals, onsen. Tourists can enjoy unusual nature very much in Japan. There are rare sightseeing spots that the tourists may run into bears.
Nature Guides are held to enjoy the nature more on the land side. It is one idea for participating in the nature guide. Conversely, on the sea side, the tourists can look over the Shiretoko Peninsula from sightseeing ships in a summer, and the tourists can walk on the sea filled with drift ice in a winter. The setting sun sinking into the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海) is too good to miss.
Shiretoko Goko Lakes
Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖) in Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島) are famous sightseeing spots that tourists can enjoy a scenery of 5 lakes surrounded by virgin forests, and are famous as an unexplored region. About 500,000 people visited here as a place that untouched nature can be enjoyed. It is closed in a winter. The tourists can look around the sightseeing spots from May to November. In the site, walking paths are roughly divided into 2 types of the walking paths, an elevated wooden path and a ground pathway, and there are 2 facilities, Shiretoko Goko Lakes Field House (知床五湖フィールドハウス) and Park Service Center (パークサービスセンター). The Park Service Center is a resting station, and sells souvenirs, and serves light meals, and a restroom is installed, too. In addition, there is a toll parking. Article is here
Atmosphere of Shiretoko Goko Lakes Can Be Watched on Youtube
Kamuiwakka Hot Falls
Kamuiwakka Hot Falls (カムイワッカ湯の滝) in Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島) that has designed as the World Natural Heritage site are natural open-air baths that are few falls in Japan. Hot springs flow into Kamuiwakka River (カムイワッカ湯の滝) and hot falls flow, and waterfall basins are born. Now those are natural bathtubs. There are 4 waterfall basins in total, but tourists can only reach to the nearest basin, Ichi-no-Taki (一の滝), in danger of falling rocks now. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Atmosphere of Kamuiwakka Hot Falls Can Be Watched on Youtube
Furepe Falls (フレペの滝) in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島) are famous waterfalls that groundwater have flew out from cracks of steep cliffs with about 100 m in height and those are called "Tears of Young Girl (乙女の涙)". Because the flowing waterfalls looks sad, it is called so. A scenery is very good and it is a sightseeing spot that Utorozaki Lighthouse (ウトロ崎灯台) and the Sea of Okhotsk (オホーツク海) look very beautiful. Article is here
Atmosphere of Furepe Falls Can Be Watched on Youtube
Cape Puyuni (プユニ岬は) pushes out into the Sea of Okhotsk. Tourists can look over Utoro Port (ウトロ港) from here and it is a viewing spot that Oronkoiwa Rock and Godzilla Rock are fitted to a picture. Many people come for a famous sunset location. A winter scenery that drift ice spread over the whole sea looks grand, too. Admission free. Article is here
Atmosphere of Cape Puyuni Can Be Watched on Youtube
Oshinkoshin Falls (オシンコシンの滝) are famous waterfalls in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島). Because Charassenai River (チャラッセナイ川) dropping 80 m is divided into 2 ways, it is called "Forked Beautiful Waterfall (双美の滝」)". Water hits rocks and bubbles, and it is interesting in looking white. Because it is chosen as "100 Selections of Japanese Waterfalls", it is very powerful. Toursists get wet by spraya splash on a upper observatory deck, please be careful. There is a tourist attraction along the National Road Route 334, tourists are easy to drop in. There are a restroom and a stall in the site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Atmosphere of Oshinkoshin Falls Can Be Watched on Youtube
Oronkoiwa Rock (オロンコ岩) is a huge rock with 60 m in height in Utoro, Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula. There is the Oronkoiwa Rock near Utoro Port (ウトロ港), and there are Godzillaiwa Rock (ゴジラ岩) and Triangle Rock (三角岩) near the Utoro Port, too. There are a lot of huge rocks at this area. This Oronkoiwa Rock has a legend that mischievous tribe called Oronko people made this huge rock as a fort, they seem to play a trick on Ainu people in old days. The Ainu people that angried at the Oronko people seemed to punishment them with a structure trap by using an imitation of a whale. This story is a legend that is told in the Ainu people. But the Oronko people is an actual tribe. They live in Sakhalin, Russian now. This might be a true story. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Atmosphere of Oronkoiwa Rock Can Be Watched on Youtube
Utoro Onsen (ウトロ温泉) is a hot-spring town in Utoro, Shari town located in the middle of the Shiretoko peninsula (知床半島) and is called another name Shiretoko Onsen (知床温泉), and there are approximately 16 hot spring facilities. Utoro is a tourist hub in the north side of the Shiretoko peninsula, visitors can always enjoy sightseeing including a nature walk in a summer and drift ice in a winter. The hot-spring town is roughly divided into a fishing port side and a hill side, and there is the Oronko Rock (オロンコ岩) and the cruise ship pier at the fishing port side, and there are Shiretoko National Camping Ground (知床国設野営場) and a footbath "Shirietoku (シリエトク)" at the hill side. Article is here
Atmosphere of Yuhidai-no-yu Can Be Watched on Youtube
Iwaobetsu Onsen (岩尾別温泉) is one of secret hot springs in Shiretoko peninsula (知床半島). There is Iwaobetsu Onsen near Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖) and is used as a trailhead to Mt. Rausudake (羅臼岳). Because it is closed to traffic in a winter, it does not open a business. There is only one hotel, Hotel Chinohate (ホテル地の涯), and it is full of mountain climbers. In addition, it is known as famous natural onsen, Sandan-no-Yu (三段の湯) and Takimi-no-Yu (滝の湯). Article is here
Atmosphere of Sandan-no-Yu and Takimi-no-Yu Can Be Watched on Youtube
Atmosphere of Iwaobetsu Onsen Can Be Watched on Youtube
Shiretoko Cruise is a cruising tour that tourists can go around to see the Shiretoko Peninsula on the Sea of Okhotsk along a shoreline from Utoro port. The tourists can enjoy sceneries such as sheer cliffs, strange rocks, Kamuiwakka Falls (カムイワッカの滝), Iou Falls (硫黄の滝), Kashuni Falls (カシュニの滝) only from the sea and seem to watch wild bears near the mouth of Rusha River (ルシャ川の) if you are lucky. Because each sponsorship companies prepare for many sightseeing courses and the time required, please choose whatever you would like.
Atmosphere of Shiretoko Cruise Can Be Watched on Youtube
Drift Ice Walk
This is a time-limited activity in a winter. Tourists freeze to death into the sea in normal clothes, but the tourists can enjoy drift ice in their wetsuits. It will be to become their lifetime memory to go into the sea covered with the drift ice. Each sponsorship companies carry out the drift ice walk tours.
Atmosphere of Drift Ice Walk Can Be Watched on Youtube
Grilled Atka Mackerel Combo
Utoro Gyokyo Fujinbu Shokudo (ウトロ漁協婦人部食堂) is a popular restraunt at Utoro port, Shari town. There is a building on the foot of Godzilla-iwa Rock (ゴジラ岩) near Oronko-iwa rock (オロンコ岩). The restraunt has an atomosphere such as a typical port restraunt and is not so large. There are only counter seats. Article is here
Grilled Atka Mackerel Combo and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula.
|Shiretoko Grand Hotel kitakobushi(知床グランドホテル 北こぶし)|
|Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel(知床第一ホテル)|
|Shiretoko Prince Kazenamiki(知床プリンスホテル 風なみ季)|
|Kokumin Shukusha Katurada(国民宿舎 桂田)|
|Hotel kifu Club Shireotko(ホテル季風クラブ 知床)|
|Minshyuku Ishiyama(知床の宿 民宿いしやま)|
|Shiretoko Noble Hotel(知床ノーブルホテル)|
|Minsyuku Shiretokoso(民宿 知床荘)||Only Tel:+81-152-24-2058|
|Onsen Minshuku Tanpopo(温泉民宿 たんぽぽ)|
|Shiretoko Iwaobetsu Youth Hostel(知床岩尾別ユースホステル)|
The next page introduces about Rausu.