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[Shiretoko National Park] Home of Brown Bears Has Been Designed As World Natural Heritage Site

July 22nd, 2014

Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park (知床国立公園) at the northeastern edge of Japan main land is a national park between Shari town and Rausu town in the the northeastern part of Hokkaido. Most northern part of Shiretoko Peninsula has been desinged as the national park since 1964, and has also been designed World Natural Heritage Site, one of only 4 world natural heritage sites in Japan, since 2005. In the national park, there are Shiretoko Mountain Range (知床連山) such as Mt. Rausudake (羅臼岳), Mt. Chinishibetsudake (知西別岳), Mt. Iou (硫黄山) and Mt. Shiretokodake (知床岳), and here is a tourist attraction on behalf of Hokkaido containing some hot spring places such as Aidomari Onsen (相泊温泉), Seseki Onsen (瀬石温泉), Rausu Onsen (羅臼温泉) and Iwaobetsu Onsen (岩尾別温泉). The Shiretoko National Park is roughly divided into 2 areas, Shari Area and Rausu Area. The area is about 39,000 ha in total. A deep forest that wild animals such as Brown Bears, Yezo Deers and Blakiston's Hish-owls inhabit, Steep cliffs with about 100 m in height that separet the sea from mountains, the sea that marine life such as Salmons and Whales swim in, and those closely related to each other create great nature views. Because the Shiretoko means "The end of the earth" in Ainu language, I can understand the reason that it is said to be an unexplored region.

Tip of Shiretoko Peninsula
Shiretoko National Park
Brown Bear
Shiretoko National Park
Yezo Deer
Shiretoko National Park

Movie of Shiretoko Peninsula

The Shiretoko National Park keeps having primitive nature relatively, so visitors can go only limited places by cars. The inconvenience will make people feel the unexplored region. The Shari Area features beautiful nature views such as Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖) and Furepe Falls (フレペの滝). The Rausu Area features the sea that Killer Whale, Whale and White-tailed Eagle can be watched. Stone beach that high-quality Rausu Kombu (羅臼昆布) is aired on spreads over, and natural onsen such as Seseki Onsen (セセキ温泉) and Aidomari Onsen (相泊温泉) are in the sea. It is said that the Shari Area has famous tourist attractions, and the Rausu Area has little-known tourist attractions. The Shiretoko Crossing Road (知床横断道路) connecting the Utoro with the Rausu is one of good viewing points, too. A good view from Shiretoko Pass (知床峠) at the mountainside of the Mt. Rausudake is famous, too. If the weather is fine, Kunashiri Island (国後島) can be seen. By the way, the road is closed in a winter because of heavy snow. It is possible to pass the Shiretoko Pass during a summer season.

Snow Walls Are beside Shiretoko Crossing Road
Shiretoko Pass in Rausu
View from Shiretoko Pass Parking Lot
Shiretoko National Park

I introduce about the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula (Shari Area) on the first page, and introduce about the south side of the Shiretoko Peninsula (Rausu Area) on the second page.

Shari Area

A region above the north side of the Utoro, Shari town has been designed as the World Natural Heritage Site, and it has the sea, cliffs, lakes, mountains, animals and onsen. Here is an unusual place in Japan to enjoy the primitive nature in the sea or the land, and are few famous tourist attractions that tourists may run into brown bears. Famous tourist attractions are Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖), Kamuiwakka Hot Falls (カムイワッカ湯の滝) and Furepe Falls (フレペの滝). A lot of guided companies held some kinds of guided tours such as a nature guided tour, a night guided tour and snowshoe guided tour, so I think that it is a good idea to participate the various guided tour. Conversely, as for the sea side, the tourists can view the Shiretoko Peninsula from sightseeing ships in a summer, and 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. My visited places are as follows.

Youg Yezo Owls
Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko Goko Lakes

Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖) is a collective name of 5 lakes in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula. The 5 lakes, Lake Ichiko (一湖), Lake Niko (二湖), Lake Sanko (三湖), Lake Yonko (四湖) and Lake Goko (五湖) are in marsh at about 240 m above sea level, and are popular as a tourist attraction in hidden region. About 320,000 tourists visit here. Walks, observation decks, hiretoko Goko Lakes Field House (知床五湖フィールドハウス), Park Service Center (パークサービスセンター) and a parking lot are built on the site. Souvenirs and light meals are sold at the Park Service Center, too, and Lingonberry flavor soft serve ice cream has a good reputation. In addition, a restroom is at the building, too. The walks are available from late April to early November. In a winter, a snowshoe tour is held. Admission free. The parking lot is charged for JPY 500. Article is here
Guide Map of Shiretoko Goko Lakes

Lake Ichiko and Lakeside Observation Deck
Shiretoko Goko Lakes, Utoro, Shiretoko National Park

Kamuiwakka Hot Falls

Kamuiwakka Hot Falls (カムイワッカ湯の滝) is a small collective waterfall with warm springs in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島), and is famous for enjoying bathing in basins like natural open-air baths, few rare falls in Japan. The Kamuiwakka means "God's Water" in Ainu language. Kamuiwakka River (カムイワッカ川), about 3 km lengh in total, flows from the bottom of Mt. Iou to the Sea of Okhotsk, and hot springs runs downward to the river. Kamuiwakka Falld (カムイワッカの滝) that can be seen only from the sea side is in the downstream, and a powerful dropping is popular, too. A road for the Kamuiwakka Hot Falls is opened to traffic from June to October. At the peak tourist season, ordinary owned cars have entrance regulation, and a shuttle bus runs from August 1 to August 25. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. The road is close to traffic from November to May. In addition, the road is close to traffic at 4 pm after 31 July. Beware of bears, too. Article is here

Ichi-no-Taki
Kamuiwakka Hot Falls, Utoro, Shiretoko National Park

Furepe Falls

Furepe Falls (フレペの滝) is a waterfall in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島), and the Furepe means "Red Water" in Ainu language. There are various opinions about the red water, but it is said that it was named after sunset light reflecting in the surface of the falls. The falls is near a junction for Rausu Pass (羅臼峠), Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖) and Utoro Onsen (ウトロ温泉). Rain and snow fallen to Shiretoko Mountain Range (知床連山) have turned into groundwater, and it has fallen from cracks of steep cliffs with about 100 m in height to the Sea of Okhotsk. The drop is about 60 m. It is the rare waterfall in Japan that underground water drops from cracks of rocks, and is one of famous falls together with Shirahige Falls (白ひげの滝) in Biei and Funbe Falls (フンベの滝) in Hiroo in Hokkaido. A observation deck, walking trails, Shiretoko Nature Center (知床自然センター), Wildlife Protection Center (鳥獣保護区管理センター), Shiretoko 100 Square-Meter Trust House (しれとこ100平方メートル運動ハウス), Path for Growing Forest (森づくりの道) and a parking lot are built on the site. A restroom and a restaurant are at the Shiretoko Nature Center, and informations about bears are announced. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Article is here
Furepe Falls Guide Map in Japanese

Furepe Falls
Furepe Falls, Utoro, Shiretoko National Park

Cape Puyuni

Cape Puyuni (プユニ岬) is a cape jutting out into the Sea of Okhotsk in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島), and the Puyuni means "A place with a holl" in Ainu language. Because a road to the tip of the cape is not built, visitors can not reach to there. But Puyuni-misaki Lookout (プユニ岬展望台) is about 700 m away from the tip of the cape. There is not definite lookout, and a place around Miharashi Bridge (見晴橋) along Shiretoko National Route (National Route 334) is called "the Puyuni-misaki Lookout" at about 95 m above sea level. Utoro Port and the Sea of the Okhotsk can be viewed from here, and Oronko-iwa Rock (オロンコ岩) and Godzilla-iwa Rock (ゴジラ岩) are fitted to a picture, too. This place is well known as a good place to see the sunset, and a lot of visitors come. A winter scenery that drift ice spread over the whole sea looks grand, too. A parking lot is not built, and there is much traffic, and it has a blind curve, a parking on a road shoulder may be dangerous. There is a bridge that is not used any more, the visitors can park their cars. Admission free. Article is here

Cape Puyuni from Puyuni-misaki Lookout
Cape Puyuni, Utoro, Shiretoko National Park

Iwaobetsu Onsen

Iwaobetsu Onsen (岩尾別温泉) is a hot spring place at about 215 m above sea level in Shari town located in the north side of Shiretoko peninsula (知床半島), and is famous as one of secret hot springs in Shiretoko National Park, and is near Kamuiwakka Hot Falls (カムイワッカ湯の滝) and Shiretoko Goko Lakes (知床五湖), and have famous natural open-air baths, Sandan-no-Yu (三段の湯) and Takimi-no-Yu (滝の湯). Only Hotel Chinohate (ホテル地の涯) and Kihoshita Hut (木下小屋) are built at the end of Hokkaido Road 93, and are used as hiker bases for Mt. Rausudake (羅臼岳). Unfortunately, restraunts, cafes, cafes, souvenir shops and convenience stores are not built. They close a business in a winter season because the Hokkaido Road 93 is closed to traffic. Article is here

Sandan-no-Yu from Top
Iwaobetsu Onsen Sandan-no-Yu in Shari

Except Shari Area, Other Tourist Attractions

The Shiretoko National Park does not contain Utoro Onsen (ウトロ温泉), but it is a sighseeing base for the Shari Area. Oronko-iwa Rock (オロンコ岩), Yuhidai Lookout (夕陽台), Sandan Falls (三段の滝) and Oshinkoshin Falls (オシンコシンの滝) are relatively near the Utoro Onsen, and some restaurants are built in the Utoro. My visited places are as follows.

Yuhidai Lookout
Utoro Onsen in Shari
Sandan Falls
Utoro

Utoro Onsen

Utoro Onsen (ウトロ温泉) is a hot-spring place in Utoro, Shari town located in the middle of Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島) and is called another name Shiretoko Onsen (知床温泉), and there are about 16 hot spring facilities. Utoro is one of the 3 major superb views in Hokkaido together with Shakotan and Benbe Rebun (Rebunge, Toyoura), and has been well-known as a scenic area since a long time ago. Hot springs were succeeded in drilling in 1971, and the Utoro Onsen has been developed as a tourist hub for Shiretoko Goko Lakes and Kamuiwakka Hot Falls, etc. in the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula, and is a popular hot-spring resort for enjoying the sun set over the Sea of Okhotsk and mountains of Rausu. Article is here

Utoro Onsen Resort from Oronkoiwa Rock
Utoro Onsen in Shari

Oshinkoshin Falls

Oshinkoshin Falls (オシンコシンの滝) is a famous waterfall in the root of Cape Oshinkoshin (オシンコシン崎) in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島), and the Oshinkoshin means "A place that Sakhalin fir grows thickly in the downstream" in Ainu language. Because dropping Charassenai River (チャラッセナイ川) is divided into 2 ways, it is called Beautiful Forked Falls (双美の滝), too. Dropping water hits rocks and bubbles, and it is interesting in looking white. The falls is chosen as one of "100 Selections of Japanese Waterfalls", and Japanese movie "Person Living in End of The Earth (地の涯に生きるもの)" used here as a motif. In addition, here was a shooting place for Japanese CM "Lipovitan D (リポビタンD)", too. A tourist attraction is along Shiretoko Natinonal Route (知床国道 * National Route 334), Tourists are easy to drop in here. Oshinkoshinkan souvenir shop (オシンコシン舘), an observation deck, a public restroom and a parking lot is built on the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Oshinkoshin Falls
Oshinkoshin Falls, Utoro, Shiretoko National Park

Oronko-iwa Rock

Oronko-iwa Rock (オロンコ岩) is a huge rock with 58 m in height in Shari town, Shiretoko Peninsula. Godzilla-iwa Rock (ゴジラ岩) and Sankaku-iwa Rock (三角岩) are around the tip of Cape Utoro (ウトロ崎), and Utoro Port (ウトロ港) is built around here. This area has some huge rocks, and Utoro Onsen Resort is nearby here, too. The Oronko-iwa Rock is well-known as a good place to see the sunset, and a wooden stairway is built from a trailhead to the top of the rock. A wooden path, the wooden stairway, a restroom and a parking lot are on the site. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. In a winter, the wooden stairway is closed. Article is here

Oronko-iwa Rock
Oronko-iwa Rock, Utoro, Shiretoko National Park

Utoro Gyokyo Fujinbu Shokudo

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

Large Atka Mackerel
Grilled Atka Mackerel Combo -Utoro Gyokyo Fujinbu Shokudo in Shari-

List of Activities

Some activity companies serve some types of activities in the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula. Refer to following websites for the activity companies. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

Sea Cruise

Movie of Sea Cruise

Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship Aurora(知床観光船おーろら)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Sightseeing Cruiser(知床遊覧船)
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Sightseeing Cruiser Dolphin(知床クルーザー観光船ドルフィン)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Godzilla-iwa Tourism(ゴジラ岩観光)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Cruising Fox(知床世界遺産クルーズFOX)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Sotoasobi

Sea Kayak Tour

Movie of Sea Kayak

Shiretoko Outdoor Guide Center(知床アウトドアガイドセンター)
ASOVIEW
Jalan

Drift Ice Walk Tour

Movie of Drift Ice Walk

Shiretoko Nature Office(知床ネイチャーオフィス)
Sotoasobi
Godzilla-iwa Tourism(ゴジラ岩観光)
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Naturalist Association(知床ナチュラリスト協会)
ASOVIEW
Jalan

Shiretoko Guided Tour

Movie of Shiretoko Guided Tour

Shiretoko Guide Pikki(知床のガイド屋 ピッキ)
Sotoasobi
Ueneusaru Midori(ウエネウサルみどり)
Sotoasobi
Okhotsk Jinendo(オホーツク自然堂)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Shiretoko Optional Tours(知床オプショナルツアーズ)
ASOVIEW
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Shirekoto Michi Annai(知床未知案内)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Forest Guide Yurari(知床の森のガイド ゆらり)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Hokkaido Private Adventure: English speaker guide(北海道プライベートアドベンチャー)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi

Shiretoko Goko Lakes Guided Tour

Movie of Guided Tour

広告

Shiretoko Guide Rise(知床の案内人 ライズ)
Sotoasobi
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
Shiretoko Alpa(知床アルパ)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Sotoasobi
Okhotsk Jinendo(オホーツク自然堂)
Jalan
Shiretoko Naturalist Association(知床ナチュラリスト協会)
Jalan
Shiretoko Nature Guide Hoshi-no-Jikan(知床ネイチャーガイド星の時間)
Sotoasobi
Shirekoto Michi Annai(知床未知案内)
ASOVIEW
Shiretoko Tourist(知床ツーリスト)
Shiretoko Optional Tours(知床オプショナルツアーズ)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Shiretoko Guide Pikki(知床のガイド屋 ピッキ)
Jalan
Shiretoko Nature Office(知床ネイチャーオフィス)
Sotoasobi
Ueneusaru Midori(ウエネウサルみどり)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Sanko-sha(知床山考舎)
Jalan
Sotoasobi

Shiretoko Goko Lakes Snowshoe Tour

Movie of Snowshoe Tour

Shiretoko Naturalist Association(知床ナチュラリスト協会)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
Jalan

Furepe Falls Guided Tour

Movie of Guided Tour

Shiretoko Nature Guide Hoshi-no-Jikan(知床ネイチャーガイド星の時間)
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Guide Rise(知床の案内人 ライズ)
Jalan
Sotoasobi
Shirekoto Michi Annai(知床未知案内)
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Naturalist Association(知床ナチュラリスト協会)
Jalan
Shiretoko Optional Tours(知床オプショナルツアーズ)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Shiretoko Nature Office(知床ネイチャーオフィス)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Sanko-sha(知床山考舎)
Jalan
Sotoasobi

Furepe Falls Snowshoe Tour

Movie of Snowshoe Tour

Ueneusaru Midori(ウエネウサルみどり)
ASOVIEW
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Nature Office(知床ネイチャーオフィス)
Jalan
Sotoasobi
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Shiretoko Naturalist Association(知床ナチュラリスト協会)
ASOVIEW
Jalan

Kamuiwakka Hot Falls Guided Tour

Shiretoko Guide Rise(知床の案内人 ライズ)
Sotoasobi
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
Shiretoko Alpa(知床アルパ)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
Sotoasobi

List of Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

Iwaobetsu Onsen

Hotel Chi-no-Hate(ホテル地の涯)
Booking
Shiretoko Iwaobetsu Youth Hostel(知床岩尾別ユースホステル)
Kinoshita Hut(木下小屋) Only Tel: +81-152-24-2824

Utoro Onsen

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)
Bons Home(ボンズホーム)
Rakuten
Hotel Shiretoko(ホテル知床)
Hotel kifu Club Shireotko(ホテル季風クラブ 知床)
Shiretoko Village(しれとこ村)
Yuhi-no-Ataru-Ie(夕陽のあたる家)
Shiretoko Pereke(しれとこペレケ)
Booking
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)
Booking
Iruka Hotel(いるかホテル)
Jalan
Oyado Kiraku(お宿来羅玖)
Booking
Jalan
Shiretoko HOSTEL Hanare(知床ホステル ハナレ)
Booking.com
Booking.com

I introduce about the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula (Shari Area) on the first page, and introduce about the south side of the Shiretoko Peninsula (Rausu Area) on the second page.

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