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Even Ordinary People Can Enjoy Rarely Visited Regions Called Lake of Illusions -Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula-

September 12th, 2017

Lake Rausu (羅臼湖) at 750 m above sea level is a freshwater lake at the foot of Mt. Chinishiridake (知西別岳), and the perimeter is about 6 km, and is the largest lake in the Shiretoko National Park. It used to be called Lake of Illusions because creeping pines growing thickly and bears kept people away. But trails are built at present and are opened to hikers from June to October, so even beginner hikers can enjoy a hiking. Except the Lake Rausu, there are 5 ponds (Ichi-no-Numa Pond (一の沼) - Go-no-Numa Pond (五の沼)) and Menashi-Boyodai Lookout (目梨望遥台), various sceneries such as a snow scenery in a spring, a green scenery in a summer and fall foliage in an autumn can be enjoyed. * There is not a trail to the Ichi-no-Numa Pond unfortunately, but the hikers can see the Ni-no-Numa Pond (二の沼) - Go-no-Numa Pond along the trails. Admission free.

Lake Rausu
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

A distance from an entrance to the Lake Rausu is 2.8km. It takes an hour and a half - 2 hours one-way. A Hygrophyte and an alpine plant can be enjoyed because trails are built on high moor. The trails are rough paths and some muddy paths, so that visitors must wear rain boots or hiking boots. Water requirement, too. I took a 500ml pet bottle with the water, but I felt that there was not enough water a little. Do not take strong smell food and drink because those attract bears. In addition, there is not a restroom, so the visitors must take a portable toilet If needed. By the way, the rain boots, a bear spray and the portable toilet can be rented at Rausu Visitor Center (羅臼ビジターセンター).
Trekking Map of Lake Rausu (羅臼湖のトレッキングマップ) in Japanese is here

Shiretoko Pass
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

There are not a parking lot (Parking is prohibited on a road) aroud a trailhead, so ordinary hikers park their cars at Shiretoko Pass (知床峠), and take the bus for Rausu at Shiretokotoge (知床峠) bus stop and get off the bus at Rausuko-Iruguchi (羅臼湖入口) bus stop. A bus fare was JPY 210. The hikers take a bus ticket when they get on the bus, and please pay the money when the hikers get off. In the case of walking, it takes around 20 - 30 from the Shiretoko Pass to the Rausuko-Iruguchi, and the hikers you must beware of the bears. By the way, it took me around 40 minutes on foot on the way back. The rain boots were heavy, and I was tired with an upslope.
Shari (斜里) Bus timetable is here

Hikers Wait for Bus
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Hikers Take Bus
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

There is the trailhead for the Lake Rausu nearby the Rausuko-Iriguchi (bus for Utoro) bus stop. A hiking registration box is provided, so the hikers should write their names and starting hiking time and write finishing hiking time on the way back.

Entrance of Lake Rausu near Rausuko-Iriguchi Bus Stop
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Hikers Write Their Names on Hiking Registration
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Hiking Registration Box
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Trail
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Green and Blue World
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
A Lot of Muddy Trails
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Go Ahead
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

When I visited here in September 2017, Ni-no-Numa Pond ran dry unfortunately under the influence of low rainfall. But maybe it was a rare scenery.

Ni-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Wooden Path Beside Ni-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Ni-no-Numa Evaporates Unfortunately
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

My most favorite pond is San-no-Numa (三の沼) Pond. Mt. Rausudake and the pond are just good size. Taking a rest is very comfortable while looking at the scenery.

San-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Hikers Look at San-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Waterweed Called Sparganium Gramineum Georgi Can Be Seen on Surface of Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
San-no-Numa Pond and Mt. Rausudake
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Fine Weather
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Mt. Rausudake
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Trail
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Wooden Path
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Marshland
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Hikers Walk on Wooden Path
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Stream Flows at Marshland
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Wooden Path
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

There is Yon-no-Numa Pond (四の沼) beside a wooden path.

Yon-no-NUma Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Yon-no-NUma Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Something Like Floating Island on Yon-no-NUma Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Mt. Chinishibetsudake
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Perhaps It Is Mt. Tenchozan
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Mt. Chinishibetsudake and Go-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

Go-no-Numa Pond (五の沼) is the largest pond in the 5 ponds.

Go-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Go-no-Numa Pond
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Calm Atmosphere
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Gentiana Triflora var. Japonica
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Observation Deck around Lake Rausu Comes into Sight
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Perhaps It Is Mt. Tenchozan
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

A observation deck with entering capacity of about 10 people is built around the Lake Rausu, and the Lake Rausu and Mt. Chinishibetsudake (知西別岳) can be enjoyed from there. A nature guide who happened to be there said "Deers and bears sometimes swim the lake, and those landing on a small island can be seen if you are lucky". The nature guide was well-informed, so I think that you might as well join a guided tour. By the way, eating food is prohibited on the trails because of attracting the bears, but the hikers can have a lunch here. Here is the end of the trails, so the hikers turn back to the trailhead.

Observation Deck and Lake Rausu
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Observation Deck
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Lake Rausu
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Lake Rausu
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Lake Rausu
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Small Island
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

There is the separation of the trail to Menashi-Boyodai Lookout (目梨望遥台) near the Ni-no-Numa Pond. I went up on the creeping pines on my way, and it was just lke the adventure playground. It took about 15 minutes one way. 360-degree view can be enjoyed here. It is marvelous! I have no way out if I run into the bear. But the scenery was very comfortable.

Trail to Menashi-Boyodai Lookout
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Menashi-Boyodai Lookout
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Shiretoko Crossing Road and Kunashiri Island
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Kunashiri Island
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Mt. Rausudake
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula
Creeping Pines Are Trail
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

There is no particular dangerous spot, so even beginner hikers can enjoy themselves. But a few hikers come because of less convenient for transportation and the bears. I think that few people is one of attractions. In addition, the hikers who who happened to be there told me "There is a high possibility the hikers run into the bears in the early morning". Therefore, maybe the bus timetable is a time zone for avoiding the bears.

Kunashiri Island
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

Atmosphere of Lake Rausu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Lake Rausu

Refer to following websites for guided tours.

Shiretoko Guide Pikki(知床のガイド屋 ピッキ)
ASOVIEW
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
Shiretoko Nature Office(知床ネイチャーオフィス)
Sotoasobi
Shiretoko Naturalist Association(知床ナチュラリスト協会)
Sotoasobi
Shalom Guide Office(シャローム・ガイドオフィス)
Sotoasobi
Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot No parking facilities * Visitors can park their cars at Shiretoko pass parking lot. But it takes about 20-50 minutes on foot.
Business hours Open 24 hours
Regular closing day From early October to late April
Telephone number +81-153-87-2828
Home page Home page is here
Mapcode 757 403 397*17

Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the south side of the Shiretoko Peninsula.

Rausu Daiichi Hotel(らうす第一ホテル)
Hotel Mine-no-Yu(ホテル峰の湯)
Booking
Rakuten
Rausu-no-Yado Marumi(羅臼の宿 まるみ)
Booking
Hotel Sakaeya(ホテル栄屋)
Booking
Rakuten
Business Hotel Isaribi(ビジネスホテル漁火)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Pension Rausukl(ペンションラウスクル)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Takashimaya Ryokan(高島屋旅館)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Chishimaya Ryokan(千島屋旅館)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Honma(民宿本間)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Nomura(民宿野むら)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Yonemaru(民宿よね丸)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Kannari(民宿かんなり)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Washi-no-Yado(民宿鷲の宿)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Minshuku Ippukudozo(民宿いっぷくどうぞ)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Rider House Okigaruya(ライダーハウス お気軽屋)
Booking
Jalan
Rakuten
Booking.com

A page of Shiretoko National Park is here

Shiretoko National Park

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