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[Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula] Hiking Can Be Enjoyed in Old Phantom Lake

September 12th, 2017

Lake Rausu

Lake Rausu (羅臼湖) is a freshwater lake at 740 m above sea level in the foot of Mt. Chinishiridake (知西別岳), and the perimeter is about 4 km, and the maximum depth is 2 m, and is the largest lake in the Shiretoko National Park. The lake used to be called a phantom lake because creeping pines growing thickly and a lot of bears had been kept people away. But trails are built at present, and are opened to hikers from June to October, so even beginner hikers can enjoy hiking. Except the Lake Rausu, there are 5 ponds (from Ichi-no-Numa Pond (一の沼) to Go-no-Numa Pond (五の沼)) and Menashi-Boyodai Lookout (目梨望遥台), and various sceneries such as a snow scenery in a spring, a fresh green in a summer and fall foliage in an autumn can be enjoyed. * Unfortunately, a trail to the Ichi-no-Numa Pond is not built, but hikers can see from the Ni-no-Numa Pond (二の沼) to the Go-no-Numa Pond along the trails. Admission free.
Trekking Map of Lake Rausu (羅臼湖のトレッキングマップ) in Japanese is here

Lake Rausu
Lake Rausu in Shiretoko Peninsula

Movie of Lake Rausu

The distance from an entrance to the Lake Rausu is 2.8km. It takes from an hour and a half to 2 hours each way. A Hygrophyte and an alpine plant can be enjoyed because trails are built on high moor. The trails are rough and some muddy paths, so that visitors had better wear rain boots or hiking boots. Water requirement, too. I brought a 500ml pet bottle with the water, but I felt that the water was not enough a little. Do not bring strong smell food and drink because those attract bears. In addition, a restroom is not built here, so the visitors should bring a portable toilet If needed. 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). The distance is around 18 km away from the center of Rausu, and the distance is around 20 km away from the center of Utoro, and a restraunt, a cafe and a convenience store are not built near here. By the way, a nonstop bus, Eagle Liner (イーグルライナー), runs between Sapporo and Utoro.

Direct Bus

From Sapporo to Utoro
Eagle Liner Leaves for Sapporo at 23:15

From Utoro to Sapporo
Eagle Liner Leaves for Utoro at 09:20

Shiretoko Pass

Shiretoko Pass (知床峠) is a popular viewing point at 738 m above sea level between Rausu town and Shari town in Shiretoko Peninsula, and is located around the top of National Route 334 (the common name is Shiretoko Crossing Road (知床横断道路)) connecting Utoro with Rausu, the length of 27 km in total, with some sharp curves. Good views of Kunashiri Island (国後島) and Mt. Rausudake (羅臼岳) can be seen if the weather is fine. The place has sometimes foggy days, and you are lucky if the weather is fine. Observatory decks, a public restroom and a parking lot are built on the site. The parking lot is used for Lake Rausu hikers, too. * It takes 20-30 minutes from here to an entrance of the lake on foot. Admission free. The parking lot is free of charge. The road is closed to traffic from early November to late April. Article is here

Mt. Rausudake
Shiretoko Pass in Rausu

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. Article is here

Shiretoko Crossing Road
Shiretoko National Park

Lake Rausu Trip

A parking lot (Parking is prohibited on a road) is not built near 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 pay the money when they get off. In the case of walking, it takes around 20-30 minutes from the Shiretoko Pass to the Rausuko-Iruguchi, and the hikers had better 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

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

The trailhead to the Lake Rausu is nearby the Rausuko-Iriguchi (bus for Utoro) bus stop. A hiking registration box is built, so the hikers should write their names, starting hiking time, and they should write finishing hiking time when they come back here.

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, the Ni-no-Numa Pond ran dry under the influence of low rainfall unfortunately . 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

Yon-no-Numa Pond (四の沼) is 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 viewed there. A nature guide 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.

広告

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

The separation of the trail to Menashi-Boyodai Lookout (目梨望遥台) is 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 each 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 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

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

List of Guided Tour

Some activity companies serve Lake Rausu Guided Tour. Refer to following websites for the activity companies. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

Movie of Guided Tour

Shiretoko Guide Pikki(知床のガイド屋 ピッキ)
ASOVIEW
Jalan
First Ascent Shiretoko(ファーストアセント知床)
Jalan
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)
Jalan
Sotoasobi
Shalom Guide Office(シャローム・ガイドオフィス)
Jalan
Sotoasobi

List of Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Shiretoko Pass. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.

Shari

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
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)

Rausu

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
Booking.com

A page of Shiretoko National Park is here

Shiretoko National Park

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