[Oronko-iwa Rock in Shari, Shiretoko] Sunset and Godzilla-iwa Rock Can Be Seen at Old Legendary Fort
July 22nd, 2014
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.
The Oronko means "A rock that sits down at there" in Ainu language. The rock has a legend of the Ainu people. Mischievous tribe called Oronko made this huge rock as a fort in the old days, and played a trick on Ainu people. So the Ainu people that angried at the Oronko people seemed to punishment them with a structure trap by using an imitation of a whale. It was just Trojan horse of Ainu version. When I looked the Oronko people up on the internet, they are real tribe that has lived in Japan and Sakhalin Island, Russian at present. Viewed in this way, this legend might be based on a true story. I am interested in this history.
The distance is only 400 m away from the center of Utoro, and a restraunt, a cafe, a souvenir shop and a convenience store are built around here. Speaking of tasty restraunts in the Utoro, Utoro Gyokyo Fujinbu Shokudo (ウトロ漁協婦人部食堂), Banya (番屋), Namishibuki (波飛沫) and Araiso Ryori Kumanoya (荒磯料理 くまのや) are popular in particular. I ate seafood at the Utoro Gyokyo Fujinbu Shokudo, and it was tasy. By the way, a nonstop bus, Eagle Liner (イーグルライナー), runs between Sapporo and Utoro.
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
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
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
The wooden stairway is built on the rockside, and the visitors can go up from the foot of the rock to the top of the rock. About 230 steps were pretty steep, so I was dripping with sweat. You may be tired because of a difference of elevation, so you should wear comfortable shoes. I finished going up the stairway for about 10 minutes. The top of the rock is flat, and a lookout looks like a primeval flower garden. Wild flowers such as Kamchatka Stonecrop and Yezo Day Lily are bloom on the rock. The wooden path are built to enjoy 360 degree view such as Shiretoko Mountain Range, the Utoro Onsen Resort, the Utoro Port and Cape Chashikotsu (チャシコツ崎). I think that you will be surprised at the good views if you go up the rock. In addition, here is a good tourist attraction to see the sunset across the sea, too, so some visitors come early in the evening. It takes about 30-60 minutes to enjoy yourself.
Atmosphere of Oronko-iwa Rock Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (10 Cars)|
|Business hours||Open 24 hours|
|Regular closing day||Winter season|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||894 854 430*10|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Oronko-iwa Rock. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
|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 HOSTEL Hanare(知床ホステル ハナレ)|
A page of Shiretoko National Park is here
Shiretoko National Park