- July 22nd, 2014
[Shiretoko Goko Lakes in Shari, Shiretoko] Both of Guided Tour and Walk without Guide Can Be Enjoyed in Home of Brown Bears
- Shiretoko Goko Lakes
- Shiretoko Goko Lakes Tour
- List of Activities
- List of Accommodations
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.
Guide Map of Shiretoko Goko Lakes
The distance is around 10 km away from the center of Utoro, and a restraunt, a cafe and a convenience store are not built around here. Kamuiwakka Hot Falls (カムイワッカ湯の滝) and Iwaobetsu Onsen (岩尾別温泉) are relatively near here.
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. Read More
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. Read More
By the way, a highway bus, Eagle Liner (イーグルライナー), runs between Sapporo and the Utoro.
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. Read More
Shiretoko Goko Lakes Tour
About 2 walks, Elevated Wooden Path (高架木道) and Ground Pathways (地上遊歩道) are built in the marsh. As for the Elevated Wooden Path, Only the Lake Ichiko can be seen. The Ground Pathways are divided into 2 courses, Short Loop Course and Long Loop Course, and the Lake Ichiko and the Lake Niko can be seen along the Short Loop Course, and all the lakes can be seen along the Long Loop Course.
Elevated Wooden Path
The Elevated Wooden Path, about 800 m in total length, with electric fences is completely handicapped accessible wooden path built to avoid bears at 2-3 m in height, and has 3 observation decks, Renzan Observation Deck (連山展望台), Okotsuku Observation Deck (オコツク展望台) and Kohan Observation Deck (湖畔展望台), so everyone can be easy to view a scenery of the Shiretoko freely. It is said that views from the Elevated Wooden Path are most beautiful in the Shiretoko Goko Lakes, and the Shiretoko Mountain Range, the Lake Ichiko, the Sea of Okhotsk and a striped bamboo hill can be viewed. It is disappointing that only the Lake Ichiko can be seen in the 5 lakes, but you might see wild animals if you are lucky. It takes about 30-60 minutes each way on foot.
Atmosphere of Lake Ichiko Can Be Watched on Youtube
The Ground Pathways are one way trails to experience the nature of the Shiretoko such as marsh plants and primal forest. The Small Loop Course, 1.6 km length in total, and the Long Loop Course, 3 km in total length, are set in the marsh land. The Lake Ichiko and the Lake Niko can be seen along the Short Loop Course, and it takes about 90 minutes to go round the trail on foot. All the lakes can be seen along the Long Loop Course, and it takes about 3 hours to go round the trail on foot. Pretty animals such as Yezo Deers, Yezo Squirrels and Black Woodpeckers may appear. However, beware of brown bears.
Hikers for The Ground Pathways must abide by rules. From opening day to May 9 and from August 1 to October 20, the hikers have to take lectures at the Lake Shiretoko Goko Five Lakes Field House, and pay the lecture fee, and submit an application. So they can go round the trail freely. From May 10 to July 31, the brown bear are very active, so the hikers are forced to be guided by a tour guide. They have to take lectures at the Lake Shiretoko Goko Five Lakes Field House, and pay the lecture fee and the guide fee. From late October to closing day, the hikers can go round the trail freely without the lecture and the tour guide.
Atmosphere of Shiretoko Goko Lakes Can Be Watched on Youtube
|Admission fee||Elevated wooden path: Free of charge. Ground pathway: Free - JPY 5100 * It changes depending on seasons|
|Parking lot||Pay lot parking is provided (100 Cars) * Capacity for midsize vehicles: JPY 410.|
|Regular closing day||Winter season|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||757 730 306*56|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations in the Shari. You can get information regarding online reviews and photos.
A page of Shiretoko National Park is here
Shiretoko National Park
By the way, Club Tourism (クラブツーリズム), a Japanese tour travel agency, provides various types of tours such as day trip tours or ordinary tours. In the case of bus tours, tourists do not drive their cars themselves, so they can savor alcohol. Choosen tourist attractions are national parks such as Rishiri and Rebun, Shiretoko, and popular tourist places such as Furano and Biei, and some activities such as hiking and fruit picking are also enjoyed depending on seasons. If you are interested in tour trips, you should visit the club tourism's website for details.
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