- September 20th, 2017
[Shiretoko Pass in Shiretoko Peninsula] Good Viewing Point
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.
Lake Rausu (羅臼湖) is a freshwater lake at 740 m above sea level at 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. Read More
In a spring, an opening ceremony for the Shiretoko Crossing Road "Shiretoko Snow Wall Walk (知床雪壁ウォーク)" is held, and visitors can enjoy walking along high snow walls with 3-4 m in height or can enjoy snowboarding and skiing. In a summer, fresh green or a sea of clouds can be enjoyed. In an autumn, fall foliage can be seen. Here is well-known for one of best scenic spots for autumn leaves in Hokkaido, too. The Shiretoko Crossing Road is popular as a drive route. In addition, a lot of hikers or bicycle riders cross a mountain pass. But Beware of bears along the road. If the bears appear on the road, Never get close to them, and never give them foods. If they do not come to afraid of humans, they may attack you or next person, and the bears may be shot to death as a result.
The distance is around 20 km away from the center of Rausu, and the distance is around 18 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.
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
Shiretokotoge Observation Deck
The observation decks are on the other side of the road, and the Mt. Rausudake and the Pacific Ocean can be viewed. Even in the summer, it is chilly, so you should wear warm clothes. Here is popular for birdwatching or photos of wildbirds, and some visiotrs take a shot of the bird early in the morning. The wild birds such as Pine Grosbeak, White-tailed Eagle and Red-flanked Bluetail can be watched, and the Pine Grosbeak is popular in particular. In the evening, starry sky is beautiful.
|Admission fee||Free of charge|
|Parking lot||Free parking is provided (120 Cars)|
|Business hours||24 hours|
|Regular closing day||From early November to late April|
|Home page||Home page is here|
|Mapcode||757 493 182*72|
List of Accommodations
Refer to following websites for the accommodations around the Shiretoko Pass. 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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