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Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

Found on Shiretoko Peninsula in the eastern corner of Japan’s most northerly island Hokkaido, Shiretoko National Park is a vast stretch of untouched nature exhibiting acres of snow-capped mountains, crystal clear lakes, and freely roaming wildlife. Best to visit between April and November, the vivid colors and peaceful nature can be enjoyed by foot, by boat, and even at night from one of the park’s campsites.

Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park
  • Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    As a country naturally flourishing with flora and fauna, mountains and forests, it’s likely that thousands of years ago much of Japan was as green and untouched as parts of Hokkaido are today. While it’s hard not to get a kick out of the flashing neon lights and impressive skyscrapers of Japanese cities, visiting Shiretoko National Park is a step back in time and a much appreciated trip into the wild. Far out in the eastern Shiretoko Peninsula of Hokkaido, the park is a nature lover’s paradise full of opportunities to get out and active on a hike through forests and lakes or on a boat trip out into the neighboring Okhotsk Sea.

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    One of the many attractive features of Shiretoko National Park is its abundance of waterfalls. Sometimes referred to as a “Waterfall Kingdom”, large falls, hot water falls, and falls whose source is from the ground can be seen at many points around the park. The Kamuiwakka Falls are a popular spot to admire the steaming water trickle down heated from the ground, while the Oshinkoshin can be seen on a boat trip from the sea.

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

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    In the very west of Shiretoko Peninsula lies a fingerprint shaped collection of lakes known as Shiretoko Goko, or Shiretoko Five Lakes. Ideally located next to the Okhotsk Sea with a backdrop of mountains and beautiful woodland views, the lakes are an unmissable spot on a trip to the park. For an open view of the vast surroundings head to the 800-meter wooden boardwalk that heads out into one of the lakes, before heading off on one of the trail walks which meander around the lakes with a trip around all five taking around 90 minutes.

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    After a trip around the park by foot, it’s time to take to the Okhotsk Sea to discover another side of Shiretoko National Park. Hopping on the Aurora Cruise from Utoro Port, choose between a 1 hour 30-minute and a 3 hour 45-minute cruise where the wonders of the parks surrounding ocean can also be discovered. With dolphins and whales inhabiting the Okhotsk Sea and sea eagles circling above, wildlife spotting chances are high with the added benefit of cruising close enough to the shore to see animals on-land as well including brown bears, foxes, and deer.

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    Discovering the Untouched Nature of Shiretoko National Park

    With the majority of the park’s highlights found along the west coast of Shiretoko National Park, the best access to the park is via JR Shiretoko Shari Station, around 40km from the park. From here buses, albeit infrequent buses, run to Utoro, a one-hour journey which will set you back around 1,650 yen. This is where the Aurora Cruise sets off from as well as some routes into the park including further buses taking passengers into the more central Shiretoko Five Lakes and the Shiretoko Nature Center.

    Shiretoko National Park
    Address
    Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido, Rausu-cho, Megashi-gun
    Phone
    Kamuiwakka Hot Falls
    Address
    Hokkaido Shari-gun, Shari-cho Iwaobetsu Shiretoko National Park
    Phone
    知床半島
    Address
    北海道斜里郡斜里町ウトロなど
    Phone
    0152222125
  • Shiretokoshari
    Address
    Hokkaido Shari-cho, Shari-gun
    Phone
    Shiretoko National Park Nature Center
    Address
    Hokkaido Sharigunsharichou Onnebetsumura Iwao Iwa 531
    Phone
    0152242114
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