The Shiretoko National Park in Japan is best known for the Five Lakes, but there are many other sightseeing spots in this secluded peninsula.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The park is located on Hokkaido Island’s northeastern corner. The closest train station is at Shari. There you can board one of the buses. There are also some from Kushiro.
A couple of buses from Utoro may be taken as well. Public transport is very limited, so you may need to have your own vehicle. Note that the peninsula’s north side does not allow cars.
What to See There
A trip to Shiretoko National Park in Japan should include a visit to the Five Lakes. They are all walking distance from one another. Aside from the beautiful scenery, the place is also frequented by bears.
The Kamuiwakka Falls can be reached by a shuttle bus (the fee is 1,190 Yen). The waterfalls flow into a hot spring. The Oshinkoshin Waterfalls are also remarkable. Also worth visiting is the Shiretoko Pass where you can see Mt. Rausu.
Shiretoko is the lowest point latitude wise at the northern hemisphere. It is believed that the island’s oldest inhabitants settled there 10,000 years ago. From 868-1912, the Japanese government began its formal settlement plan. The effort proved futile due to the island’s environment.
During the 1960s, the government decided to turn it into a national park. The fact that it is inhospitable to humans has allowed animals like the brown bear, Steller’s sea eagles and sika deer to flourish.
From May to July you can visit the Five Lakes nature trail with a group. The charge is 3,500 to 5,000 Yen per person. From August 1 to October 20, you can visit the site alone. The fee is 250 Yen. Only 3,000 people can visit the trail daily. For the rest of the year, the site has free admission.
You can buy some souvenirs at the Five Lakes gift shop. For food, the youth hostels offer low cost meals. The Shiretoko pass also has some food stalls. The Izakaya Iwaobetsu is the only source of alcoholic beverage there. You can also hike up to Mt. Rausu. This can be quite challenging and take about six hours.
The Shiretoko National Park in Japan also lets you go on a hike to Mt Io. But you have to enter by way of Mt. Rausu. You can also have a dip at the Iwaobetsu Onsen hot springs. This is free, so you can relax there after hiking.