Series — Japan’s World Heritage Site: Walking through Shiretoko


If you want to enjoy nature during your travel in Japan, World Heritage Site Shiretoko, in the eastern part of Hokkaido is a place you must visit. This World Heritage is a vast area of 71,100 hectares, made up of steep mountains formed by volcanic activities that stand at an altitude of 1,500 m, coastal cliffs, wetlands, and lakes and marshes, and so on. There is a rich connection between the ocean and land ecosystems, and it is said to have universal values as an important area that maintains biodiversity including rare or endemic species.

Let's start here-Shiretoko's representative scenic spot "Shiretoko Goko" (Sharicho, Hokkaido)

Shiretoko's representative tourist attraction is Shiretoko Goko (Goko = five lakes). There are two walking routes, the observation platform/ elevated wooden path with anti-brown bear electric fencing, and the other is the ground path. You will enjoy walking with the view of Sea of Okhotsk and Shiretoko mountain range, and also the vital ancient forests and huge trees. The ground path used to be closed during spring to fall (breeding season) when bears were active. However, starting 2011, going to Shiretoko Goko during the summer has been allowed if you accompany a certified guide. Here, we introduce you to enjoyable guided walking tours through the dynamic nature unique to Shiretoko,

Various routes including those for beginners -"Shiretoko Michi Annai"

The standard route is "Shiretoko Goko Tour," where you will explore the five large and small lakes surrounded by ancient forests. Other various trekking tours include "Maboroshi no Numa Course," a route you'll walk around "Ponhoro Swamp," a swamp that changes shape from season to season and disappears during the summer; and "Kemonomichi Course," a route that takes you to an old frontier period site and then into an ancient forest, and have a view of a waterfall that pours into the sea.

●Shiretoko Michi Annai

Taking you to the highest peak of the Shiretoko Peninsula -"Shalom Guide Office"

These routes take you to safe and enjoyable nature walks and mountain climbing mainly in the wild Doto (Eastern Hokkaido), Akan, and Shiretoko areas. The Mt. Rausu Climbing Course takes you to Mt. Rausu, the highest peak of the Shiretoko Peninsula, and one of 100 Famous Japanese Mountains, where you can view the Sea of Okhotsk, the Nemuro Channel, and Kunashiri Island from its summit. Other courses include such routes like the Iwozan Climbing Course, which has a variety of climbing routes while you experience volcanic activities.

The view from the summit of Mt. Rausu

Walking the ridgeway with Mt. Rausu in the background

Mountain range from Mt. Rausu to Mt. Iwo

Snowy valleys even in the summer

●Shalom Guide Office

*The above information was last updated March 6, 2017. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.

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