World Heritage Series: Shiretoko・ Hokkaido - Green Season
The Shiretoko Peninsula, sticking out in the northeast of Hokkaido, is a valuable area. The rich ecosystem is maintained as is with almost no human involvement. In addition, the ocean's resources brought by the southernmost glaciers contribute to the well-being of this precious place. We will introduce you to the beauty of the green season which also is registered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO of its nature.
Let’s begin with learning about this precious nature “Shiretoko National Park Nature Center”
The Shiretoko Nature Center is a site in Utoro that is located on the western region of the Shiretoko Peninsula. It is an international visitor center where people come to learn about Shiretoko's nature and enjoy. Not only that in the nature center, people can get important information about the latest brown bear appearances in the region. Also in the theatre hall, a video of Shiretoko's four seasons are screened with English and Chinese subtitles. In addition, visitors can use a rental service of a pair of binoculars, boots and a bear deterrent spray (charged).
（From October 21 to April 19 9:00-16:00)
● Free Entrance
“Shiretoko Five Lakes” is a place where you can enjoy Shiretoko’s Nature
On the north side of the Shiretoko Peninsula, there are five small lakes in the virgin forest. There is an 800-meter highway trekking back and forth to the lakeside of Ichiko Lake, a large loop ground walking paths of 3.0 km and 1.6 km of small loops are in place. In those trekking paths, people can observe the Shiretoko mountains reflected on the lake's surface, some wild animals and plants in the virgin forests. Although the elevated tree road can be used for free during the opening, it is necessary to complete the entry form and lectures depending on the season. Also, for the period of time when bears are active (May 10 to July 31), normal trekking is restricted where only tours (reservation required and with compulsory lectures) are allowed to enter the elevated tree roads.
●0152-24-3323（Shiretoko Five Lakes Field House）
●4/20 - 11/8 (Expected)、① 7:30（4/20-10/20）② 8:30（10/21-11/8）
＊May 10 ～ July 31(There is a tour happening every 10 minutes *Only this tour is allowed trekking. *reservation required)
●Fee: Large loop(adult): 4,500 – 5,250 yen. （varies among touring companies）
“Shiretoko Pass Observatory” overlooking Mt. Rausu-dake and Kunashiri Island
The highest point of the Shiretoko crossroad connecting the east and west of the Shiretoko Peninsula. In the front of the Shiretoko Pass Observatory, there is a view of Mt. Rausu-dake, the highest peak of the Shiretoko mountain range. The altitude of the pass is 738 meters where it is already an alpine plant world where pine wilt naturally grows. For around the half of the year, this observatory is closed due to snow. If you have a rental car, go to starry sky watching at night.
●0152-22-2125 (Shiretoko Shari Town Tourism Association)
●From late April to early November (Expected)
Come and watch the core of Shiretoko! “Shiretoko Sightseeing Ship Aurora”
On the tip of the Shiretoko Peninsula, there are neither a house nor a road, and the brown bear population density is high. For that reason, it is almost impossible to get there on the roads. However, it is possible to watch from the sea. It is impressive only by the waterfalls falling directly from the cliff to the sea and the view of Shiretoko mountain range. It is common to witness the whale, orca and dolphins, and even some brown bears that have come down to the coast, depending on the season. The “Sightseeing Ship Aurora” is the largest among tourist boats operated from Utoro port, and it is popular for low shaking and comfortable facilities on the ship.
●Opening days and hours
April 28 - October 25: Iou Mountain Route (8:15、10:30、12:30，14:30)
April 28 - August 31: Iou Mountain Route（16:30）
September 1 - September 10: Iou Mountial Route（16:15）
June 1 - September 30: Shiretoko Cape Route（10：00）
July 1 - August 31: Shiretoko Cape Route（14:15）
※ The ships on 12:30 and 16:30 between April 28 - May 31 are temporary.
●Time and Fee
Iou Mountain Route: 3,100 yen (adult), 1 hour and 30 minutes
Shiretoko Cape Route: 6,500 yen (adult), 3 hours and 45 minutes
Shiretoko Naturalist Association - Enjoy Shiretoko even more with nature tours
If you want to fully experience and enjoy the natural heritage · Shiretoko, join the nature tour. This is a pioneer of Shiretoko nature guide, which is known as “Shinra.” Besides the guided walk of Shiretoko Five Lakes, various tours are held every season. If you walk while listening to the instructions of the guide, you will get a much more satisfying experience than ordinary journey like just trekking, taking pictures and looking.
●Main Nature Experience Tours (Reservation required for all tours)
“Shiretoko Five Lakes Guiding Walk”
This tour will follow the ground paths connecting various lakes and watch the lives of native animals and plants.
Available Days: End of April - November 7.
Length: 3 hours
Fee: 5,100 yen for anyone older than 12.
“Guide Walk to the Hulepe Waterfall”
This tour will visit the Hulepe Waterfall, where groundwater springs from the middle of the cliff directly into the ocean.
Available Days: Beginning of April - November 7
Length: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Fee: 3,100 yen for anyone older than grade 6.
“Shiretoko Animal Paths Guide Walk”
This walking tour will go through “animal paths” in the primeval forests with experienced guides while feeling the signs of creatures with their footprint and claws. Its goal is to arrive at a scenic spot of nature.
Available Days: Beginning of April - End of November
Length: 3 hours
Fee: 5,100 yen for anyone older than grade 6.
※ Not only those listed above, there are many more tours. For example, there is a tour to watch brown bears from the ocean and whale watching in the ocean of Rausu. Also, there are combo tours with popular cruising attractions.
※ This information is from April 27th, 2018. Please contact the store directly for further details and the latest information.
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