SpotRyuhyo - Drift Ice on the Okhotsk Sea

Drift ice can be seen at the sea of eastern Hokkaido from Shiretoko to Wakkanai, the only area in Japan where you can see such a spectacular sight. The Okhotsk Sea is a thin strip of ocean stretching about 2,000 km north and south. In winter, 80 percent of the water freezes over and the sea is full of drift ice. The Eastern Hokkaido area, which abuts the southernmost part of the Okhotsk Sea, is the lowest latitude place in the world where you can see drift ice.
The Amur River, which is a large river 4,300 km long in eastern Siberia, far north of Hokkaido, pours a lot of fresh water into the sea. As it is lighter than ocean water, fresh water stays above the salt water and starts to freeze at 1.7 degrees below zero. A thick ice slush is created, which changes into round ice floes, which in turn collide with each other and change shape into ""pancake"" ice. Driven by wind and riding on tides, they change into drift ice and come to eastern Hokkaido after a 1,000-km journey.

Ryuhyo - Drift Ice on the Okhotsk Sea

Access
Address

245-1, Tentozan, Abashiri city, Hokkaido

住所

北海道網走市天都山245−1

TEL

0152-43-5951

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