This area was designated a World Natural Heritage Site in 2005.

Shiretoko is a 63-km-long peninsula in northeastern Hokkaido, jutting out between the Okhorsk Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Mountain ranges, including Mount Onnebetsu-dake, Mount Rausu-dake, Mount Io-zan and Mount Shiretoko-dake, stretch along the center of the peninsula and skirts of the mountains form bluffs along the coast. The name Shiretoko derives from the Ainu word “Shirietoku,” meaning “end of the earth.” Unspoiled nature, such as waterfalls, primeval forests, beautiful lakes and numerous wild birds as well as a myriad of flowers, still exits in this only wild part of Japan.

You may see wild animals. Car collisions with yezo-shika deer sometimes occur. Signs reading “Caution?Brown bears” stand here and there along roads. The brown bear is the biggest land-dwelling mammal in Japan. It runs fast, swims in rivers and climbs trees. It is omnivorous, but prefers eating flesh. In addition to fish, such as salmon and trout, it attacks deer, sheep, poultry, horses and other farm animals, sometimes even people. If you encounter one, it may attack you to protect itself. Thus, you should try to avoid encountering one, but if by any chance you do so, stay calm and step back, keeping your eyes on it, and not raising your voice or running in surprise is important. There are also Steller’s sea eagles, which have a full wing span of 2.5 meters and are Japan’s largest birds of prey, and a white-tailed eagle that is smaller.?

As no roads circle around the peninsula, seeing Shiretoko from the sea is an enjoyable option. Boats from Utoro port bring you to Cape Shiretoko in about three hours. Beautiful scenery, such as the sea itself, waterfalls, primeval forests, bluffs and rocky stretches, spread out before you. Steller’s sea eagles and brown bears might be seen near the shore.


Shiretoko-go-ko (Five lakes in Shiretoko)

These are five small, mysterious lakes surrounded by primeval forests. They have no rivers that flow in or flow out. It is said that water springs from the bottom of the lakes and leaks out of the bluffs of the peninsula via rocks in the bottom of the lakes. It takes about one hour to walk through a 2.8-km trail around the five lakes. Yezo-shika deer might be seen quite close at hand. You should keep in mind that the area around the lakes is a bear habitat. As a bear sometimes appears, you should avoid walking alone.?

Oshin-Koshin-no-taki (Oshin-koshin Waterfall)

This waterfall is near Route 334 and is the largest waterfall in the Shiretoko Peninsula. Water cascades in majestic fashion down an 80-meter cliff towards the sea.

Shiretoko Fantasia (*Ended March 12, 2016)

A magnificent aurora shimmers in the night sky of Shiretoko. A huge aurora appeared in Shiretoko in 1957. Locals tried somehow to reproduce this aurora. After a process of trial and error, they succeeded in producing a dynamic and fantastic aurora, making a screen with smoke from burning straw in the night sky and projecting laser beams onto it. The Fantasia from early February to early March features various types of events and a photo contest, as well as display of drift ice.

*Ended March 12, 2016

Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat Aurora

The Shiretoko Peninsula has bluffs 200 meters high along the coast. You can enjoy views of the coastline from the sea.

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