Enjoy the World Natural Heritage Site, Shiretoko.
An overnight course from Kawayu Onsen to Utoro

The Shiretoko Peninsula, a World Natural Heritage Site, is a place where the pristine nature still remains. It shows the ecosystem connecting the sea to the land and is a habitat for rare animals and plants. We guide you to an overnight course around Utoro which is a full of tourist attractions including cruising to see the cliffs and brown bears, and Shiretoko Goko Lakes scattered in the primitive forest. Watch this video to plan your trip.
An overnight course from Kawayu Onsen to Utoro
Since we stayed at Kawayu Onsen the day before in the last episode, the day starts with relaxing at Kawayu Onsen Foot Bath and then heads toward Utoro. Enjoy a drive as seeing sceneries from the window. After arriving at Utoro, go on a cruising and visit Shiretoko Goko Lakes. Stay at a hot spring hotel which is popular for its delicious dinner to relieve the fatigue of your trip.
▼ About 50 km (31 ml) via the National Highway 391 ▼
▼ About 26 km (16 ml) via the National Highway 334 ▼
▼ About 7 km (4.3 ml) via the National Highway 334 ▼
▼ A short walk ▼
▼ A short walk ▼
▼ About 14 km (8.7 ml) via the Prefectural Road 93 ▼
▼ About 11 km (6.8 ml) via the Prefectural Road 93 ▼
▼ About 23 km (14.3 ml) via the Prefectural Road 93 ▼
The videos are in Japanese only.
Soak your feet in a hot spring containing plenty of medicinal properties at Kawayu Onsen Foot Bath.
This foot bath lets you freely experience the strong acid hot spring, Kawayu Onsen, by soaking your feet in. Since it is made in a cottage style called Azumaya, you won’t get wet even on rainy days. It has been a popular place among the locals and tourists for relaxing and enjoying the 100 % hot spring source.
Address: Enchi Kawayu Onsen, Teshikaga-cho
▼ About 57 mins by car ▼
Drive in a fantastic view, Road to Sky
A straight road with a total length of about 18 km (11 ml) connecting the National Highways 244 and 334 at the northern foot of the Shiretoko Peninsula. It so long that it looks as if the road leads to heaven. Running through this road will surely make you feel awesome. There is a signboard at the starting point of the road which is popular for the illustration of a cute bear holding a selfie stick.
Address: Minehama, Shari
▼ About 30 mins by car ▼
Stop by Oshinkoshin Waterfall, the largest waterfall on the Shiretoko Peninsula
The largest waterfall on the Shiretoko Peninsula, Oshinkoshin Waterfall, is located on the way from Shari Town to downtown Utoro. It is also called “Futami no Taki (two beautiful falls)” because the flow is divided into two from the middle. Above the waterfall, there is an observatory where the Shiretoko Mountain Range and the Sea of Okhotsk can be viewed. Oshinkoshin Waterfall has been designated as one of the “100 Best Waterfalls in Japan” and “Shiretoko 8 Sceinic Spots.”
Address: Utoro, Shari-cho
▼ About 11 mins by car ▼
Arrive at Utoro and visit Michi no Eki Utoro “Shirietoku”
Michi no eki (rest stop) in Utoro, the gateway to Shiretoko. The building was designed like a Shiretoko’s traditional fishing lodge called Shiretoko Banya. This rest stop has been the base of sightseeing that holds souvenir shops and a restaurant serving seasonal seafoods of Shiretoko. The Shiretoko World Heritage Center is also located to let you learn more about the nature of Shiretoko.
Address: 186-8 Nishi Utoro, Shari-cho
▼ 5 mins on foot ▼
Wanna see brown bears? The Shiretoko Peninsula Cruising by Godzilla-iwa Kanko
A Shiretoko Peninsula cruise to enjoy the precious ecosystem of the Shiretoko Peninsula. It lets you see the cliffs, waterfalls and wildlife of Shiretoko with a guidance of a veteran captain. The Rusha course, which goes to the brown bear haunting area, is the most popular course with a high odd of encountering brown bears.
Address: 51 Higashi Utoro, Shari-cho
▼ 5 mins on foot ▼
Fresh seafood lunch at “Utoro Gyokyo Fujinbu Syokudo”
A diner run by the ladies of the Utoro Fisheries Cooperative. They serve a variety of dishes including sea urchin bowls made with sea urchin directly from the fishing port and set meals made with seasonal fish and sea urchin. The popular standard menu is Hokke Set Meal using a large piece of Okhotsk atka mackerel. Have lunch at this old-fashoned and cozy diner.
Address: 117 Higashi Utoro, Shari-cho
▼ About 23 mins by car ▼
The elevated wooden path or the ground trail? Walk around Shiretoko Goko Lakes
Five mysterious lakes nestled in the primeval forest against the Shiretoko Mountain Range. It is known as a scenic spot that symbolizes the World Natural Heritage Site, Shiretoko. There are two ways to walk: one is a ground trail that goes around the five lakes, and the other is an elevated wooden path that allows you to reach the shores of Lake Ichiko (the 1st lake.) A paid guide is required during winter.
Address: Shiretoko Goko, Iwaobetsu, Shari-cho
Don’t miss the base facilities of Shiretoko Goko Lakes
Shiretoko Goko Lakes Field House
The ground trail requires entry procedures during the brown bear activity period and vegetation protection period from early May to early November. You will be able to enter the trail after completing procedures including taking lectures at this facility.
Address: Shiretoko Goko Iwaobetsu, Shari-cho
Shiretoko Goko Lakes Park Service Center
A shop that sells light meals and souvenirs located at the entrance of Shiretoko Goko Lakes. Bilberris soft serve ice cream and venison hambergers are recommended for your break. It is a good rest spot after walking around Shiretoko Goko Lakes.
Address: Shiretoko Goko Iwaobetsu, Shari-cho
▼ About 25 mins by car ▼
Climb “Kamuiwakka Hot Falls” where natural hot springs flow
A hot spring flows into the river from the middle of Mt. Iou in Shiretoko, an active volcano, and hot spring flows in the entire river. You’ll find a foot bath if you clijb up to the downstream, Ichi no Taki (the 1st waterfall.) It is recommended to purchase non-slip socks at Shiretoko Nature Center and wear them because the rock surface is slippery. Make sure to confirm the details in advance because the routes to Kamuiwakka Hot Falls varies depending on the period you visit.
Address: Iwaobetsu, Shari-cho
▼ About 43 mins by car ▼
Stay at a hot spring hotel in Utoro, Kita Kobushi Shiretoko Hotel & Resort
A hot spring hotel located near the Sea of Okhotsk. At the open-air bath where the Sea of Okhotsk can be overlooked, you can enjoy your bath time as viewing cruisers sailing in summer and drift ice in winter. The new style dinner buffet to fully enjoy gourmet foods of Shiretoko is excellent.
Address: 172 Higashi Utoro, Shari-cho
Must-see spots & events in Utoro
Utoro Salmon Terrace
Shari is the best salmon landing town in Japan. The two-story Utoro fishing port completed in 2016 has an observing space on the second floor to see fishermen work. During the autumn salmon season, you get to see the powerful salmon landing.
Address: Utoro, Shari-cho
Shiretoko Drift Ice Festival
A new sensation festival to let you feel the original nature of Shiretoko, which is held from the end of January to the end of February every year. Ice art, fantastic bonfires, and warm gourmet foods can be enjoyed at the event venue, the Shiretoko Campground.
Address: National Shiretoko Campground, Kagawa Shari-cho
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