In 2005, Shiretoko was registered as a World Heritage Site, and is filled with tourist spots including wetlands such as the Shiretoko Five Lakes and many waterfalls. Also, there are various animals specific to Hokkaido such as Brown bear, Ezo deer, owl, White-tailed eagle, and Black woodpecker, so animal watching is popular. For hikers, Rausudake, one of Japan's 100 greatest mountains, is highly recommended.
The peak of Rausudake is approximately 1,600 m. You start climbing from near sea level. At the entrance of the mountain trail, there is a large Katsura tree, whose heart-shaped leaves are said to heal visitors' hearts. On the way through the woods a sharp uphill is a bit hard, but the view from Gokurakudaira is worth it.
There you can enjoy a fresh. cool breeze. As a measure against bears, a box is set up which allows visitors to store food.
After passing by Gokurakudaira, you climb a rocky area all the way to the end. If you are lucky you might even see chipmunks. This uphill is also a good workout, but the view from the peak is awesome. The Sea of Okhotsk spreads out on the Utoro side, and you can see Kunashirito on the Rausu side. Sometimes it's foggy, and you may get to meet a Brocken spectre.
As you climb down, you will find a hot spring hotel near the entrance of the mountain trail, and some open-air baths that are free to enjoy. However, there is no partition dividing the hot spring into men's and women's sides. But we recommend that you try at least a foot bath.
When you go back to Utoro, you can find a restaurant where you can eat not only seafood but also Brown bear and sea lion, animals only found in Shiretoko. Brown bear's raw meat is rather simple.
After the first visit, you may want to go back to Shiretoko. Shiretoko is brown bear habitat, and bears are often spotted in the Shiretoko Five Lakes, and Rausudake also has spots where bears frequent. You should not forget that you are a visitor to their habitat, and please enjoy yourself while taking measures such as bringing a bear bell, being in a group, not throwing away food, and checking the latest bear updates.
Address: Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido