Shiretoko Goko Lakes are situated in Shiretoko Peninsula, which is located in the eastern part of Hokkaido, and they consist of five lakes surrounded by old growth forest. You can see a wide variety of plants and animals there, and you can also enjoy a vast panoramic view of the Shiretoko Mountain range. It is also a great habitat for the brown bears, and if they are sighted they sometimes close off the area for the entire day.
Before you step your foot into Shiretoko Goko Lakes area, you will need to be video lectured on “What to do if you encounter bears” and “Environmental conservation” (session lasts for approximately 15 minutes.) * Note: You need to be escorted by the guide during active season of bears which is between May and July. After carefully brushing the sole of your shoes, you are ready to go start your walkabout.
The walking trails are walkable although some parts are well maintained, and others aren’t.
After about a 12-minute walk from the entrance, you will arrive at the Lake Goko.
This is a great viewing spot for Mt. Rausudake extending toward Mt. Iwodake.
You can see a wide variety of insects including dragon flies, wild birds, and plants in the old growth forest.
After walking about 4 minutes from the Lake Goko, you will arrive at the Lake Shiko, where you can enjoy the view of the Shiretoko Mountain Range, as well as the facade view of Mt. Iwozan.
After some 8-minute walk from the Lake Shiko, there you are at the Lake Sanko. You can enjoy viewing the surface of the lake for a long time as you can walk on the nature trail set along the lake.
After a 10-minute walk from the Lake Sanko, you are now at the Lake Niko. This is the biggest among Shiretoko Goko Lakes, and you can also enjoy the splendid view of the Shiretoko Mountain Range from here.
The Lake Ikko is about a six-minute walk away from the Lake Niko. The last lake among these five lakes in the Shiretoko Goko Lakes. You can view a magnificent view from the observation deck located at the starting point of the elevated wooden paths.
When you walk on the elevated wooden path which is equipped with electric fences to deter brown bears, the scenery gradually opens up and there awaits you a panoramic view of the Shiretoko Mountain range, and the observation deck in the mid-way is a popular photo shooting spot.
After some 20-minute stroll on the elevated wooden path, it will take you back to the parking lot where the path has started. Although it only takes about an hour and half to two hours for the walkabout of Shiretoko Goko Lakes, it’s nice to go on a guided tour if you have time.