Experience Japan’s wild side in the remote region of Shiretoko, on the island of Hokkaidō. This is where you’ll find the unspoilt Shiretoko National Park, home of the largest brown bear population in the country.
One of the main attractions of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is its isolation, and ruggedly beautiful, undeveloped landscape. You won’t find any manicured gardens or busy tourist attractions here, only the glory of nature uninterrupted. It’s a blissful change of pace from the bustle and chaos of Japan’s modern cities.
Shiretoko is a popular spot for eco tourists, looking to see native Japanese wildlife outside the confines of a zoo. The park carefully limits access to the public to protect its inhabitants, but you’ll still see foxes, deer, eagles and of course, those majestic brown bears if you’re lucky. Take a nature cruise to spot bears on the beaches, or a whale watching tour – there are believed to be around 14 different species of whale visiting the Shiretoko peninsula.
Of course, another reason to spend a good few days in Shiretoko National Park is its stunning natural scenery. There are hot springs, waterfalls, mountains and coastline, all ready to be explored though adventurous hiking trails. If you’d like to take it a little easier though, head to the picturesque Shiretoko Five Lakes for a gentler hiking route.
Before you leave this outrageously beautiful part of Japan, swing by the Rausu Visitor Centre. Here, you’ll learn all about the unique wildlife, geography and history of the park – a fascinating way to spend an afternoon.
Plan your trip to Shiretoko National Park today.