Shiretoko Five Lakes and the Shiretoko Mountain Range-A Guide to the Best Sightseeing Spots in Shiretoko, a World Natural Heritage Site Where You Can Feel the Greatness of Nature

02/11/2020

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Shiretoko Goko , a world heritage site on the Shiretoko Peninsula , is a lake in Shari town, Hokkaido, and is a (hidden lake). It is one of the eight scenic spots in Shiretoko due to its marvelous landscape, and there are observation decks and lake promenades from Ichiko to Goko.

The main vegetation of Shiretoko Five Lakes is Scots pine and Abies sachalinensis.
The flowering season is from May to early September.

Introduction of Shiretoko Five Lakes

In order to be able to explore Shiretoko Goko, staff from the forestry department started setting up slick and wooden paths around 1980.
Until then, tourists and other tourists were not completely unknown.

When I visited for the first time in 20 years, the excellent Shiretoko Goko Park Service Center was established, and it seems that the maintenance has progressed considerably.

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The park is open from late April to late November, but is closed in winter due to snow.
This opening period is in accordance with the opening period of the Road Shiretoko Park Line, which is the access road to Shiretoko Goko Lake.




Walking route of Shiretoko Five Lakes

The ground promenade and walking routes of Shiretoko Goko are roughly divided into three courses.

The largest loop around the two lakes-five lakes and one lake is the “Large Loop" course, which is about 3 km and takes about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Next is a “small loop" course that goes around two lakes and one lake, about 1.6 km, and takes about 40 minutes.
And as a round-trip course to Lake I, where ordinary tourists stroll, there is a 1.6km round-trip “Elevated wooden path", which also takes 30 to 40 minutes.
The large loop and the small loop can enter the elevated path in the latter half and walk one way.
Opening hours are generally limited to 3000 people per day from 7:30 to 15:00.
Toddlers and elderly people are a little difficult because some roads are bad.
If it’s been raining for a while, rent a pair of boots.

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Both the large loop course and the small loop course are one-way, and it is forbidden to return to the road from which you came, except in an emergency.
Only those who have taken a 10-minute “lecture" before entering the course can take a walk on protecting plants and dealing with brown bears.
Lectures are 250 yen for adults and 100 yen for children (from 0 to elementary school age). You can make a reservation in advance, but there is a 20% discount on the day.
In order to avoid vegetation erosion due to congestion, up to 50 people enter every 10 minutes, so during crowded times such as during the season, you may have to wait about 10 to 20 minutes.
However, the handling of seasons and seasons when there are no plants is also different.

IMG_7262First of all, from around May to July 31 it is decided to take a guided tour because “brown bears" appear normally due to the great nature.
Participation fee is required for large loop from 4500 yen to 5250 yen, reservation required, small loop is 2500 yen for reservation on the day.
In the large loop, each tour departs at a minimum interval of 10 minutes, and since there is a maximum of 10 people per tour, it is unlikely that you will encounter other users, so you can take a quiet walk.
However, it will take three hours in a large loop because the guides are explained in various places.
Since the small loop is not very popular, it seems like a departure about 4 times a day, and it will be a 1 hour 30 minute course.
Guides also share information on the day over the air, and in the event of a dangerous encounter with brown bears, subsequent tours may be canceled.
It is frequently closed from spring to summer.

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In addition, from August to October 20 when brown bears are less likely to occur, a 10-minute “lecture" (learning) will be made.
Lectures from October 21 to the closing are free every 15 minutes.

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No food is allowed on the course.
Drinks can be brought in if they contain no sugar such as sugar, tea or water, but juices are prohibited.
In short, you can’t eat a lunch after a break in the middle of the course.
These are brown bear measures.
For this reason, service dogs as well as pets are prohibited.
Of course, no smoking.

Elevated wooden path

Shiretoko Goko has become a popular spot for group tour bus tourists.
However, for general visitors, such as group tours, it is common to use the “Elevated Road" that can go to one lake.

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You can stroll for free at any time.
The view is good because the wooden path is set up as an overpass with a height of about 3m.

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It is easy to walk without mud even on rainy days.
There is an electric fence (7000V) beside the wooden path that protects you from bears, so you can walk even if brown bears appear.
There are some slopes, but they are gentle and there are few stairs.
Therefore, it is possible to pass by a wheelchair.

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Wheelchairs are also available for free rental at Shiretoko Goko Field House.
Unlike large loop courses, you can enter from 7:30 in the morning until about 17:00, so you can see the Shiretoko Mountain Range dyed in the sunset .
The walk on the elevated path is a return course from the final observatory, so it looks like a round trip.

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From May to August, mosquitoes can be generated in large quantities, so it is best to have insect repellent.
Even if you see wild animals, never give food such as food.
Not only will they come to an end, but they may also become unhappy, as animals come closer to humans in search of food and are eventually killed.




Shiretoko Five Lakes Eco Tour in the Winter

In the mid-winter season, eco-tours are held twice a day for 3 hours on snow.
Advance reservations are required, and the entry fee starts at 6,500 yen.
In the Sea of ​​Okhotsk you will also see drifting ice.

Transportation to Shiretoko Five Lakes

The parking lot is charged (500 yen) and about 100 cars can be parked.
There are also regular buses.
In addition, during the busy season of Obon and consecutive holidays in September, the parking lot is full and traffic to the road is congested.

During this time , the Shiretoko shuttle bus runs to Kamuiwakkayu Falls.
The shuttle bus will travel in the opposite lane, so you can enter the traffic prior to traffic.
During busy times, stop at the Utoro Hot Springs bus terminal, buy a bus ticket and head for the shuttle bus.
At Rest House, soft cream using lingonberry is a specialty.

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However, this time, not only the autumn leaves but also the Shiretoko Mountain Range, which is lucky to see the sunset, was fascinated.
One day, I want to challenge all five lakes.
Map of Shiretoko Five Lakes