Along the west coast of Hokkaido, a unique geographical pawn shape strip stretches out into the peninsula, ‘the Notsuke Peninsula‘.
That day we visited this area (late September), the heavy clouds and the grey sky with occasional rain showers enhanced its desolate terrain, scarecrow-like forest formed from the strong gust of winds from the ocean. The intimidating scenery appears to be like all forms of life have been blown by the wind, nevertheless fascinating image.
Headed north to ‘Shiretoko Peninsula’, the very farthest north-east peninsula, most likely the most untouched and undiscovered area of Japan.
The Shiretoko Pass connects the west Shiretoko Peninsula (Utoro) and the east side (Rausu). A vista point is for tourists to see Mount Rausu, this area being one of the high altitudes areas, although the road closes from November to late April from heavy snow.
Upon arriving at a town called Utoro, Utoro is one of the only decent size towns with tourist accommodation and is the entry point to the Shiretoko National Park.
A tourist bus departing from the Shiretoko Natural Park Nature Center will take you to the Shiretoko Goko (Five) Lakes is a must-visit site. The park is unspoiled and an elevated boardwalk for tourists is built to preserve the unspoiled terrain and nature.
Few cruise companies operate ocean tours along the Shiretoko Peninsula but we took ‘the Aurora Cruise’ (Kamuiwakka Waterfall Route, a 90-minute cruise).