Day 6 of our 12-day summer holiday in Hokkaido: We drove from Abashiri to Oshinkoshin Falls / Oshinkoshin-no-taki /オシンコシンの滝 which was about 75km away, 2 hours by car. From there we went on to Rausu Info Centre / Rausu Michi no Eki / 羅臼ビジターセンター (30km, 50mins). Finally we arrived in Shiretoko National Park / Shiretoko-kokuritsukōen / 知床国立公園!
Shiretoko was one of the main highlights of this trip for me and I specially planned a two-day journey to the peninsula. The UNESCO World Heritage Site covers the entire Shiretoko Peninsula / Shiretoko-hantō / 知床半島, which forms the remote northeastern corner of Hokkaido and is home to many flora and fauna (bear alert!) The name is derived from the islanders’ native Ainu language – the word “sir etok”, which means “the end of Mother Earth”.Shiretoko Pass / Shiretoko-tōge / 知床峠 (Map code 757 493 182) is the highest point of the road that connects the western and eastern coasts on the peninsula. Not only do you get to enjoy views of Mt. Rausu, you could also spot the disputed Japanese/Russian island, Kunashir island.
Tip: If you plan to drive through Shiretoko Pass, be sure to monitor the road conditions, even during summer, as the road can be closed by mid-day (e.g. around 15h00) due to bad weather conditions. And this is the only road on which you can drive directly across the peninsula.It’s been a long day at work and I have to wake in six hours to take the Eurostar, so here are just a few photos that I took with my Fuji x100 and Blackberry when we stopped at Shiretoko Pass / Shiretoko-tōge / 知床峠. Shortly after these were taken, I decided that I was indeed car sick (even though I was the driver!) and relegated myself to the backseat while my dad took over the wheel and drove us to Rausu / Rausu-chō / 羅臼町. More on Shiretoko on another time!