Surrounded by the Sea of Okhotsk, most of the Shiretoko Peninsula has been preserved as a National Park since 1964 and was also designated as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.
Approximately 7,000 people live on the peninsula, but their homes are concentrated in two towns: Utoro on the western side, and Rausu on the eastern side. The rest of the peninsula remains untouched and is a habitat for wildlife, such as Brown Bears, Japanese Deer, Red Foxes and Eurasian Red Squirrels. Needless to say, the area’s marine and bird life is also rich in diversity.
This morning, we will explore Shiretoko on foot, walking amongst the Shiretoko Five Lakes. The area is home to a large population of brown bears. We will aim to complete the entire walkway and to visit all five of the lakes, unless the walkway is closed due to a bear sighting on the trail.
In the afternoon you are free to explore the town of Utoro, or relax in your hotel. We recommend stopping by the Shiretoko World Heritage Centre to learn more about what makes Shiretoko’s ecosystem unique, walking up to Miharashi bridge for ocean views, or both! We will regroup in the evening for dinner in town/at our hotel.