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Published on 04.28.2016
Shiretoko, which is located on the most eastern part of Hokkaido, was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. It is also the place where drift ice is found. The name “Shiretoko” derives from the Ainu word “sir etok” which means “the end of the Earth” or “the place where the Earth protrudes”.
The best season to visit Shiretoko would definitely be in winter where you can get to enjoy the cold weather, and also walk or swim through the drift ice. These ice usually drift across the Sea of Okhotsk from the north eastern Russia, and appears along the peninsular by late January. Besides the drift ice, there is also the Oronkoiwa, huge rock of 60m, which is near the Utoro port. For the walk on the drift ice, you will be dressed in wet suits, and then led out by the tour leaders to walk on ice. If there is not much solid ice, you may find yourself swimming in the ice rather than walking on the ice.
For those who are interested to see the sun setting over the sea of drift ice, you are recommended to go to the area around Horobetsu Bridge, and that place is a perfect spot to take photos.
Besides the walk, you could also take a cruise through the sea of drift ice, and of course take loads of photos of the seals and penguins on the drift ice, and also the birds flying through.
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
(January to April)
Cost: ￥4,000 (Course A), ￥8,000 (Course B)
Address: Hokkaido Menashi-gun Rausu Honmachi 27-1
What to eat in Rausu:
When it comes to talking about Hokkaido, the first thing that would come to youe mind would definitely be seafood! Not only that, there is also deer meat where it is usually used for burgers and also jerky. You can find all these along Rausu Town before heading over for your cruise trip.
Getting to Shiretoko Nature Cruise (Drift Ice)
By car: From Nemuro Nakashibetsu Airport, drive for 1 hour and 15 mins to Rausu town.
By bus: 1 hour and 30 mins drive