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Journey to Hokkaido’s far north for camping, trekking, and more


Shiretoko Peninsula is one of Japan’s last untouched regions, with glittering alpine lakes, snow-capped mountains, and beautiful ocean views. Located on the northeast edge of Hokkaido, Shiretoko is ripe for outdoor activities like camping and even walking on drift ice floating down from Russia.

A family of deer in Shiretoko National Park

The name Shiretoko is derived from the indigenous Japanese Ainu term sir etok, which means “end of the world.” The region is still home to one of the largest Ainu populations who are considered Japan’s original people. Many sites on the peninsula are spiritually significant to them.

In 2005, UNESCO named Shiretoko Peninsula a World Heritage Site due to its abundance of wildlife and marine ecosystems. Although UNESCO sites often bring hordes of tourists, the peninsula is isolated enough that it remains relatively untarnished.

Outdoor activities in Shiretoko

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© GaijinPot Travel

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a short ferry trip to the 2 small islands of rebun and rishiri not far from cape soya is highly recommended, especially during summer when all the flowers and vegetations are in their full glory.

rishiri island has the local mount fuji, and the view of the mountain from rebun island is awesome.

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I visited there for a few days in the summer a few years ago. It reminds me of Yellowstone Park in some ways but having the ocean nearby is very beautiful. Be careful because you are very likely to run into bears.

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Cape Soya being only at 45 degrees north does not have the worlds most northerly bus stop.

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Cape Soya. Great place for a New Years Party at the worlds most Northern Bus Stop. Been there, done that.

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