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Hokkaido - Shiretoko National Park attractions open in Oct?

Singapore
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Hokkaido - Shiretoko National Park attractions open in Oct?

Hi,

We're planning to return to East Hokkaido to cover the areas we didn't manage to do so in February, and catch a little of the fall colours. We were hoping this was a good time to explore Shiretoko, the UNESCO site, but it seems the places of interest there - the boardwalk at Shiretoko Five Lakes, and driving through Shiretoko Pass, may be closed - does anyone know where I could check these, or if they are open in late Oct?

Are there also other moderate hiking trails around Shiretoko National Park that are worthwhile? I've read that climbing up Mt Rausu and Mt Shiretoko are strenuous, 10-hour hikes which may be too much for us, are there moderate 3-6 hour hikes people have enjoyed?

We were planning to stay 1-2 nights in Utoro for Shiretoko, and then 2-3 nights at Lake Kussharo for Lake Mashu and Akan as well, before heading down to Kushiro for a night and flying off. Would there be other spots in East Hokkaido that we should include?

Many thanks!

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for Sapporo, Hokkaido
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1. Re: Hokkaido - Shiretoko National Park attractions open in Oct?

Hi!

Glad to hear you are coming back for more :-))

Shiretoko in October should be fine - after October 20 some areas are closed - due to increased bear acitivity - but you can still get up to the 5 Lakes into November, after THAT the road is closed (Nov 15th most years?) due to worsening weather conditions.

Access is getting more controlled into Shiretoko now, you have to go some places with a guide and there are some charges - but go and stay in Utoro and find out more.

Walks: behind the Nature Center there is a gentle, 20-30 minute walk to the top of Furupe Falls (take bear bells, bear activity even in summer here).

We also did a hike up behind the Chinohate Hotel deep in the forest (this is go to the youth hostel and turn right and follow that road about 4 km to the amazing hot springs)....if you go on up this trail you end up in the mountains and its a tough climb for 10 hours etc (and not good in October), but we did an hour up and down and got good views.

The bear activity in Shiretoko is very real so make sure you walk noisily and check with the Nature Center about recent sitings.

Elsewhere - the lakes Mashu and Akan and Kusharo, Kawayo Onsen has a small museum about a sumo wrestler who came from here...Kushiro fish markets have GREAT eating....by October some of the red crested cranes can be seen on the Kushiro marshes.

Abashiri is worth a stop off - the old prison....

happy planning!

amanda

Mentioned in this post
Kushiro
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2. Re: Hokkaido - Shiretoko National Park attractions open in Oct?

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