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知床五湖 Shiretoko Goko

  • World Heritages Nature / Scenic spots (Lake / Falls)
  • Around Shiretoko and Abashiri
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  • ClosedOpen Every Day

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Maps are rarely carried out with accessing from mainland China.

District
Around Shiretoko and Abashiri
Address
Shari-cho Shari-gun, Hokkaido, 099-4100, Japan
Category
  • World Heritages
  • Nature / Scenic spots (Lake / Falls)
Opening Hours
24hours
Closed
Open Every Day
Website
http://www.goko.go.jp/english/
Date of post:2015/07/07

Mysterious five lakes with reflection of mountains and wildlife

  • Nature Walks

The Shiretoko Goko (five) Lakes is included in the Shiretoko National Park which was designated as World Heritage Site in 2005. The features of Shiretoko depend on the Shiretoko Peninsula jutting into Sea of Okhotsk, it has been isolated due to high mountain range and deep primeval forest, and the forest and Sea of Okhotsk which bears Drift Ice containing huge amount of phytoplankton support a wide variety of wildlife both on the land and in the sea. The Shiretoko Goko Lakes is one of the most popular tourist site of Shiretoko attracting about 0.5 million visitors a year (2 million to total Shiretoko). Five beautiful lakes surrounded by virgin forest welcome you, and you may meet wildlife but please be careful that Shiretoko is home of Brown Bears!

There are two ways to enjoy Shiretoko Goko Lakes, one is Elevated wooden path on which all visitors can stroll safely anytime during the visitation season at no charge, another is Ground pathway which the visitation rules are required during certain period. The elevated wooden path connects from a parking lot to Lake 1st, the distance is 800m, visitors should return after the observatory of Lake 1st on the same way, the height of path is 2-5 m equipped with 7000V electric barriers along the sides so that bears cannot climb it.

The ground pathway consists of two routes, one is a small loop from Shiretoko Goko Lakes Field House (Entrance) to the end of the elevated wooden path (Lake 1st) via Lake 2nd at a distance of 1.6km, another is a big loop from Field House to Lake 5th, Lake 4th, Lake 3rd, Lake 2nd to the elevated wooden pathway at a distance of 3 km. The grand path requires some rules in which during Ecosystem aware season (Park Opening - May 9, and August 1 - October 20), the visitors can walk freely after attending a simple 10min lecture (fee charged, ¥250 (JPY) for Adults, ¥100 (JPY) for up to Elementary School students), during Bear aware season (May 10 - July31), the visitors should be led by licensed guide with knowledge of environment safe and experience in handling bears (fee charged, please refer to web site of guiding companies), and during open to all visitors season (October 21 - Park closing), the pathway will be closed for safety if a bear appears in the area.

I love Lake 1st and Lake 2nd, I think Lake 1st is the most beautiful lake when the tops of Shiretoko mountains covered with snow are reflected on the lake, and at Lake 2nd you can enjoy wider scene with reflecting mountains because it is the largest one among five. Other three lakes keep quiet and mysterious atmosphere due to less visitors.

Another recommendation is Shiretoko Nature Center and Furepe Waterfall, the center is at about 6 km west from Shiretoko Goko Lakes, which provides information and exhibitions about national park. Furepe Waterfall is at the cliff of the peninsula in 20 min walk from the Center, its feature is no river for Waterfall because it fed by grand water. The waterfall also can be seen by the sightseeing cruiser

I would like to emphasize very unique Ecosystem of Shiretoko which is different from any other National Park in Japan or even World, it is proud of three kings of each wildlife world you may meet, these are Brown Bear on the land, Steller’s Sea Eagle in the sky and Killer Whale in the sea!

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