Travel

Shiretoko Five Lakes

Image by major ursa

Five lakes in gorgeous environments
The Shiretoko Five Lakes or Shiretoko Goko are a group of 5 ponds formed long time ago by the eruption of nearby Mount Io and also fed by below-ground springs. Appearing like the result of a god’s five fingerprints, the five lakes offer beautiful views of the bordering mountains and too wild and also provide visitors a simple way to experience Shiretoko’s pristine nature.
An 800 meter long, elevated wooden boardwalk was recently built from the parking lot to the first Lake, which enables site visitors to take pleasure in sights of the Lake, the Sea of Okhotsk, and also the surrounding hills without harming the breakable community. The boardwalk is complimentary to make use of, wheelchair available and open for the entire season from late April to late November.
In addition to the elevated boardwalk, there are 3 kilometers of routine nature trails that lead around the attractive five lakes as well as take around 90 minutes to stroll on your own. Nonetheless, as a result of the multitudes of visitors, accessibility to the nature routes is being controlled as adheres to:

Might 10 to July 31:
Throughout the optimal of bear activity from Might to July, accessibility to the nature tracks is just feasible by signing up with an excursion team led by a qualified, Japanese speaking nature guide. Tours take about 3 hours as well as leave every ten mins. They set you back around 5000 yen per person, and an optimum of ten individuals per excursion is enabled. The book process can be made on the day if the area allows. Nonetheless, it is recommended to get in advance via the park’s English internet site.

From the park opening to May 9 and from August 1 to park closure:
The nature routes can be walked on a specific basis without overviews; however, there is a brief lecture, an admission fee of 250 yen per person, and a limit on the number of walkers can enter. There are two, one-way trekking training courses: a three-kilometer (90 minutes) program to all five lakes and also a 1.6 kilometer (40 minutes) course to merely the very first as well as second lakes. Remember that some or all of the trails might get the enclosed situation of bear sightings.

Access:
The road access to the Shiretoko Five Lakes is closed in winter months from late November to late April.

By cars and truck
From Utoro, take the highway right into the national forest for 5 kilometers till you reach the Shiretoko Nature Facility. Transform left as well as drive for concerning 10 kilometers till you get to the car park (500 yen vehicle parking fee) of the Shiretoko Five Lakes site visitor center at the end of the led road.

By bus
Shari Bus operates occasional buses between JR Shiretoko Shari Station and the five lakes (85 minutes, 2000 yen one method) from late April to October. Additional buses operate between Utoro as well as the five lakes (25 mins, 700 yen).

Just how to get to and around Shiretoko National Forest:

Image by Leo Cheung

Fuji 5 Lakes
The Fuji Five Lake (Fujigoko) region exists at the northern base of Mount Fuji about 1000 meters over water level around the lakes Kawaguchiko, Saiko, Yamanakako, Shojiko, and also Motosuko. It is among the most effective locations to view Mount Fuji from a close range and a good base for climbing up the hill.

Fujigoko is known as a lake playground, where walking, camping, fishing, and snow sporting activities are amongst the preferred exterior actions that can be taken pleasure in. There are likewise a lot of warm springs and also museums discovered in the location, together with Fuji Q Highland, one of Japan’s most popular amusement parks with record-breaking roller rollercoasters.

Among the lakes, Lake Kawaguchiko is the easiest to access and also offers one of the most things to see as well as do for the average foreign tourist. The four various other lakes are less developed than Lake Kawaguchiko and also are not as simple to accessibility by mass transit.

Top destinations in Fuji Five Lakes:
– Kubota Museum
Superb gallery about the bathrobe artist.
– Fuji Q Highland
Theme park with exceptional roller rollercoasters.
– Shibazakura Festival
Yearly celebration with vast fields of pink moss.
– Lake Kawaguchiko
Most quickly available and also impressive Lake.
– Hot Noodles
One of the most famous regional noodle recipe.
– Sengen Temple
Important shrine at the foot of Mount Fuji.
– Chureito Pagoda
Pagoda with Mount Fuji in the background.
– Hot Springs
Some onsen baths have sights of Mount Fuji.
– Iyashi no Sato
A little outdoors museum and craft town.
– Oshino Hakkai
The touristy area with eight ponds fed by snowmelt.
– Breathtaking Ropeway
Brief ropeway to deck with sights of Mount Fuji.
– Music Forest
Tiny amusement park concerning mechanical music boxes.
– Lake Yamanakako
The largest as well as reasonably created Lake.
– Lake Saiko
Less developed lake west of Kawaguchiko.
– Lake Motosuko
Remote Lake featured on the 1000 yen expense.
– Lake Shojiko
The smallest and only hardly created Lake.
– Caves
Caves produced by past eruptions of Mount Fuji
– World Heritage Cente
Information center with gallery regarding Fujisan
– Maglev Exhibit Center
An event concerning the future magnetic train
– Togawa Residence
Former explorer inn for climbers of Mount Fuji
– Fujisan Museum
Regarding the praise and climbing of Mount Fuji

Image by Ryo

Shiretoko Goko, The Wild East.
Five sensational lakes are birth area:

Shiretoko Goko is five lakes concealed in the native woodland of the Shiretoko Peninsula in the northeastern corner of Hokkaido. The area is renowned for its untouched and wild nature and also the high number of brownish bears living there. Bear tracks were present during our walk around the lakes. However, we did not come across any, thankfully, I have to state.

From May to July, the bears are most active, and also, for security reasons, you need to sign up with a guided trip to check out all five lakes (about 2-3 hrs, easy walking). With 5,000 yen each, the scenic tour is not truly low-cost; nevertheless, our team was small (just 4 of us) as well as the guide appeared professional. Before the stroll, we enjoyed a brief video clip, which needs to prepare us for a possible encounter with a bear. However, it’s not an excursion to make you encounter one. It’s the contrary; the guide tries to ensure that you don’t guarantee that you can take pleasure in an intriguing yet risk-free day out there.

To allow the bears to know that we were walking in their region as well as to provide a possibility to move far from us, the overview continued making some sound, like clapping his hands or proclaiming noisally. First, I thought, ‘Come on, this is well exaggerated’– but just up until we discovered some fresh tracks in the mud, claw marks on trees and bear feces in the middle of the walking route. Yes, that was bear territory genuine.

The lakes are of different sizes and also depending upon the light and even weather they offer beautiful reflections of the hills and the trees. The overview provided us lots of information concerning the flora and animals, the bears and also other pets living below, where they rest, what they eat, exactly how they endure the various periods. It was definitely worth the money.

If you can, attempt to reserve the directed trip ahead of time, especially if you require an English guide. The Shiretoko Vacationer Information Center in Utoro has English speaking staff to help. That’s how we did it, just someday in advance. There’s also the opportunity to do this via the leading Shiretoko Goko internet site; however, it only offers you accessibility to a listing of guides (in Japanese), and you can then call them through email.

Here are a couple of things you require to bear in mind: You’re not permitted to take any kind of food or beverages with you, except water, as it would draw in the bears, so see to it you have eaten before you start the walk. In case you come across a bear during the tour, the overview will decide if it’s secure to proceed or whether the group needs to go back. Relying on just how far you got, i.e., the number of lakes you handled to see, you will undoubtedly get a reimbursement.

Even if you don’t want to sign up with the tour, it’s still worth going to the lakes. Wide elevated as well as guaranteed boardwalks (for free) bring about a couple of observation systems as much as the very first Lake, where the sights are amazing: the Lake and the hills on one side, the sea on another, in between there are yard and timberland, lots of deer and birds– and bears if you’re fortunate. Do not forget your binoculars. We did not see any type of bears, yet I somehow really felt that they saw us.

To appreciate the views of these lakes, we can make use of a beautiful roadway and a pleasure boat.

The picturesque road is Mikata-goko Rainbow Line, as well as works on the ridge of the hills on the north side of the Mikata-goko location.
The complete length is about 11.2 kilometers.

There is Mount Baijôdake (400 m) to the north of Lake Suigetsu.

On top of the mountain, you will see the park of the observatory.
We can see the lakes of Mikata-goko and also Wakasa Bay.

The pleasure boat “Lake Cruise” begins with the western shore of Lake Suigetsu every 1.5 hours.
The boarding factor is near the western exit of the Mikata-goko Rainbow Line.

The watercraft cruise ships Lake Suigetsu as well as Lake Suga
It takes around 40 minutes.

Around Mikata-goko, ume (Japanese apricot) are grown.
There are about 70,000 ume trees around Mikata-goko.

Beautiful ume blossoms are complete from late February to very early March, and the fruits of ume are harvested in June.
As well as umeboshi (pickled ume fruits) and also the other ume products are marketed around this area.
Funagoya is a little raised-floor hut with thatched roofing on the lakeside.
Traditionally, the ume farmers carried collected ume fruits by boat, and also Funagoya was the boathouse.

There are staying Funagoya on the western side of Lake Mikata.
You can see the old facilities.
Exactly how to obtain right here:
– By JR Obama Line, leave at Mihama terminal. Concerning 22 minutes from Tsuruga.
– However, no route bus is operated for visitors around.
So you need to use a taxi or a rental vehicle from Mihama station.