The Shiretoko Peninsula in eastern Hokkaido juts out into the Sea of Okhotsk. It is said to be the last unexplored region of Japan, and consists of steep mountain peaks covered with virgin forests.
Cormorants and white-tailed sea eagles live there, and the whole area has been designated as a national park. The towns of Utoro and Rausu on the eastern side of the peninsula are the starting points for tourists. Visitors can see the whole of the peninsula and its cliffs by boarding a sightseeing boat that departs from Utoro Port.
Shiretoko is known as a “waterfall kingdom,” and many waterfalls can be seen from the sightseeing boat: the Kamuiwakkayu hot Falls, which gives off steam; Furepe waterfall, which is so beautiful it is called “maiden’s tears;” and Oshinkoshin waterfall, which flows alongside a road and drops magnificently towards the sea. There are also the Shiretoko-Goko lakes (five lakes), which are small, quiet lakes surrounded by a virgin forest, and known as “the five jewels.” You can walk round these five lakes in about an hour. In winter, the coasts of Shiretoko are sometimes surrounded by ice floes.
In Rausu, Rausu konbu, a kind of seaweed, and Seseki hot spring that bubble up into the sea are well-known.