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Photo By: PIXTA/denkei
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Shiretoko Five Lakes

A journey into the heart of Hokkaido's pristine wilderness

By Abhijit Sen

Shiretoko Five Lakes (Shiretoko Goko) is a set of five stunning lakes in the heart of Shiretoko National Park, a designated World Heritage Site of Hokkaido. During summer, the area offers visitors a serene escape into unspoiled nature, with picturesque views of the surrounding mountains and an opportunity to witness the region’s unique wildlife. The eruption of a volcanic mountain created five small lakes, which are sustained by underground springs. The resulting landscape is a stunning masterpiece of nature.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Shiretoko Five Lakes

Photo by: PIXTA/ denkei Enjoy a beautiful day in nature.

To ensure the preservation of the delicate ecosystem, an 800-meter-long elevated wooden boardwalk provides a safe and environmentally friendly pathway for visitors. Here, visitors can take in the scenery, including the Sea of Okhotsk. The wooden path is wheelchair accessible and open from late April to late November. For those looking to delve deeper into the splendor of the five lakes, three kilometers of well-maintained nature trails wind through the ancient forests and offer a closer look at each lake. Access to nature trails is regulated from May to July due to bear activity.

Guided Tours and Visitor Information

Shiretoko Five Lakes

Photo by: PIXTA/よっちゃん必撮仕事人 Join a guided tour to get a better understand of the area.

Visitors can join guided tours led by licensed nature guides that can last around three hours. These tours provide a deeper understanding of the area’s natural wonders while ensuring safety during potential bear encounters. The park restricts the number of visitors on the trails to minimize disturbances to the surrounding wildlife. Additionally, the Shiretoko Goko Lakes Field House and Park Service Center serve as informative bases for visitors. The Park Service Center has a rest area where visitors can try the popular lingonberry ice cream. This natural gem promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Hokkaido’s pristine wilderness.

Things To Know

Season and Walking Guides

Elevated Wooden Path

  • Round trip: 1.6km
  • No charge
  • Opening Period: Mid-April to early November

Ground Pathways

  • Reservations required during bear aware season (May 10 – July 31)
  • Long loop: 3km
  • Tour Fee: ¥4,500 – ¥5,250
  • Short loop: 1.6km
  • Tour Fee: ¥3,500

How To Get There


By bus

From Shari town to Utoro: Approximately 90 km from Memanbetsu Airport (2 hours). Buses are available during the season (Shari Bus). Also, it’s approximately 40 km from Shiretoko Shari station on the JR Senno Line and buses are available (Shari Bus). You can also take the Highway Bus from Sapporo Chuo Bus Terminal (Hokkaido Chuo Bus, reservation required).

By car

From Utoro to the Shiretoko Goko Lakes: It’s about 14 km from Utoro, Shari town (about 20 minutes by car).

Where To Stay

Yuhi no Ataruie Onsen Hostel
  • 189 Utorokagawa, Shari-gun Shari-cho, Hokkaido, 099-4351 Japan
  • ¥16,400 - ¥51,000
  • 3.5/5 (163 reviews)
  • 8.4 km
Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel
  • 306 Utorokagawa, Shari-gun Shari-cho, Hokkaido, 099-4351 Japan
  • ¥27,060 - ¥36,960
  • 4.31/5 (1,175 reviews)
  • 8.5 km
Kiki Shiretoko Natural Resort
  • 192 Utorokagawa, Shari-gun Shari-cho, Hokkaido, 099-4351 Japan
  • ¥28,400 - ¥84,000
  • 4.61/5 (1,273 reviews)
  • 8.5 km
Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel & Resort
  • 172 Utorohigashi, Shari-gun Shari-cho, Hokkaido, 099-4355 Japan
  • ¥23,900 - ¥148,600
  • 4.45/5 (1,370 reviews)
  • 8.8 km
Utoro Onsen Hotel Shiretoko
  • 37 Utorokagawa, Shari-gun Shari-cho, Hokkaido, 099-4351 Japan
  • ¥13,167 - ¥40,756
  • 4.33/5 (843 reviews)
  • 8.9 km

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