Shiretoko National Park / Uturo
Shiretoko is another of Hokkaido’s beautiful and ecologically important national parks, as reflected by its World Heritage status. Occupying the majority of the north-eastern peninsula of the island – the name ‘Shiretoko’ is derived from an Ainu word meaning ‘End of the Earth’ – much of the park is only accessible on-foot or by boat. A dramatic and precipitous coastal landscape, Shiretoko is home to a significant amount of wildlife including 36 land and 22 marine species of mammal making something of a must for nature and wildlife enthusiasts heading to Hokkaido.
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The best range of accommodation providing access to the park is located in and around Uturo. Located on the north-west coast of the peninsula, sightseeing boat tours operate from Uturo with notable hotels including Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel & Resort, Kiki Shiretoko Natural Resort and Hotel Kifu Club Shiretoko. Given the popularity of Shiretoko as a destination, prices for these and other hotels can be high and often book-out well in advance. From April to October, sightseeing boats operate tours from Utoro, allowing visitors to witness the rugged beauty of the coastline and wildlife. Tours range from 1.5 to 4 hours / JPY3300 to JPY8800.