Notsuke Hanto is a 28km-long, shrimp-shaped sandbank arcing out into the Nemuro Strait. Reaching just a few meters above sea level, much of the landscape is covered with decayed Japanese oaks and Sakhalin firs by the erosion of sea water. There is also a number of typical coastal plant varieties including beach rose and wild indigo. On a clear day, the island of Kunashiri-to (16km east of the peninsula) is visible over the strait.
Location (Nature Center) 18km southeast of Shibetsu
Highlights Todowara, Betsukai Sightseeing Cruise
Tourist Information Odaito Tourist Information Center (尾岱沼観光案内所): Tel 0153-86-2533 / 232-5 Odaito Minato-cho, Betsukai-cho / 7.30am-5pm Apr-Oct, 9am-4pm Nov-Mar / betsukai-kanko.jp
01 NATURE CENTER
Notsuke Peninsula Nature Center
野付半島ネイチャーセンター / 63 Notsuke, Betsukai-cho / 9am-5pm, to 4pm Nov-Mar / Closed30 Dec-5 Jan / FREE / notsuke.jp
Located at the gateway of Todowara on the peninsula, this nature center has displays on flora and fauna, photos and information. It has a restaurant (10am-4.30pm) and a souvenir shop. The Nature Center offers walking tours on the wetlands (Mat-Oct) or the frozen bay (Jan-Mar) for groups of two or more people (from ¥3000 per person).
From the Nature Center, a 1.6km walkway extends to the sunning coast of Todowara (トドワラ: meaning decayed Sakhalin fir). From where, a 600m walkable spit leads to the pier of a ship for Odaito.
02 NATURE CRUISE
Betsukai Sightseeing Cruise
別海町観光船 / Tel 0153-86-2533 / 232 Odaito Minato-cho, Betsukai-cho / May-Oct / One-way ¥1990, return ¥2480 / www.aurens.or.jp/~kankousen
Offers approximately two-hour bay cruises from Odaito (尾岱沼) which include a 50-minute stop at Todowara on the peninsula. You will spotted relaxed seals on the tideland.
The cruises leave at around 8.30am, 11am and 1.30pm from mid May to late October. You can buy a ticket at Odaito tourist information center (there is no ticket office at Todowara pier).
In summer, the best way to take a cruise is buying the Todowara-go (トドワラ号) combined ticket that sells at Odaito, Shibetsu and Kushiro bus terminals. Todowara pier is a 50-minute on foot from the Nature Center.
03 FISHING VILLAGE
尾岱沼 / Odaito Minato-cho, Betsukai-cho
Odaito is a small but lively fishing village on the western shores of the pleasant Notsuke Bay and serves as the cruise access point to the Notsuke Peninsula. If you are super lucky, you may see the square-shaped sun on a winter morning from the shores.
浜の湯 / 235-5 Odaito Minato-cho, Betsukai-cho / 2-10pm / Closed Tue / ¥440
This modest public bathhouse is filled with 100% onsen. There is a large sign behind the building facing Route 244. Entrance is about 300m south of Odaito fishing port.
NOTSUKE PENINSULA & ODAITO MAP
Odaito bus stop is near the main intersection of the town on Route 244. Akan Bus operates a daily bus from Shibetsu to Odaito (尾岱沼: departing at 4.40pm weekday / 20min) continue to Hakuchodai (白鳥台: 25min) at the michi-no-eki (roadside station).
In summer (mid July to mid August), Todowara-go (トドワラ号) bus run from Shibetsu to Notsuke Peninsula Nature Center continue to Hakuchodai via Odaito.
Betsukai Municipal Bus Odaito Line (別海町地域生活バス尾岱沼線) operates buses from Betsukai Purato to Odaito’s Higashi Kominkan (東公民館) public hall (2-3 daily except Sun / 1hr), about 450m northwest of the fishing port (look for the sign). The morning bus from Betsukai is timed to meet the night bus from Sapporo.