The way to Rausu (羅臼) on Shiretoko East Coast takes a long time, about 3.5 hours from Kushiro by Eastern Hokkaido’s longest local bus journey. But this busy fishing town is well-worth visiting for marine life, onsen and seafood lovers.
We recommend you to spend two days in the town and enjoy cruising, bathing or trekking. Note that the scenic Shiretoko Crossing Road is closed in winter.
Rausu has become Hokkaido’s premier whale-watching destination, with various sea birds and eagles coming here. The town’s seven companies operate cruises from the fishing port into the Nemuro Strait throughout the year. You can book a cruise on the website or the ticket booths adjoining the Michi-no-eki Shiretoko Rausu. Most cruises depart in the early morning and afternoon.
Michi-no-eki Shiretoko Rausu
1min walk from Rausu-Honcho bus stop
Located in the town center, this coastal michi-no-eki (roadside station) is a perfect base for explore Rausu. The local fishery cooperative operates the direct sales store Kaisen Kobo (海鮮工房). On the 2nd floor, Shiretoko Shokudo (知床食堂) serves up a wide variety of affordable seafood plates and bowls.
Shiretoko Rausu Visitor Center
10min walk from Rausu-onsen bus stop
Located near the trailhead of Rausu-dake, this center provides the trail conditions, panels and a video on the Rausu-side of Shiretoko. The visitor center is a 10-minute walk west of Rausu-onsen bus stop.
18min walk from Rausu-onsen bus stop
Translating to Bear’s Hot Springs, this leafy onsen along the river has gender-segregated open-air pools with changing rooms. It is maintained by local volunteers every morning (from 5am to 7am). The entrance bridge on Route 334 is just a short walk from Rausu Yaei-jo campsite.
There are loads of welcoming accommodation in the town center, surrounding coastline and Rausu Onsen (羅臼温泉). Ask at the tourist information office if you don’t have a booking.
Rausu Daiichi Hotel ♨︎
1min walk from Rausu-onsen bus stop / 25min walk from Rausu-eigyosho bus station
This friendly and good-value hotel features comfortable Japanese- and Western-style rooms, all with private facilities. There are communal onsen baths has amazingly nicest open-air baths. The hotel is opposite Rausu Onsen bus stop on the seasonal bus route to Utoro Onsen. Otherwise, it is a 2km walk from Rausu bus station on Route 334.
Rausu-no-yado Marumi ♨︎
1min walk from Yagihama (八木浜) bus stop
This seaside hotel, about 6.5km south of the town center, is a destination for foodie travel. Hearty meals are serving local seafood, such as crabs, sashimi, ikura (salmon loe), smoked salmon and grilled hokke (atka mackerel). Most rooms are standard Japanese-style and there is a communal onsen overlooking the ocean. Marumi runs whale-watching tours by boat (Aruran III).
1min walk from Fujimi-cho (富士見町) bus stop
In the center of Rausu opposite the convenience store Seicomart, this hotel has Western- and Japanese-style rooms, with local seafood meals. It is the closest position to the whale-watching boat (1min walk) pier and the Michi-no-eki Shiretoko Rausu (5min walk).
All buses originate at Rausu-eigyosho (羅臼営業所) bus station in the west side of town center on Route 334. There is a ticket office.
Akan Bus operates regular buses to Kushiro (3.5hrs) pass through Shibetsu (1hr) and Nakashibetsu (1.5hr).
From mid June to early October, buses run between Rausu and Utoro (50min), stopping at Rausu Onsen, Shiretoko-toge and the Shiretoko Nature Center.
From Rausu-eigyosho bus station, the ¥100 buses (operated by Akan Bus) run south to Uebetsu-bashi (植別橋: 30min) via Yagihama and north to Iwami-Hashizume (岩見橋詰: 25min). From 16 July to 31 August, there are two buses between Rausu and Aidomari (相泊: 40min), the end of the coastal road.
Shiretoko Rausu Tourist Information Center
Inside the Michi-no-eki Shiretoko Rausu on Route 335, this roadside station is the best spot for travel information, accommodation and cruise bookings. It is behind Rausu Hon-cho stop on the bus route from Kushiro.
Rausu-eigyosho bus station
羅臼営業所 | 라우스
Address：100-78 Sakae-cho, Rausu-cho, Hokkaido
Distance：157km from Kushiro