Picturesque lakes, waterfalls, rugged cliffs and onsen, Shiretoko West Coast (知床西海岸) is accessible by public transport from Shari throughout the year. Most attractions are family-friendly and gets crowded in the summer months.
Utoro Onsen (ウトロ温泉) is a small but lively port town about an hour by bus from Shari and an excellent base for exploring the peninsula for all travelers. In winter, you might be able to see ryuhyo (drift ice).


Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Center


4min walk from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

If you have a couple of hours to wait for a bus, Shiretoko Museum should be your first stop. There are exhibitions of local fauna and flora, artifacts and history of the railway. The annex hall features an interesting collection of the sister cities of Shari.



10min walk from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

Next door to the michi-no-eki in Utoro, this center has displays highlight the nature, flora and fauna of Shiretoko. Check out the latest trail conditions and brochures.



15min walk from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

In the corner of Shiretoko Yaei-jo campsite, Yuhidai is a popular place to watch the sunset over the Sea of Okhotsk. You might be able to see ryuhyo (drift ice) from here in winter.

Yuhidai-no-yu ♨︎


10min walk from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

Walk uphill from the police box near Utoro bus terminal, you will find Utoro’s only public onsen surrounded by trees. It is tiny but you can see the ocean from an open-air bath. There are also washing machines. Note: it is closed between November and May.



38min by bus from Shari bus terminal

About 7km before Utoro Onsen along Route 334, you will find Shiretoko’s largest waterfall (70m-high) flows out a cliff. All regular buses between Shari and Utoro Onsen stop here.

Shiretoko Nature Center


10min by bus from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

About 5km northeast of Utoro Onsen, this center has a temporary exhibition on wildlife photos, latest information on trails and bear activities. The DynaVision theater shows a 20-minute worth watching film. There is also a food court. You can borrow binoculars, boots and snowshoes. Two trails for old reclaimed lands start from here.



20min walk from Shiretoko Nature Center

Known as the Otome-no-namida (Maiden’s Tears) to locals, this 60m-high, neat waterfall flows out from the crack in a cliff to the Sea of Okhotsk. From the Shiretoko Nature Center, a 1km-long (40-minute return) trail leads to the viewpoint. Furepe-no-taki is accessible on foot during the winter, too.

Shiretoko Go-ko (Five Lakes)


25min by bus from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

Shiretoko’s most popular place, the Five Lakes offer two types of trails from the bus stop: an 800m-long elevated wooden path to the lakeside observatory of Ichi-ko, and a 3km-long ground pathway runs around the Five Lakes. During the high-season, the ground pathway can be only accessed by authorized tours (10 May-31 July) or after attending a short lecture (1 Aug-20 Oct).

Kamuiwakka Yu-no-taki ♨︎


40min by bus from Shiretoko Nature Center

Kamuiwakka is a hot springs fall (yu-no-taki) flows into the deep valley. You can explore the fall Kamuiwakka bridge to the yon-no-taki (4th fall) by Kamuy Wakka Hot Falls Climbing Tour. Bring your own sandals and globes. Otherwise, you can see the 1st fall from the bridge. The bridge is a 10-minute walk from the bus stop. Yu-no-taki is accessible from early July to early October.



Utoro Onsen has plenty of sleeping options around the fishing port, as well as on the hill. Major hotels offer a free shuttle services from Utoro Onsen bus terminal.

Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel & Resort ♨︎

北こぶし知床 ホテル&リゾート

4min walk from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

This port-side contemporary resort hotel has upmarket Japanese- and Western-style rooms, as well as modern lounges. Nonguests can use the sea-view onsen. An attractive dinner buffet and a grilled restaurant serves a taste of Shiretoko.

Shiretoko Daiichi Hotel ♨︎


15min walk from Utoro-onsen bus terminal

On the hilltop of Utoro Onsen, Shiretoko’s largest hotel features superior Japanese- and Western-style rooms with an ocean view. The panoramic and grand-scale onsen is open to nonguests. There is a family-friendly buffet that offers local seafood and sushi. The staff will pick you up from Utoro Onsen Terminal, if you call ahead.

Hotel Chinohate ♨︎


12km northeast of Utoro-onsen bus terminal

As its name suggests, Chinohate (meaning the end of the earth) is tucked away in Iwaobetsu Onsen. Rooms are tatami-mat with beds and forest views. There are indoor baths and a mixed open-air bath (modesty towels are available for rent). Guests can use a free shuttle from Utoro Onsen, if you call ahead. It is closed in winter. No wi-fi.


Getting There


Shiretoko-Shari Station is a gateway for Utoro Onsen. JR Senmo Line runs west to Abashiri (50min) and south to Kushiro (2hr 20min).


Utoro-onsen bus terminal (simply called Utoro terminal) is the main point of entry for tourists coming by bus.

From Sapporo: The overnight bus Eagle Liner (operated by Chuo Bus and Shari Bus) departs from Chuo Bus Sapporo Terminal to Utoro Onsen and stopping at the major hotels (7hr 15min).

From Shiretoko-Shari: Shari Bus operates regular buses from Shari bus terminal to Utoro Onsen (50min), stopping at Oshin-koshin-no-taki (38min) and the Utoro Michi-no-eki (47min). Some buses continue Shiretoko Goko (late Apr-late Oct) or the Shiretoko Nature Center (Nov-late Apr).

From Abashiri: During the high-seasons (mid Jun-early Oct & late Jan-mid Mar), Shari Bus operates Shiretoko Airport Liner between Utoro Onsen and Memanbetsu Airport (2hr) via JR Abashiri Station (1hr 40min) and Shari bus terminal (50min).

Getting Around


From mid June to early October, both Akan and Shari buses run between Utoro Onsen and Rausu (50min), stopping at the Shiretoko Nature Center, Shiretoko-toge, Rausu-ko-iriguchi and Rausu Onsen.


You can hire bicycles at Shiretoko Cycling Support in Utoro Onsen.


Shiretoko Tourist Information Center
Inside the Michi-no-eki Utoro Shirietoku (道の駅ウトロ・シリエトク) on Route 334 near the bus terminal, this small desk has some information and brochures. Staff can help with accommodation bookings.

Utoro-onsen bus terminal

ウトロ温泉 (斜里バス ウトロターミナル) | 우토로

Address:170 Utoro-nishi, Shari-cho, Hokkaido

Distance:37km from Shiretoko-Shari