Notsuke Hanto (野付半島) 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.

Prefecture Road 950 runs on the peninsula from Eastern Shibetsu to the Notsuke-zaki Lighthouse past the forest of Narawara (ナラワラ: meaning decayed Japanese oak).

In early summer and autumn, utase-bune (打瀬舟: traditional sailing shrimp boats) linger in the bay.


Notsuke Peninsula Nature Center

(野付半島ネイチャーセンター) 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).

More info notsuke.jp

From here, 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.


Betsukai Sightseeing Cruise

(別海町観光船) 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.


Getting There

Odaito bus stop is near the main intersection of the town on Route 244. Akan Bus operates a few buses from Shibetsu to Odaito (尾岱沼: 1-3 daily; 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.