On the northeastern side of Hokkaido lies Shiretoko, a peninsula that extends to the northernmost cape of Japan. Considered to be the last pristine wilderness of Japan, Shiretoko is a prime example of the symbiotic relationship between marine and terrestrial ecosystems that have proven to be rich resources for biologists around the world. It is here that the formation of seasonal ice at the lowest latitude in the northern hemisphere serves as an attractive destination for migratory species, thus warranting Shiretoko's inclusion as one of Japan's UNESCO World Heritage locales.
Shiretoko is one of Japan's eco-tourism destinations of choice. There are several activities for any type of trip you plan that lets you absorb its scenic outdoors or its peaceful tranquility. For the nature lover, take a hike through the gorgeous mountains of Shiretoko National Park as you walk past the beautiful Five Lakes and witness the various wildlife that inhabit the area. For the pleasure-seeker, visit one of Shiretoko's wonderful natural hot spring destinations, each taking full advantage of the pristine nature that surrounds them with views of mountains, trees, and lakes.
Shiretoko is covered with untouched forests, precipitous coastlines, and volcanic areas that indicate Japan's extensive range of natural environments. Harsh winters provide ski and snowboard enthusiasts with ideal powder snow as well as some of the finest resorts in the country. The warmer months merit a visit to Shiretoko simply due to its nickname as a "waterfall kingdom," where visitors may take boat tours throughout the peninsula's quiet lakes to witness some of the most breathtaking falls in the world. Maintaining the ecology of Shiretoko is of particular importance to the residents of Hokkaido, so visit the area to witness some of the most beautiful unspoiled environments left in the country.