Travel to Shiretoko, Japan’s Most Beautiful National Park! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Travel to Shiretoko, Japan’s Most Beautiful National Park!

By Alex Gray Jan 14, 2021

Explore this World Natural Heritage Site’s breathtaking scenes, and stay at Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort, a haven surrounded by nature in Shiretoko in Hokkaido.

What Makes Shiretoko National Park So Beautiful?

This is the only place in Japan you can see drifting sea ice (流氷, ryūhyō), a striking view you will never forget! Imagine a huge drifting ice sheet as far as the eye can see; this is what has made Shiretoko a must-visit location!

View the ice drift from the resort and drink in its immensity. Maybe you want to get a little closer? Depending on the conditions and if you are brave enough, you can partake in various ice drift tours. The most popular tours to experience the drift ice are drift ice walks, drift ice kayaking, drift ice SUP, and “Ryohyou-yoku“. You may have heard of “Shinrin-yoku” meaning to relax in the forest, taking in nature’s surroundings. Ryohyou-yoku is the same thing but with drift ice. Sit on a comfy chair snuggled in a warm sleeping bag, inhale the cool air, and watch the serene ice landscape. Wow, what an experience!

In the summer you can go on a boat and enjoy the ride. Sail to the beautiful Shiretoko Misaki and view the waterfall, or visit Shiretoko Goko lake and walk along the elevated pathway to enjoy the sea, lakes, forests, and mountains. Shiretoko is home to the brown bear, so it is a popular location for wildlife lovers. Read on to find out more about the bear watching and bear protection activities going on in Shiretoko!

To get to Shiretoko, fly to Memanbetsu Airport. Take the airport liner bus for about 90 minutes and alight at Utoro Onsen terminal. It’s a 10-minute walk from the terminal to Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort and a further 10 minutes to KIKI Shiretoko Natural Resort and YUHI no ATARUIE ONSEN HOSTEL.

More About the Kitakobushi Resort!

Sample delicious dishes made from local ingredients, and relax in all-natural hot spring baths with spectacular panoramic views of the Okhotsk Sea. With 60 years of experience in the hospitality business, you know Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort can provide the best service for their guests. Travel to Shiretoko for a once-in-a-lifetime experience only possible in Shiretoko.

There are three different accommodations available at the resort; pick the place that suits your travel style, or try all three on different nights! Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort is a luxurious hotel with private onsen baths available in select rooms. KIKI Shiretoko Natural Resort is a resort surrounded by trees, popular with nature-loving guests. YUHI no ATARUIE ONSEN HOSTEL is an onsen hostel with a public kitchen, great for guests who want to meet new people and travel on a budget! We have taken this opportunity to introduce the hotels to you and provide you with important information about each accommodation. If you would like to know more or for an update on COVID-19 measures, you can use the chatbox on the bottom right corner of the site for the most up to date information in several languages!

Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort

The Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort is a luxurious hotel with comfortable and spacious western and Japanese style rooms. Take a room with a sea view and lounge in your yukata, enjoying the crashing waves of the Okhotsk sea. Relax in a fully-natural hot spring in your ceramic bathtub open-air bath and feel the breeze of the ocean on your skin (available in select rooms). The rooms feature amenities such as a TV, refrigerator, yukata, bathroom amenities, and the newly introduced, KITAKOBUSHI COFFEE.

At Kitakobushi Shiretoko Hotel&Resort enjoy the communal bath with panoramic views of the sea through the windows or the communal half-open air bath from which you can almost taste the sea on your tongue. In summer, watch huge liners and small fishing boats glide across the water. In the winter, marvel at the breathtaking drift ice, a real winter wonderland enjoyed from the comfort of a steamy bath. The ocean view and drift ice can also be enjoyed by the beautifully renovated sauna’s panoramic window, a new and rare sauna experience! If you don’t fancy a dip in the bath, you can soak your feet in the footbath on the terrace and enjoy the view!

The hotel has two restaurants, a buffet with Hokkaido delicacies, and Grill Shiretoko. The buffet restaurant features the chef’s specially crafted dishes defying Japanese and Western cuisine. Have a course dinner at Grill Shiretoko and try the venison, a Hokkaido specialty. The breakfast includes both Japanese and Western food; you can even try “Shiretoko Appemeshi,” a local-style salmon rice bowl made with famous Shiretoko salmon.

To book a room or for more information, visit the homepage.

KIKI Shiretoko Natural Resort

KIKI Shiretoko Natural Resort is a natural resort surrounded by nature, renovated in 2018. Located in the tranquil Shiretoko forests, the hotel a place of complete relaxation, where you can feel one with nature. This is the perfect place to wonder at Shiretoko’s magnificent sunsets. The rooms offer spectacular sea views from the high hilltop vantage point and picturesque forest views amidst the trees. They are furnished with natural, modern furnishings in a Japanese-western fusion style. The family room with bunk beds is popular with children!

Bathe in the natural hot springs either in the bath hall or outdoor garden. Contemplate the seasons from your mineral-rich, deliciously hot bath through the green forest summers, golden autumn leaves, and snowy winter scenes. The outdoor bath provides hot flowing springs directly from the hot spring source, a delight for any onsen lover. Try out the sauna to wash away all the impurities and detox, and for the ladies, there is a hot bedrock spa that uses hyperthermic infrared rays to warm the body and rejuvenate your skin.

There is also a kid’s space for children to play in the ball pond, a theatre lounge, and a terrace where you can enjoy the outdoor scenery. The theatre lounge displays Shiretoko’s images, projected on a large 250-inch screen, so you can see the beauty in all its glory! View the art piece “Shiretkonokoto” created by illustrator unit “tuprera tupera,”. The art piece, which is loved by children and adults alike, can be viewed up close and personal.

Breakfast is a grand affair with exquisite quality dishes available for you to choice. Enjoy an outdoor cooking style at the main dining room, “Treeside Buffet,” a high-quality buffet and grill restaurant. The food cooked on a hot grill is reminiscent of an outdoor BBQ. You can eat your meal picnic style and feel as though you are dining outdoors under the trees.

Visit the KIKI Shiretoko Natural Resort homepage for more information and to book a room.


For guests on a budget, or guests who enjoy mixing with other people from all over the world, you must put onsen hostel YUHI no ATARUIE on your to stay list! Have you ever heard of an onsen hostel!? What could be better! While the hostel is currently closed due to the Coronavirus, they are hoping to open it back up soon! It is situated a walk away from KIKI Shiretoko Natural Resort and has great access.

This area around Shiretoko is popular with backpackers for its natural beauty and YUHI no ATARUIE ONSEN HOSTEL is a perfect place to stay. One of the biggest pulls is its location, next to “Sunset Table,” one of Shiretoko’s eight famous sights, and the spectacular sea view you can see from every room of the hostel.

This accommodation features the largest number of art pieces throughout the three, and the lobby art is especially stunning. The lobby mural particularly leaves an impression on all the guests who stay here. Guests can relax in the lobby, view the art, read a book, or chat with friends. Though it is a hostel, there are twin and triple rooms available, and you can choose between Japanese and a western fusion style of furnishing.

Relax and unwind after sightseeing in the natural onsen, a rare hostel commodity. Resting in the natural onsen and releasing the muscles tired from traveling is the ultimate backpacker luxury! The ocean views are exquisite! There is also a communal kitchen in the hostel for guests to make their own food. Or maybe even get together with other guests and cook one big dinner! If you like making new friends on your journey, this is the accommodation for you!

For more information about the YUHI no ATARUIE ONSEN HOSTEL visit the homepage.

Save The Bears!

With this year being the 60th anniversary of the resort, the owners have put great lengths into the planning of Shiretoko’s future. One large part of this is protecting the bears while promoting tourism in the area.

Wild brown bears live in the wild, and Shiretoko’s tourism industry knows the importance of protecting the bears. They have made a new program to help with the protection of the bears. There is an electric fence around the resort to keep bears out, but sometimes they wander in.

One way to protect the bears is by cutting the bamboo bushes around the resort that attract the bears. Cutting back the thicket and picking up discarded trash is are some of the main activities taken up by the new KUMAKATSU (a coined word meaning: action to save the bears) program to preserve the area. In the future, the resort hopes to be able to invite guests to help the staff save the bears together!

Travel to Hokkaido’s Unspoilt Natural Beauty, Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko is a natural phenomenon, a beautiful place to be respected. Situated at the very top of Japan, it is a little far to travel but is well worth the journey! You will be wowed by magnificent mother nature in Shiretoko and see sights never like those seen before. There is something special to see and do in every season! Shiretoko is waiting for you! Click the banner below to book or for more information.