About Shigure Waterfall (shiguretaki [時雨滝])
The Shigure Waterfall (shigure-taki [時雨滝]; “Rain Shower Falls?”) was a pretty conspicuous roadside waterfall in Utoro Town that also happens to be geothermally heated.
In fact, it faces the Sea of Okhotsk in the northern end of town, and you pretty much can’t miss it if you’re driving between Utoro and Shiretoko National Park.
Julie and I even noticed this waterfall when we first visited the Shiretoko Peninsula in early June 2009.
Back then, I didn’t know this waterfall’s name (for some reason it never really showed on the maps) nor did we bother doing a write-up for it because we weren’t sure if it was legit or man-made.
After re-visiting the town of Utoro and this waterfall once again some 14 years later, I finally learned on GoogleMaps that it was called Shigure Falls (though it could very well be just some random person providing this name).
Moreover, I still can’t say if this waterfall that seems to have some geothermal heating has been enhanced from the outflow of onsen resorts further up the hill.
One of the resorts happened to be one that we stayed at called the Kiki Shiretoko Resort, which I know was accompanied by other neighboring onsens.
That said, the word shigure could mean “rain shower”, which is what the kanji seems to suggest (if indeed this is the real name of the waterfall).
Nevertheless, as you can see, I ultimately made a write-up for it because even if it wasn’t legit, it’s too noticeable not to say anything about it.
As far as experiencing this waterfall, there wasn’t any legal parking or pullout immediately around the falls to treat it like a roadside waterfall visit.
However, there were establishments (including public lots) further within the main part of Utoro Town, where you can park and then walk to the waterfall.
In my case, I parked at a 7-11 at a nearby street corner, bought something, and then walked the 250m to the front of this waterfall.
It sat right across the street from a defunct mother-daughter bowl place (well, at least it closed down as of our last visit in July 2023 though I think it was open during our June 2009 visit).
The Shigure Waterfall sat on the northern end of the town of Utoro, which belongs in the Shari District of Hokkaido, Japan. It may be administered by the local authorities of Utoro. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you can try visiting the Shiretoko Shari Tourist Association website.
The Shiguretaki Waterfall sat roughly 250m north along the Route 334 from the traffic light by the 7-11 store.
Routing here is as simple as routing from wherever you’re at to the town of Utoro.
The trickiest part is probably finding parking, but as mentioned in the write-up above, I merely parked at the 7-11, bought something from there, and then walked the 250m to the falls to enjoy my purchase.
For some geographical context, Utoro was about 32km (over 30 minutes drive) west of Rausu, 36km (a little over 30 minutes drive) northeast of Shari, 184km (about 3 hours drive) northeast of Kushiro, 243km (over 4 hours drive) northeast of Obihiro, 272km (over 4.5 hours drive) east of Asahikawa, and 408km (about 6 hours drive) northeast of Sapporo.
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