The Shiretoko Waterfalls page is a place where I’m clumping the many waterfalls (both named and unnamed) that Julie and I saw during our boat tour along the northern coast of Shiretoko-hanto from Utoro to the Shiretoko Cape. Some of the falls were seen even beyond Kamuiwakka-no-taki so that might provide some added motivation to do the longer 4-hour tour instead of the shorter 2-hour tour to just the rotemburo. But then again (as in our case) it might be a choice that’s not entirely up to you as the tours generally have a minimum passenger requirement of 7 people. Otherwise, it’s not worthwhile for the operators to burn the fuel for fewer passengers.
In case you get waterfalled out, we also got to see many wildlife from birds (including cormorants and even the Stellars Eagle) to the forest lords otherwise known as the Asiatic Brown Bear. We even spotted some elusive dolphins that typically only reveal their fins as they take a breath of fresh air before diving again.
If you do decide to go on the boat ride, realize that the Sea of Okhotsk experiences quite a frigid Siberian climate so you may want to dress in a few layers of something that’ll keep you warm. Even as the tour gave us another pair of layers (one to cover our torso and the other to use like a blanket over our legs), it was still bitterly cold as our noses would run nonstop and our faces were quite numb (especially when the boat was moving and we got the wind chill on top of all that). You definitely don’t want to be underprepared for this excursion. Trust us!
For directions and some more logistical details, see the Kamuiwakka-no-taki page.
As for the boat tour itself, prices are subject to change, but the boat tour from Utoro to Shiretoko Cape (I say 4 hours, but is probably more like 3 hours 45 minutes) goes for about 8000円 per person. Keep in mind there is a passenger minimum for the tour to not be cancelled. Check out this page to evaluate for yourself if it’s worth your hard-earned money.
For geographical context, it took us a pretty brutally long and slow 5 hours of driving to get from Asahikawa to Utoro by way of Abashiri and Shari. Asahikawa was 137km (2 hours by car or 2 hours by train) northeast of Sapporo. Sapporo was about 9.5 hours by train or 90 minutes by flight from Tokyo. It was also possible to fly to Sapporo from Osaka (under 2 hours) or Kobe (2 hours; this was how we did it on our trip).
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