Take a Guided Winter Tour of the Shiretoko Five Lakes with Up to 8 People – Morning and Afternoon Courses Available (Shiretoko, Hokkaido)

The northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido boasts many tourist spots that attract countless visitors every year, including the major tourist cities of Sapporo and Hakodate, beautiful hilly areas like Biei and Furano, the Shiretoko World Heritage Site, the skiing paradise of Niseko, and the popular Asahiyama Zoo.

This tour takes place in Shiretoko, on the eastern edge of Hokkaido. The island is a vast place, and you cannot see all of it in one day. In fact, a train and bus ride from Sapporo to Shiretoko takes more than half a day, which is why a plane trip is usually recommended.

The Shiretoko World Natural Heritage Site

In 2005, Shiretoko was designated as a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its vast natural beauty. There are many reasons why it received this designation.

One reason is the yearly ice drift, which starts around January, bringing rich nutrients and natural resources from Russia’s Amur River. This includes vast quantities of plankton that become food for large schools of fish, which in turn become food for seals, eagles, and other animals. Also, the salmon that eat the plankton travel upstream where they mate and die, their bodies feeding the surrounding forest. Then the river flowing through the forest gathers those nutrients and other elements and carries them out to the sea. This food chain is one of the reasons why Shiretoko was added to the UNESCO list.

Shiretoko Five Lakes in the Winter

It’s full of life and tourists in the summer, but solemn and quiet in the winter. That’s the beauty of the Shiretoko Five Lakes.

This guided tour will take you to the untamed heart of this winter wonderland. Experience the solemn silence of snow and ice as you walk through the Shiretoko Five Lakes, traversing its frozen surfaces with the Shiretoko mountain range watching over you. You might also run into some of the animals that can withstand the Shiretoko cold, or the ice drifts bobbing in the sea.

A Small Tour with Up to 8 People

With this Shiretoko tour, you’ll be able to experience firsthand the severe winter beauty of this World Heritage Site. Reservations for groups of up to 8 people are accepted.

All Equipment Provided

Thermal snowshoes (for a 500 yen fee) and moisture-permeable waterproof wear  (also 500 yen) are available for you to use.

Basic Information


From 6,500 yen