Shiretoko Peninsula covers the north-eastern part of Hokkaido. A National Park was established there in 1964 and one of the most famous area in the park is the Five Lakes – they are five inland lakes surrounded by a dense forest which is the home of various wildlife including deers and bears (Yes! bears!).
Visitors can explore the Five Lakes in 2 ways. The simpler way is to freely walk on a overground footbridge of about 800m. At the end of the footbridge there is a small view point which provides an excellent view to Lake 1 – and the picture of this post was taken there.
The main drawback for this simpler way is you can only see Lake 1. To see Lakes 2-5, you need to venture into the forest trail and in summer, all visitors must pre-book a walking tour led by a qualified tour guide. The reason why it must be a guided tour in summer is because of safety: as I said above, there are bears in the forest! The trail is about 3 km long and the tour lasts for about 3 hours. Some of the tour guides do say simple English so it’s kind of foreigner friendly.
We did join the walking tour and it was a nice experience. I will write more about it when I post the pictures of Lakes 2-5 in the next couple of posts.