Monday, 26 September 2016

2016 Hokkaido Trip Day 7 (8 Sep)

Shiretoko Goko 知床五湖 (Shiretoko Five Lakes)
Kamuiwakka no taki カムイワッカの滝 (Kamuiwakka Falls)

Our nature cruise was cancelled due to strong waves and although the weather is cloudy, we were thankful that there is no rain so we could go to the Shiretoko Goko 知床五湖 (Shiretoko Five Lakes) region. There is a ¥500 carpark fee. The long course is 3 km (1.5 hours) which starts from 5th lake and ends at 1st Lake and the short course is 1.5 km (40 min). To enter, you need to pay a small fee of ¥250 at the center, register to obtain a certification card and attend a short 10 min lecture about how to respond if you come face to face with a brown bear. The building is right in front of the carpark with clear signage so you won't miss it. There is also a souvenir shop with light meals (venison burger, soft ice cream) and toilet. There are no toilets on the trail.

Certificate for Entry
We took our time and stopped to take photos so we took about 3 hours. Do wear long pants and use insect repellant as I was bitten very badly by sandflies (I counted 82 bites in total!) in my shorts (they bit through my leggings). Do not bring any food unless you want to attract brown bears.

5th Lake

4th Lake

3rd Lake

2nd Lake
1st Lake
Finally at the boardwalk! One item off our bucket list =)
We stopped by the Shiretoko Nature Center for lunch. We had venison burger and venison cutlet with curry. Not too bad. To my surprise, they actually have Nasi Goreng (a kind of Malay fried rice popular in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia). 

Venison cutlet curry
Na Shi Go Ren
We also bought a pair of non-slip socks each for Kamuiwakka Falls カムイワッカの滝 (Kamuiwakka no taki), an onsen waterfall that you can enter. 

However, as we didn't dare to climb up too high, the water was only lukewarm (comfortable, not warm but not freezing cold kind). Here's a video of our experience there.

As we were driving around, we spotted some deer and a little brown fox so we managed to see 2 out of the 3 inhabitants (deer, fox, brown bear).

Dinner on the second night was much much better. The mushishabu 蒸ししゃぶ of pork slices and assorted vegetables with tare たれ dip was really satisfying after a day of walking. We also used the chartered private outdoor hot spring bath (which has a shelter).

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