Venturing into the brimming beauty of Shiretoko National Park on a bear walk yielded some of the most outstanding vistas in Hokkaido. The winding paths led to a variety of breathtaking cliffs that all felt unique. The diversity of wildlife on display offered an up-close view of the diversity of one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.
Climbing Asahi-dake, the island’s tallest peak, was an awe-inspiring experience that showed off the majesty of the Daisetsuzan National Park and the beauty of the region’s early fall foliage from the ropeway. The grand serenity of Japan’s northern-most main island has remained with me long after my visit.
Camping at Lake Kussharo is one of my favorite memories. Grilling our fill of yakitori and drinking matcha beer in the natural onsen into the late hours made for the most rejuvenating night with friends new and old. I will always think back fondly on waking up at sunrise to look for Kussie the sea monster through the rolling fog over the volcanic lake.
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Shiretoko National Park
Rich ecosystems linked by drift ice and majestic landscapes of mountains and coastal cliffs created by volcanic eruptions.
Daisetsuzan National Park
The “roof” of central Hokkaido, known locally as Kamui Mintara or “the Playground of the Gods”.
Akan-Mashu National Park
A vast landscape comprising Japan’s largest caldera landform, volcanoes, orests, and lakes.
Lake Kussharo is Japan's largest and the world's leading caldera lake. Its scale is the number one in Japan. Kussharo volcano repeated large eruptions about 300 thousand years ago, and Kussharo caldera was formed 30 thousand years ago.