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Rishiri Island (利尻島, Rishiritō) is a remote, small island about 20 kilometers off the northern tip of Hokkaido, with a circumference of about 60 kilometers and Mount Rishiri, a dormant volcano, at its center. Together with neighboring Rebun Island, Rishiri belongs to the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. Many of the island's 6000 inhabitants are making a living from tourism and fishing.

Rishiri Island offers various hiking and walking opportunities. The climb to the top of Mount Rishiri takes a full day and is quite challenging. There is also a cycling road along the island's northern coast. A visit to Rishiri Island is most attractive from June to August when the island's alpine flora is in bloom. Not many tourists visit the island during the long and harsh winters.

Mount Rishiri

Mount Rishiri, commonly referred to as Rishiri-Fuji, is a 1721 meter tall dormant volcano in the center of Rishiri. Cars can proceed as far as the 3rd Station on the Oshidomari side and as far as the 5th Station on the Kutsugata side.

Pon Yama (Mount Pon)

Mount Pon (444 meters above sea level) is a small peak at the side of Mount Rishiri. Its summit can be reached in a pleasant 30-45 minute walk from Mount Rishiri's 3rd Station or in about 60-90 minutes from Hime Pond.

Mount Rishiri 5th Station

From the Kutsugata side of Mount Rishiri, cars can proceed as far as the 5th Station. An observation deck with nice views can be reached in a short walk from the 5th Station's parking area.

Cape Peshi

Cape Peshi is located just next to the port of Oshidomari, Rishiri's largest town. There is a walking trail up to the top (5-10 minutes), from where nice views of Oshidomari and Mount Rishiri can be enjoyed.

Rishirifuji Onsen

Rishirifuji Onsen is a hot spring with indoor and outdoor baths. It is located at the southern end of the town of Oshidomari. Admission costs 500 yen.

Hime Pond

Hime Pond (Himenuma) is a man made pond at the foot of Mount Rishiri. The views of the mountain reflecting in the pond are well advertised.

Cycling Road

A road for exclusive use by bicycles follows the northern coast of Rishiri from Hime Pond to Kutsugata for about 20 kilometers. Bicycles are provided by many of the island's accommodations and some rental shops.

Otatomari Pond

Otatomari Pond is a beautiful pond in the south of the island. The view of the pond with Mount Rishiri as backdrop is splendid.

Fishing Villages

Small fishing villages can be found along the whole coast of Rishiri Island. Rishiri is particularly famous for its sea urchins (uni) and konbu seaweed.

Access

Access

Click here for details on how to get to Rishiri Island.

Orientation

Rishiri's largest town and transport hub is Oshidomari in the north of the island. Oshidomari Port is the arrival and departure point of ferries from/to Wakkanai and Rebun, while Rishiri Airport can be reached in a 5 minute car ride from the town center.

The island's second largest town is Kutsugata in the west of the island. A direct ferry connection from Kutsugata Port to Rebun Island is provided from May through September.

Administratively, Rishiri Island is divided into two municipalities: Rishirifuji Town with its administrative center in Oshidomari and Rishiri Town with its administrative center in Kutsugata.

Getting around Rishiri Island

A scheduled bus service is provided along the entire coastal road of Rishiri by Soya Bus, however, bus connections are infrequent. The one way journey from Oshidomari to Kutsugata takes 30 minutes and costs 750 yen, while a trip around the whole island takes roughly two hours and costs 2260 yen.

Many of the Japanese tourists visiting Rishiri, explore the island by sightseeing bus tours. Typical tours of the island take between two and four hours and cost around 3000-4000 yen per person. Tours are held in Japanese.

It is also possible to rent a car on Rishiri, however, rental fees are much higher than on the "mainland". The typical cost for a 24 hour rental is around 14,000 yen for a small car, which is about the same as the one way cost of bringing a car from Wakkanai to Rishiri by ferry.

Another way to explore Rishiri is by bicycle. Rental bicycles are provided by many accommodations on Rishiri and a few rental shops.

How to get to Rishiri Island

Page last updated: January 23, 2017