Utoro (ウトロ) is the largest and only sizable town along the western coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula. Located at the entrance to the national park, it serves as a transportation hub and is the boarding point for sightseeing boat tours up the peninsula's coast.
Utoro is blessed with natural hot spring water and offers a range of accommodation from simple minshuku to large onsen ryokan. While the town's coastal area retains the atmosphere of a small fishing village, a short walk up the hill brings you into the hot spring area where the numerous, large onsen ryokan are located.
Several large rocks stand along the shores of Utoro. The most spectacular of them is the Oronko Rock, which stands 60 meters high just next to the harbor. A small path leads up to the top of the rock, from where you can enjoy nice views of the town and coast.
Utoro is located about 40 kilometers from the town center of Shari along Route 334. Alternatively, it is about 30 kilometers from Rausu via Shiretoko Pass (closed in winter).
Utoro is connected by infrequent buses with JR Shiretoko Shari Station (50 minutes, 1650 yen one way, operated by Shari Bus). A small number of direct buses by Abashiri Bus and Shari Bus run between Utoro and Memanbetsu Airport during summer (mid June to mid October) and winter (late January to mid March). The one way ride takes a little over two hours and costs 3300 yen.