Rausu Town and Kunashiri Island across the sea

Rausu (P) is the largest town on the eastern coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula, offering some accommodation and limited dining and shopping opportunities. Fishery is the main industry in Rausu, and local seaweed is highly prized by fine dining establishments across Japan.

Sightseeing boat tours are offered by several operators in Rausu. Whale and bird watching cruises (about 2.5 hours, 8000 yen) are offered from May through October, while drift ice and sea bird cruises (about 2 hours, 8000 yen) are offered from January to April. Reservations should be made in advance, and there is a chance of cruises being canceled in case bad weather or the minimum number of participants not being met.

Whale watching boat tours

Rausu has two visitor centers. One is located three kilometers inland along the road that leads to Shiretoko Pass, while the other stands in the town center along the coast, not far from the port.

From Rausu, road number 87 leads northward all along the coast to around 20 kilometers of the peninsula's tip. A couple of public hot spring baths are located close to the end of road number 87 and are free to use and out in the open. Seseki Onsen is the more interesting of the two as it consists of two stone pools on the beach.

Seseki Onsen

Access

By car

Rausu can be reached from Utoro via Shiretoko Pass (closed in winter). Alternatively, you can approach Rausu from the south. The distance from Kushiro to Rausu is about 160 kilometers.

By bus

Shari Bus and Akan Bus operate two buses per day between Utoro and Rausu via Shiretoko Pass from mid June to mid October. The one way trip takes about 50 minutes and costs 1380 yen. From Kushiro, Akan Bus operates 3-5 buses per day to Rausu around the year. The one way journey from Kushiro to Rausu takes about 3.5 hours and costs 4850 yen (8450 yen for a return ticket valid for 10 days).

How to get to and around Shiretoko National Park