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 (2.5 to 3 hours for 8800 yen) are offered from late April through September, while drift ice and sea bird cruises (1 hour for 4400 yen, or 2 hours for 8800 yen) are offered from February to early March. Reservations should be made in advance.

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, 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.

Getting there and around

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 four buses per day between Utoro and Rausu via Shiretoko Pass from mid June to early October. The one way trip takes about 50 minutes and costs 1380 yen. From Kushiro, Akan Bus operates 2-4 buses per day to Rausu around the year. The one way journey from Kushiro to Rausu takes about 3.5 hours and costs 4940 yen.

How to get to and around Shiretoko National Park