[Skip Town in Hokkaido] The End of the World
It seems appropriate to finish up this series with our arrival at “The End of the World”!
Catchy tourism slogans aside, Shiretoko National Park in north-eastern Hokkaido is quite unique for Japan, in that it feels completely and utterly isolated. It is known for its wildlife (bears! whales!) and is so far north that on a clear day you can actually see Russia.
After an early start from Sapporo, we drove all day, passing dairy farms and fishing villages.
We shared the road with beasts great and small.
Eventually winding our way downwards into the foggy darkness, only to be revived by an inn-style meal of epic proportions.
And a slightly less overwhelming breakfast!
We went on a bear-watching cruise.
It was very very foggy.
But luckily it lifted just enough to see some of the beautiful green coastline.
And a mama-bear with her offspring (really should have bought the zoom lens!)
The next day, between showers, we wandered in the forests.
And when the showers turned into rain, we retreated to the Ainu museum to see what life was like hundreds of years ago for the indigenous people of this region. Judging from this diorama (always a reliable source of history, right?) it was quite idyllic!
Fantastic colours and patterns!
The reverse trip home was a sleepy one, with multiple stops at convenience stores for sustenance. I’d like to leave you with one such example, whose consumption I do not necessarily recommend – unless you’re a huge fan of hot-cakes and prefer your food through a straw. Thanks for the memories Hokkaido!