Todo (Sea Lion) Island is located to the right north of Cape Sukoton at the north end of Rebun Island. The island with a circumference of 4 km is surrounded sheer cliffs. You can go to the island by a fishing boat from Rebun Island, but there are no piers. As the boats come alongside some rocks or cliffs, you cannot make a landing when the sea is rough. The only man-made structures on the island are a watch house and a rotting remnant of the old watch house.
Todo Island is a plateau-like island, which is the treasure trove of alpine plants. Many species of plants that are peculiar to Rebun Island can be found on this island, too. In summer seals come and rest themselves here, and so do sea lions in winter. It is also the breeding ground of slaty-backed gulls and cormorants. Todo Island is a precious place where nature remains intact.
Yururi Island is a small uninhabited island off the coast of the Nemuro Peninsula. It is prefecturally designated as a Natural Treasure. “Yururi” means “an island of cormorants” in Ainu. The island still remains as a breeding place for cormorants, etopirika, keimafuri, red-faced cormorants and many other sea birds, some of which are on the verge of extinction. It is a flat table-shaped island surrounded by cliffs with a height of 40 m. Just to the north of it lies a small island of Moyururi. This island is known for bright green pastures, where a herd of about 20 horses are leisurely grazing. The horses on this island were once used to carry sea tangles but now they have run wild. The island is also the breeding place of sea otters and seals. On top of the cliff spread wetland, where 300 species of plant grow. Yururi Island is a paradise for wild life.
Rebun Island is Japan’s northernmost inhabited island. The western half of this longish island is designated as a part of Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. The name “Rebun” derives from an Ainu word “repun-shir,” which means “an island in the offing.” Different from neighboring Rishiri Island, Rebun Island is a flat island without mountains. The west coast has rugged landscapes with sheer cliffs created by erosion. There area many nice hiking courses provided in the plateau atop the cliffs.
Rebun Island is known as “the Island of Flowers,” where about 3,000 species of plants including those peculiar to Rebun Island such as Rebunso (Oxytropis megalantha), Rebun-atsumoriso (Cypripedium marcanthum var. rebunense) and Rebun-usuyukiso (Leontopodium discolor) can be seen.
The island is also blessed with scenic spots such as Cape Sukai at the tip of the sheer cliff, the top of which is covered with flower field, Cape Skoton at the northern end of the island, Todo Island, where herds of seals and sea lions can be seen, Lake Kushu, which is Japan’s northernmost lake and Momo-iwa Rock, a peach-shaped huge and mysterious rock. Rebun Island is the treasure trove of intact nature.
Cape Shirepa is located at the eastern end of the coastline extending in the further east direction from the town of Kushiro, which is the easternmost town in Hokkaido. The name Shirepa derives from the Ainu word “shir-pa,” meaning “the place where the head of the land projects.”
Its attraction is sheer cliffs eroded by rough waves of the Pacific Ocean. If you see this cape from the sea, you may imagine that desolated land spreads on the cliff. On the contrary, there is a different world on this flat plateau. In the early summer, alpine flowers such as Yukiwarikozakura (Primula modesta var. fauriei) and Hakusanchidori (Orchis aristata) are in full bloom. The view of Daikoku Island, which is a paradise for seafowl, and Akkeshi Bay is superb.
If you have time, why don’t you look down at “the Sail Rock” under the cliff? You may be able to see harbor seals sunbathing around the rock.
Right before your eyes is the Pacific. On either side, runs the continuous line of the horizon.This is the view from the cliff of Erimo Cape, located to the south of the Hidaka Mountains in Hokkaido. Rock reefs spread for 2km off the coast.Erimo cape is said to be where the wind is strongest in Japan. Cold and hot currents in the sea converge at this point, and the temperature difference often causes fog. In winter, it is extremely cold.Here, 400 Zanigata seals have adaptedto the harsh natural environment, making this one of the most famous breeding places for the seals. The seals are called Zenigata seals, because of the patterns on their fur that look like zeni (coins with a hole). Hakusan-chidori, a plant which is tough enough to survive the extreme cold, blossoms during the short spring and heals us.In the sea, kelp grows abundantly, offering fish a place to lay their eggs .Such an environment as this, in fact, is a harbor for life forms that have adjusted to the harsh natural conditions. This area is known as the Hidaka Mountains Erimo National Park
Notoro Cape, located near the town of Abashiri in Hokkaido, juts into the Okhotsk Sea.The name ‘Notoro’ comes from a corruption of the word for ‘place of cape’ in the Ainu language.At the beginning of winter ice floes appear around the cape; and soon the sea is completely covered with ice.On the rocks around the cape can be seen lovely Gomafu seals, and sometimes, far out,you can see dolphins jumping and diving.Nearby is Ojiro’s Waterfall, which is 40m in height and becomes an ice waterfall in winter, when it seems that timehas stopped.In the summer, grassland spreads as far as the eye can see and friendly browsing cattle approach you. The grasslandis like a green carpet; and contrasts with the blue carpet of the Okhotsk Sea, giving us a feeling of a vast natural canvas.Notoro Cape is designated as the Abashiri National Park.