Shunkunitai located in Nemuro Peninsula in the eastern part of Hokkaido is a huge sandbar, 8km long by 1.3km wide, which divides the Sea of Okhotsk and Lake Furen. On the accumulated three lined dunes, there are many kinds of natural surroundings such as seashores, grasslands, marshes, forests and mudflats. Providing fine natural environment for various kinds of wildlife, it looks like a floating forest.
Its academic importance is highly esteemed. In the center of the dune is the greatest Ramanas rose (Rosa rugosa) colonies, which continues 3 km. In the wetland along the sea is the breeding ground of red-crowned cranes. White-tailed eagles inhabit here, for there are abundant fish in the ocean near the sandbar range. Shunkunitai is one of the nation's eminent paradises for wildfowl.
Lake Komuke located on the hill facing the Sea of Okhotsk is a brackish lake like Lake Saroma, which is 10 km to the east. The name comes from an Ainu word “komuke-to,” which means “a winding lake.” The lake is actually composed of three large and small lakes, which are connected one another with channels. Along the coastline, rugosa roses and cowberries bloom in summer and glasswort in clusters turn red in fall, which looks as if a red carpet is spread all over. To the north of the lake is Komuke Natural Flower Garden, which is famous for the colonies of black crowberry. In spring and fall, various kinds of wild birds fly to this lake, where over 250 species including swans, gray herons, spines, plovers, and Siberian Rrubythroats are identified. This is the paradise of wild life. At the sunset, the lake with abundant water against the red sky creates a fantastical scene.
Okhotsk Garden is a part of Monbetsu Park located in the central part of Monbetsu City, Hokkaido. The landmark of the park is an observatory for draft ice, from which you can command a panoramic view of the Sea of Okhotsk. In contrast to Monbetsu Park with open environment, Okhotsk Garden has a taste of a traditional Japanese garden with three artificial waterfalls, which flow down on the rocky cliffs. Walking through the grove of trees, you will loose sense of time in the gentle sounds of tremulous leaves. A lot of visitors come to enjoy natural beauty that changes from season to season; cherry blossom viewing in spring, the cool evening breeze in summer, and the crimson foliage in autumn. The garden is counted as one of 8 Fine Views in Monbetsu.
The Okhotsk Sea in Hokkaido is famous for drift ice in winter. In the most severe season, 80 percent of the sea is covered with drift ice. In mid-November, drift ice starts forming at points where the Amur River to the north in Sakhalin flows into the sea. This drift ice expands in the north wind and travels with the currents some 2000km south to arrive near Abashiri by mid-January.
Because fresh water runs from the Amur River into the Okhotsk Sea, the surface of the sea here is less salty. Sea water with less salt freezes more easily, thus forming drift ice.
This ice, born in the far north sea, brings rich plankton, which is fed on by sea creatures such as hairy crab, salmon, trout and scallop.
As far as you can see, the drift ice forms a field of white that is completely silent without the sound of waves. Drift ice on the Okhotsk Sea is a poetic world produced by mysterious nature.
Oronko Rock located in Shari-cho, Hokkaido is a scenic spot counted one of the 8 Fine Views in Shiretoko: two of the others are the 5 Lakes in Shiretoko and Cape Puyuni. This gigantic rock to the east of Utoro Harbor is almost 60 m high. It was named after the Orokko tribe, the native people who lived in this area in the ancient times. You will have to go up the steep 170 stone steps to reach the top of this rock, where you can command a panoramic view of clear blue Okhotsk Sea, the Shiretoko Mountain Range, and Shiretoko Peninsula. This is the special treat exclusively given to the one that has taken pains climbing up there. The area around Oronko Rock is the treasure box of alpine plants. You will enjoy viewing red, yellow and purple cute flowers along the way.
Kashuni Waterfall is located at the mouth of the Charasenai River where it plunges into the Okhotsk Sea near the town of Shari in Hokkaido.
'Kashuni' means 'place where there is a cabin for hunting' in the language of the native Ainu people of Hokkaido.
The waterfall drops directly into the sea, so it cannot be seen from the land. The best way to see it is to take a pleasure cruise past. The waterfall is fed by abundant water from the Shiretoko mountains, and falls into the sea through a cave.
The view is very dramatic. Behind the waterfall is a backdrop formed by the Shiretoko mountains, wild rocky cliffs, and a white stream running through the green trees, together producing a spectacular view.
Wakka Wild Flower Garden is located in Sakaeura near Tokoro in Kitami, Hokkaido. The garden is part of Abashiri National Park and is situated near the Okhotsk Sea coast and on the shore of Saroma Lake, one of Japan's three biggest lakes. As a natural treasury, it has been designated as a site of Hokkaido Heritage.
'Wakka' in the language of the native Ainu people means 'drinking water' or 'springwater'. On the long sandbar dividing Saroma Lake and the Okhotsk Sea, there is a spring called Wakka Flower Holy Water. The name Wakka here refers to the rich supply of water in the area. The sandbar is 200~700m wide and about 20km long. It is the biggest area of seaside grassland in Japan.
Varying ecosystems have formed within the forest, grassland, dunes and marsh. More than 300 kinds of plants and flowers grow here including species from outside. The area is also a natural habitat for various wild birds.
Wakka Wild Flower Garden is also known as Ryugu Highway and features vivid natural scenery.
Notsuke Peninsula is Japan’s largest sand spit (a point of sandy deposit which projects into a body of water) located between Shiretoko Peninsula and Nemuro Peninsula in Hokkaido. This expansion of land stretches as long as 26 km and has a unique shape that is like a shrimp’s bent back. It is famous for its distinctive landscapes called Todo-wara and Nara-wara, the woods of withered trees; Todo-wara consists of oak trees and Nara-wara consists of beech trees.
Shrimp fishery using Utasebune, a traditional 3-sail fishing boat, is practiced on this peninsula in spring and fall. It is a kind of trawl net fishing by using seven pouched nets by which to avoid damaging Zostera (seagrass) used as the bait to catch shrimps.
The outline of an Utasebune boat floating off the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk displays the representative sight of the peninsula. Utasebune fishery can be seen from the sightseeing boat that departs from Odaito Fishery Harbor in Bekkai-cho.