Cape Nosappu is at the tip od Nemuro Peninsula in the easternmost end of Hokkaido. It is located at 43°22’ N; 145°49′ E. The cape is very close to the Khabomai Rocks including Signalny (Kaigara-jima) and Tanfilyeva (Suisho-jima) and Kunashir Island (Kunashiri-to).
Known as “the Cape of Drift Ice,” the cape displays the dynamic and fantastic landscape of drift ice in winter. It is also famous as the place where the rising sun can be seen earliest in Japan. On New Year’s Day, a lot of people visit to “worship” the new year’s first sunrise.
The Cape Nosappu Lighthouse at the tip is the oldest in Hokkaido, which opened in 1872. In Bokyo-no-Misaki Park in the vicinity, there are a variety of facilities related to the Northern Territories such as the arch-shaped monument for the restoration activity called “Shima-no-kakehashi (Bridge to the Four Islands),” Bokyo-no-Ie (Northern Territory Folk Museum) and Hoppo-kan (Northern Museum).
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.
Cape Puyuni in Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido is a cape counted as one of 8 Scenic Spots in Shiretoko. This scenic spot is located on the uphill slope, from Utoro to the direction of Shiretoko National Park Nature Center. From here, you can command a view of a beautiful coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk and the port of Utoro as well as the Akan mountains in the distance. The cape is especially famous for its beautiful sunset. The sun setting in the Sea of Okhotsk can be seen nowhere other than here in Shiretoko Peninsula. The change of color in the sky creating a very romantic atmosphere, the cape is also a famous date spot. This is where the first pieces of drift ice can be seen on the Okhotsk coastline. From February through March, drift ice floating from the southern part of Sakhalin Island reaches ashore and creates a pure white mysterious sight.
If you pass along Tenjin beach toward the mouth of the Nagase River in midwinter, you will see the phenomenon of natural ice art.
Water from Inawashiro Lake is blown by very strong westerly winds onto trees near the beach where it freezes in splash formations, a phenomenon that is very rare in Japan. This 'splash ice' is as beautiful as 'silver frost' and you will never be tired of seeing it.
The splashes sometimes make ice formations up to five meters long. The wind is so strong that windbreak forests have been planted along Tenjin beach. Strong cold waves sometimes make the splash ice around the trees. You can see this ice along a 100m area where there are no anti-erosion concrete blocks.
Moreover, you can see various other changing ice formations such as drift ice and ice upheavals that are said to mark the passing of deities.
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.
The Sea of Okhotsk is an epeiric (large and shallow) sea to the northeast of Hokkaido.
In the winter, the temperature drops as lowas -20℃, and it is the only sea in Japan where sea ice iforms. This sea ice will break intoice floes which and drift along the coast. In harsh winters, the whole sea turns into an ice rink.
The local fishing industry thrives as a result of the exceptional plankton growth here, which provides a rich source of food to fish, such as salmon, trout, herring and saury.
Tons of crude oil and natural gas deposits lie under the continental shelf of Sakhalin island、and much development of undersea oilfields is taking place.
You can command a panoramic view of the town of Monbetsu and the Sea of Okhotsk from the Monbetsu Park Observatory.
With global climate change, the amount of sea ice has been decreasing in recent years. Current global research includes the study of the climate structure of this sea as a global index.