Rausudake – HOKKAIDO Shiretoko National Park
30. Jun 2011:
When I arrived at Utoro, which is the entrance city to Shiretoko National Park, it was beautiful weather. On the way I stopped at the Waterfalls, which are one of the 100 most beautiful in Japan.
After checking in at the Utoro Campsite I watched a beautiful sunset above Utoro harbor.
‘1. Jul 2011:
Next day the weather completely changed. It was foggy, no view. No good for mountain climbing. I drove through the national park which offers beautiful nature with lots of deer. I enjoyed taking pictures and went to the visitor center of five lakes. There I took the tour around the lakes, it was foggy and we did not see any mountains or bear. But we found several footprints. The round tour was almost finished when via funk a bear was reported. We had to return and go back same way without meeting or even seeing the bear. Still it was an interesting tour.
In the evening it became rainy. Suddenly a warning was announced at the campsite. A bear went through the electrical fence out of the park and entered the city and now coming to the campsite. The bear patrol tried to secure the area. Some campers left, the remaining have been asked to sleep in the car.
No problem for me, already used to it. But still we could not see the bear.
Weather forecast for next day said, that it should become better weather and light up around noon. I decided to hike the mountain from early morning.
5:50 – departure at campsite.
When I started the hike at around 7:00 am, it was still foggy – I made lots of noise to avoid sudden bear contact on the narrow trail. Several times I could find footprints.
The path was easy to go, some snowfields remained, just small once and could be walked without cramps easily.
Suddenly I was above the clouds – blue sky was there, great scenery! The final part of the hike lead through a steep, rocky field. Now lots of other hikers came up and climbed Rausedake this day. They came from all over Japan to visit this national park.
I returned smoothly and the weather became very beautiful. Yes, I wanted to give the five lakes a second try and went back to the visitor center, booked the guided tour. We walked the same route as yesterday, but this time in completely different atmosphere. I took more pictures of the lakes. And again, when we almost finished the tour, a bear was reported. Again, we had to go back –same way – without seeing the bear…
I felt, that everybody already felt very sorry for me.
It was right before sunset and I did not want to return to the campsite yet. I walked on the wooden stairway to another lake to take some more photos of the mountains.
And there they were! Two brown bears on the other side of the lake, playing with each other. So beautiful. I watched them until sunset – for more than one hour. The nature-center guides and staff came to watch the bears and we had a pleasant time. What a beautiful day!
羅臼岳 Rausudake 2. Jul 2011
Start 羅臼岳登山口Rausudaketosanguchi 7:00 am 185 m
Trail up 羅臼平Rausudaira 10:15 am 1.350 m
Top 羅臼岳Rausudake 11:00 am 1.661 m
Finish 羅臼岳登山口Rausudaketosanguchi 1:30 pm 185 m
Duration: 6 h 30 min Distance: 13,8 km Height: 1.476 m
‘3. Jul 2011:
Next day was clear weather again. I booked a boat tour around the coast and after breakfast at café Fox (Udon noodles) we departed. The coastline is beautiful, huge lava cliffs with waterfalls or caves, many birds and brown bear. In total we saw about 15 bears this day. I liked the first bear family most, a mother with two cups trying to climb down a steep slope down to the sea.
During these three days I had enough time to see and hike Shiretoko National park – still I felt a bit sad to leave. In this park the animals are not scared of humans. And the landscape and nature is wild and beautiful. It is a very relaxing place – just my imagination of paradise coming true on this part of the world.