13 May 2015, Day 7, visiting Shiretoko
Judging from our last night dinner experience, we decided to skip the buffet breakfast in the hotel and go somewhere else in the vicinity. The gusty wind blew heavily near the lakes. Unfortunately it was seemingly too early to find a proper restaurant.
To our surprise, we found nothing near Lake Kussharo. On our way to a petrol station, we spotted a little cafe at the roadside. With the name of Country Kitchen, it is quite unique in design. The owner and chef is a young lady. It is a timber house with quite a western style inside. There was an English menu too. But some words were spelt wrongly, such as seak (steak) and ktchen (kitchen).
We then continued our long drive to the Shiretoko National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the way, we made a brief stop at a supermarket for grocery shopping. This was our first supermarket visit and we couldn’t be happier to see all the fresh fruits and fancy packages. It started raining when we came out of the supermarket. By the time we arrived at Utoro, a town right outside the National Park, the rain was pouring like there was a big hole in the sky. It was obvious to us that there was no point in going further in this weather so we stopped for a lunch, hopping the weather would become better after a while and it did!
Following the instructions from the information centre staff, it took us no time to reach the car park where the Shiretoko elevated wooden footpath to the viewing platform starts. Blue sky has returned. The wooden footpath was only 800m long but it took us forever to reach the viewing platform because we had to stop constantly to take photos of the beautiful snow capped mountain ranges behind and the interesting undulated landscape around us.
Finally we arrived at the viewing platform in front of the first lake. Tourists were waiting there for the wind to die down so they could see the mirror perfect reflection of the mountains. The scenery was stunning.
It was absolutely worth making the long drive to visit this Park. I have taken numerous photos with my Leica M and iPhone 5s. Below shows a collage of all amazing images captured on my iPhone 5s displayed as a story on Storehouse:
Another attraction of the National Park is the Shiretoko Pass. It was open but it was too misty that we couldn’t see a thing within arm’s length at the lookout!
We thought we could visit another lake on our way back to the hotel. But we were forced to drive slowly due to the foggy condition. We arrived at a roadside rest station to take our early dinner.
WiFi was available. When we finished our dinner, it was too late to visit other places in the dark.