Shiretoko Goko Lakes
Discovering the beauty of nature in the “middle” of winter.

Shiretoko Goko Lakes, “Mid Winter” Experience.

Experience the tranquility of winter and the power of nature as you explore Shiretoko Goko Lakes. Traverse the pristine, frozen, landscape as you discover un-touched territory framed by majestic mountains and a breathtaking view of the Sea of Okhotsk Ice Floe. Feel the World Heritage spirit and witness the peaceful harmony of wildlife and nature in this harsh winter habitat.

Paid professional guides are available during specific periods but book early.Unfortunately, the elevated wooden paths are not accessible during this season.

An ecological tour during the “middle” of winter.

Season Duration
2024/1/21 - 3/20 (Web reservations will start on December 1)
Start Times
Morning & Afternoon Only. Walking tour is approximately 3 hours.
Tour Fee
Depending on Guide Company hired, fees start from ¥6,500
Maximum tour capacity 10 persons, Maximum tour visits per day 150 persons.

Tour Course

Walk on and explore the *frozen swamps and lakes that cannot be accessed during the summer season. (* Weather permitting i.e. not accessible if not frozen) Witness the majestic Shiretoko Mountains, Animal Wildlife and the Sea of Okhotsk Ice Floes.

  • Visit a marsh that you cannot visit in the summer. Explore the vibrant woods and discover foot prints of the many wild animals and birds.
  • Walk on the surface of the frozen lake, not accessible in the summer.
  • Enjoy the view of the Shiretoko Mountain Range and the largest lake, Lake Niko.
  • From the cliff, witness the winter Ice Floes of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Tour Inquiries


  • Cancellations can occur due to bad weather and/or route accessibility.
  • Tours could be suspended due to sudden weather conditions and/or accidents.
  • Tour courses may be altered due to bear sightings and/or weather conditions.
  • Good physical condition is recommended as walking on the snow can be arduous and the tours can last up to 3 hours.
  • Use restroom facilities prior to your tour as none are available along the routes.

How to enjoy Shirekoto in the Winter

Furepe Waterfall

Locally known as “Virgin Tears” (Otome no Namida). The waterfall is caused by a subterranean river within the cliff. By using specially designed snowshoes you can get close to this unique sight.

Ice Floe Walking

While wearing a special “Dry-Suit” to keep you warm, venture onto the Sea of Okhotsk. Float along with the Cracked & Crackling Ice, a uniquely “Shiretoko” experience.

Bird Watching

Witness the Natural Monuments that are “Stella’s Sea Eagles and White Tailed Eagles, proudly and confidently comfortable in their natural habitat. Shiretoko Goko Lakes is a very popular destination for local and international bird enthusiasts and photographers.

The “Beauty of Winter”, video

Visitor Rule Guidelines

Service Features

Do not feed the animals in the wild

Service Features

Do not litter

Service Features

No Smoking

Service Features

Do not bring any plants or animals

Genesis of “Mid Winter” Tours

The idea for conducting tours “Mid Winter” was first proposed at the Shiretoko World Heritage Region/Eco-Tourism study group meeting in 2012.

Previously, the Shiretoko Goko Lakes area was not available for “Mid Winter” tours therefore prior to our decision we debated the following points-of-concern prior to approval:

  • How could we best express the beauty and allurement, efficiently
  • Consideration of safety factors for visitors and the eco-system.

Many other points of contention were scrutinized and resolved leading to the approval and opening in 2014


Start your Shiretoko Goko Lakes tour at our “Winter Walking Window” at the registration office.


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