Release | nobu Kawashima
Let’s go to Furepe Waterfall! The snowshoes hiking tour with guides
Let’s hike with snowshoes and explore nature of Shiretoko. The tour’s destination is Furepe Waterfall, the frozen ice-blue waterfalls dropping to the ocean with drift ice. Participants and guides will hike together into the woods with sparkling powder snow and snowfields with relaxing Ezo deer.
The best plan is to participate in a guided tourFurepe Waterfall is one of the most significant sightseeing destinations in Shiretoko. It is a waterfall located at the precipitous cliff which water drop between those cliffs to the ocean.
At Furepe Waterfall Observation Deck, you can get a fantastic view of the ocean with drift ice and Shiretoko Mountain Range.
You will hike approximately two kilometers promenades from Shiretoko Nature Center to Furepe Waterfall, which is about 10 minutes by car from Shiretoko Utoro area.
In this tour, I hiked the promenade taking approximately two hours with guides.
▲I wore snowshoes to walk on deep snow at the starting point of the tour, Shiretoko Nature Center.
Anyone can walk the promenade freely when it is open, but I recommend to visit here with a guide.
The reason is that guides tell us about nature in Shiretoko and places to view which only locals know.
▲Guides will tell us things that we won’t notice if we were walking by ourselves.
I participated in “Furepe Waterfall Snow Shoes Hiking Tour” by Shiretoko Nature Office, who operates guided tours in Shiretoko Utoro for this article.
▲The guides will kindly teach you how to wear snowshoes, too.
Many many super beautiful nature views!We will walk into snowy woods and big snowfields until Furepe Waterfall. You can feel magnificent nature at every moment.
▲Walking in the woods, the guide leads us.
▲This tree had scars made by a bear’s nails. I was surprised how big a bear’s hand is comparing to my hand.
When we pass the white woods, the view opened and we got to the snowfield. When I looked back, I noticed beautiful snowy mountains of Shiretoko!
▲This is Shiretoko! Magnificent landscapes came into my eyes!
▲Footprints of animals.
▲Following the footprints, we found an Ezo deer!
▲You can sometimes encounter Ezo deers this close.
When we reached the endpoint of the promenade, which is the observatory to view Furepe Waterfall, we found the ocean covered with drift ice in front, frozen waterfall below, and snowfield plus Shiretoko Mountain Range far away in the back. This is indeed THE best location!
▲You can get the view of the Sea of Okhotsk covered with drift ice and Furepe Waterfall from the cliff along the coastline.
▲In winter, waterfall freezes, and it sometimes looks like shining ice-blue color depending on the lights!
▲I could not move my eyes from this magnificent scenery for a while; it was too beautiful.
I found many more picturesque sceneries while we walked! I felt like I would like to stay here until the sun sets.
The tour includes snow plays, too!While you take a look at beautiful landscapes, you can also play with snow!
“This tree looks good.”
As the guide told me, I stood under the tree covered with snow.
▲Shaking the tree with both hands.
▲It was a shower of powder snow!
Is this some illusion in mid-winter? Because it is powder snow, you can get rid of it if you just swipe the clothes even after getting covered all over with snow.
The guide taught us a snow play.
▲Do you understand what they are doing?
▲Drop your face onto smooth and fluffy snow and wait for a while without moving.
▲Put your face up slowly as you can. Wow! It’s cold!
▲I made my face shape onto the snow!
Lay down or dive into the fluffy powder snow! Adults and children alike can merely play with snow and have fun. The more fun you have, the more memorable it will be!
It will be surely a precious memory on your trip!When walking in nature, I felt like I became a part of natural landscapes. The view is just magnificent! This is Shiretoko; you can feel the beauty of Shiretoko for sure. Those who are planning a trip to Shiretoko, why don’t you participate in the tour? It will surely be a precious moment in the memory!
Photo / Toru Tanaka
Text / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
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