Teuri Island Full Loop Hike

天売島 | Te-uri

Posted on May 6, 2018
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Posted on May 6, 2018

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Reading time: 2 min
11km

Distance

5 hours

Time

200m

Ascent

167m

Highest point

3/10

Difficulty

Best season icon (Hokkaido Wilds)
May-Oct

Best season

Teuri Island (天売島) is a small island off the northwestern coast of Hokkaido in northern Japan. Its 12km of coastline is home to some of Japan's largest colonies of common guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet, Spectacled Guillemot, Japanese cormorant, and slaty-backed gull. The island is easily accessible by public transport, and makes for an excellent, easy walking trip. Note, however, that the majority of walking will be on the single paved road that runs around the island. For this reason, a folding bicycle also makes for a good way to get around the island.

We visited this route on May 04, 2018

Last updated Mar 23, 2020

Route Map

Need to know details

Location

This hike goes around the perimeter of Teuri Island, off the northeastern coast of Hokkaido. The trailhead is about 50m uphill from the lookout above the ferry terminal (here).

General notes

Teuri Island (天売島) is well known as a mecca for birders wanting to see rare seabirds in overwhelming numbers (over 200 species have been recorded). The island is home to 320 humans, and about 1,000,000 sea birds in the migrating and breeding season during May, June and July. The name Teuri is from the Ainu language, and is said to mean either “fish entrails (on the back of a shrimp)” or “foot”. The island is best known as being the location for Japan’s largest colony of Rhinoceros Auklet (approx. 600,000 birds), but is also home to common guillemot, Spectacled Guillemot, Japanese cormorant, and slaty-backed gull. The island is also home to approximately zero stray cats – they were eradicated in 2016 in order to protect the birds. The sea bird colonies are along the 4km 100m high cliffs on the western side of the island. The best way to see the birds is on a boat tour (up to date information here). To see the Rhinoceros Auklet (ウトウ, utou in Japanese), all you need is a bright torch and patience to wait till late dusk at the southwestern tip of the island. The only walking trails are at the eastern end of the island, but the paved single-lane road that goes around the perimeter (one-way clockwise traffic only) is quiet and might have about one car an hour at the most.

Hut

None

Route

This route is not marked. The road-walking section around the southern and norther sides of the island is on a smooth-surface paved road with no junctions though, so it is easy to follow. There are multiple junctions on the interior track through the woods though, so make sure to double-check your bearings.

Route Timing
Up | 2.5hrs
Down | 2.5hrs

How long it takes to complete this route really depends on how long you spend looking at birds and the view. With no technical sections or scrambling involved, it is fair to assume your normal walking speed.

Transport

Public transport:

This trail is accessible by train or bus to Haboro Town (羽幌町) then ferry via Yagishiri Island. There are two types of ferries, so here’s the lowdown (for costs including bicycles, see the Teuri/Yagishiri Cycle Tour Route Guide here).

Ferries to and from Teuri Island

There are two types of ferries from Haboro to the islands –  a fast ferry and a slow ferry. The timetable is a mess of different times for different times of the year (see it here). Google Translate does an OK job at translating the timetable into English (see the translated version here), but fails at the destination names.

Wearing a balloon = Arrival at Yagishiri
From Nannjiri = Leaving Yagishiri
Arrival at the age = Arrival at Teuri
From the auction = Leaving Teuri
Arrive at Azusa = Arrival at Haboro

Tickets have to bought per section. I.e., Haboro↔Yagishiri, Yagishiri↔Teuri. There are no return discount tickets. There’s no direct ferry to Teuri Island. They all go via Yagishiri. As of 2018/11/06, these were the prices (second class).

Slow ferry (Ororon 2)

  • Haboro↔Yagishiri (60min): 1,570yen each way
  • Yagishiri↔Teuri (25min): 720yen each way
  • Add an extra ~200yen per section if travelling on the fast boat during the high season (July/August).

Fast boat (Sunliner 2)

  • Haboro↔Yagishiri (35min): 2,780yen each way
  • Yagishiri↔Teuri (15min): 1,320yen each way
  • Add an extra ~200yen per section if travelling on the fast boat during the high season (July/August).

Summing it all up

 

Slow ferry: To go from Haboro to Teuri Island return on the slow ferry (about 1hr 45mins total each way), it’ll cost a total of 4,580yen (4,960yen in July/August). Tickets for each leg must be bought individually at each respective ferry terminal.

Fast boat: To travel from Haboro to Teuri Island return on the fast boat (about 1hr 5mins total each way), it’ll cost 8,200yen return (8,580yen in July/August). Tickets for each leg must be bought individually at each respective ferry terminal.

By car: 

There is ample parking at Haboro Ferry terminal. It is also possible to take a car on the ferry to Teuri Island. For a standard sedan-sized vehicle, it will be around 11,000yen one way (see prices here, in Japanese). Note that vehicles must be pre-booked.

Physical maps
Official Topo Map: Yagishiri-jima (焼尻島) – map no. NL-54-18-10-3

NOTE: The GSI 1/25000 topo map(s) above can be purchased for 350yen from Kinokuniya bookstore next to Sapporo Station or online (in Japanese).

route safety

N/A

Weather forecast

Windy.com weather forecast for Teuri Island

Onsen nearby

None (Teuri Island has no hotsprings).

Extra Resources

Show Full Route Notes Close Route Notes

Route Trip Notes

DISCLAIMER: We didn’t actually walk around the whole island. We had our folding bikes with us (see that route guide here). We only walked the northeastern forest track (route here).

We split our explore around Teuri Island into A) a hike around the northeastern forest area and B) a bike ride around the island. The forest at the northeastern end of the island has a mix of plantation and native forest. Most of the way is on an old but level trail. There’s nothing technical.

Beyond the forest, the route is now on an exposed one-lane, one-way paved road – the only one that skirts the circumference of the island. There is no natural shelter along this road. Note that we were on Teuri in May, not long after the snow has melted. Later in the season there will be more substantial undergrowth.

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Comments | Queries | Reports

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