Today was supposed to be a ‘rest’ day. Instead we cycled a 30km round-trip to see the famous Five Lakes, right in the heart of Shiretoko National Park. The climb up to the lakes was truly stunning. Wild flowers, and ancient-looking forest. All with the excitement that you might be attacked and torn to pieces by a bear at any moment.
Just to do the 1.5 hour walk, visitors have to take part in a 10 minute lecture on what to do to avoid encounters with grizzly bears, and what to do if you manage to encounter one. The advice taken most to heart, apparently, was to avoid encounters by making noise, such as clapping. For the first five minutes or so of the walk, therefore, you’d hardly know whether you were in a peaceful national forest, or a pentecostal church worship service. Luckily for us, the group quickly dispersed along the track, with us taking up the rear. We were mostly content with Haidee’s dinging bear-bell. This allowed us to enjoy the lakes more or less in peace and quiet.
Distance: about 30km | Time on bikes: | Average speed: | Bears: 0
Financials: Food: 4,623yen | Accommodation: 800yen | Onsen (hotspring): 1000yen