Located roughly 90 kilometers west of Sapporo, Shakotan is a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Sea of Japan. It houses the three great capes of Ōgon, Shakotan and Kamui, which form part of Hokkaido’s only marine park. You can reach here either by rental car or by bus, which leaves Sapporo once every day and Otaru four times a day (between April and October).
One of Shakotan’s iconic sightseeing locations, Cape Kamui guarantees a breathtaking view of the coastline to anyone who visits here. A nature trail connects the entrance to the observatory, and takes about 30 minutes on foot to complete. Be sure to observe the wide variety of flora and fauna that gives life to this nature trail as you stroll along. There are also a number of great photo-taking spots overseeing the crystal clear waters, as well as the lush greenery, along this pathway.
Once you have reached the final stop – the Cape Kamui Observatory, you are greeted by the Cape Kamui Lighthouse, one of the earliest lighthouses in Hokkaido. At the peak of the cape, end your walk with a beautiful scenery of the Kamui Rock below.
At the base of Cape Kamui is Yobetsu, a small fishing town. Here, there are many restaurants selling the famous summer delicacy called Uni-don, or sea urchin rice bowl. One of them is Shinsei, pictured above. If sea urchin is not your cup of tea, you can also try out other kinds of seafood delicacies, made using the freshest ingredients caught in the ocean.
Bikuni, and Cape Ōgon
Between Cape Kamui and Otaru is a town named Bikuni, home to yet another landmark of the marine park called Cape Ōgon. The bus stop at Bikuni serves as a souvenir shop as well as a tourist information center, so be sure to grab a few pamphlets of the area. From the bus stop, it takes about 15 minutes on foot to reach the observatory at Cape Ōgon, overlooking Takarajima Island beyond. Takarajima Island is said to be a “power spot”, or that it gives blessings to visitors due to its heart shape.
Here at Bikuni, you can also take a cruise, which takes you on a journey to observe the breathtaking sceneries of Cape Ōgon, as well as the vibrant underwater life. Cruises leave from the port of Bikuni every 50 to 60 minutes, between April and October.
If you need further information of Shakotan and the cruise, do check out the links below:
Hokkaido Shakotan tourism Web site