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#WeekenderWhere: Discover A Hidden Side Of Hokkaido

Beyond the popular cities of Sapporo and Otaru, Hokkaido has much to offer. We venture to the East end to uncover these sights

Photos & text by Pamela Chow

Shiretoko National Park was named after this view, as “shiretoko” means “the end of Earth”.

Other than the oft-visited cities of Sapporo and Otaru, where else does the beauty of Hokkaido linger? With the island opening new bus routes and sprucing up its domestic airports, the far reaches of Hokkaido’s lesser-known regions are emerging into view.

We discover the delicious sights and tastes that East Hokkaido has been hiding.

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We trekked through a 1000-year-old forest in rubber boots and windbreakers, hearing the wind roar through Shiretoko National Park. It took us three hours to cover the 5km in and out of the forest. There are two stunning viewpoints on this trail; the first is a cliffside where you can hear the bellow of wind and waves from the Okhotsk Sea.

The second opening is what Shiretoko National Park was named after: “shiretoko” translates to “the end of Earth”.

Here, the sheer cliffs drop off into the ocean, earning the area its moniker. In winter and early-spring, the crashing waves are frozen on the cliffs to form picturesque icicles.

Nearest airport: Memanbetsu Airport

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 164, October 28 – November 10, 2016, with the headline ‘Discover a Hidden Side of Hokkaido’.

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