Shakotan is a town located approximately 90km west of Sapporo, and occupies the north of the Shakotan Peninsula. Shakotan is famously known for some of the country's best seafood, particularly sea urchins, and is home to the three great capes of the Shakotan Peninsula – Kamui, Shakotan and Ōgon. The town faces the Japan Sea and has a long, scenic 42km sea coast with deep blue colored water. Picture steep sea cliffs, rugged coast and stunning panoramic views. The three capes offer numerous hiking trails and areas off the coast can be viewed on glass-bottomed boat tours making it the perfect day trip itinerary for nature lovers in the warmer months. Note that you can also dive and snorkel, explore the area in sea kayaks, or also take part in SUP tours.
In just 1 hour and 30 minutes you can reach the Shakotan Peninsula from your MnK accommodation by car. We suggest hiring a rental car as the journey offers spectacular and varied sights, from mountains to coastline. All sights listed below are best accessed by car. Be sure to pick a day with clear weather and set off early to mid-morning to enjoy views fully.
Transportation by bus is also available to Cape Kamui via Otaru.
The first, and unmissable stop on this itinerary is Cape Kamui. Cape Kamui is a steep cliff that juts out into the Sea of Japan from Shakotan Peninsula. Make your way to the free parking lot to begin your walk. The round trip takes approximately 40 minutes, from the the walking trail head to the tip of Cape Kamui. Be aware of the opening hours of the gate at the entrance, as this is subject to change based on weather.
Take the walking trail known as Charenka's Path and you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Sea of Japan. In early summer, a yellow flower referred to as daylilies (日光黄菅), blooms here.
Cape Ogon, much like Cape Kamui juts out into the Sea of Japan, and is adjacent to Bikuni Port. Here you can take in the stunning views of the sea on the Ogon-Misaki Observation Deck, built 30m above sea level. The deck is just a short walk from the Shakotan Tourism Centre, where you are free to pick up brochures and maps to help you on your trip. A walking trail (410m) leads to Cape Ogon, which protrudes from Bikuni Port toward the sea. Enter the path at three points and walk to the observatory overlooking the Sea of Japan and seaside cliffs.
If you are looking for fresh sea urchin, this is the place for you! Founded in 1973, Restaurant Misaki is highly popular and open only during the summer season. The restaurant owner also doubles as a fisherman, and serves fresh sea urchin from mid June. The Sea Urchin Rice Bowl comes highly recommended, and is limited to 20 dishes per day.
Shimamu Beach is an inlet beach covered in rocks, as opposed to sand. To access the major viewpoint, walk through a narrow 30m long, dark tunnel. Once you exit, you will reach the main viewpoint and are sure to be impressed by the pristine, blue water that greets you.
If you're prepared for a 10 minute hike, head down to the rocky beach below via a well maintained, but relatively steep trail. There are opportunities to spot marine animals and seabirds here. A perfect spot to stop off at and explore for groups with children.
Did someone say "hot spring with magnificent views of the Sea of Japan"? Misaki-no-Yu Shakotan is a hot spring facility that offers just that! Enjoy a relaxing soak after an adventure packed day, overlooking Cape Shakotan to the right and Cape Kamui to the left. Both open air and indoor baths are available, as well as saunas and cold water baths. Explore the on site shop and gallery, and relax in the social lounge afterwards.