Rishiri Island [利尻島]
Map of Rishiri Island
Rishiri Island is an island in the Sea of Japan, and is located about 40 km southwest of Wakkanai city.
It is a nearly round island.
It is about 15 km from east to west and 17 km from north to south in width, and is about 63 km in circumference.
There is a singular Mount Rishiri (1,721 m) in the center of the island.
The beautiful mountain is similar to Mount Fuji, so it is also called "Rishiri-Fuji".
This island is like a mountain towering in the sea.
The main industry of Rishiri Island is fishery.
Especially, konbu (edible kelp) around Rishiri Island has a high quality, so Rishiri is famous as a typical production area of konbu in Japan.
The population of the island is about 4,500.
Main villages are Oshidomari (鴛泊) on the northern coast and Kutsugata (沓形) on the western coast.
There are the port of ferry and Rishiri Airport around Oshidomari.
The main attractions of this island are the nature around Mt.Rishiri.
To travel around Rishiri Island, a route bus runs all the way around the island from Katsugata town, 4-5 times per day.
And, we can use the taxi for sightseeing.
The taxi companies are at Oshidomari and Kutsugata.
In addition, you can rent a car, a motorbike or a bicycle at mainly Oshidomari.
Sunset at Yuhigaoka
(1) Oshidomari village (鴛泊)
Oshidomari is a central town on the north coast, and the ferries from Wakkanai and Rebun Island come in here.
And there is Rishiri Airport about 4 km west of this village.
Cape Peshi (ペシ岬) is located 0.7 km north of Oshidomari port.
It is a rocky hill and the height is 93 meters high.
The shape is like a big whale.
We can see the Mt.Rishiri and Rebun island at an observatory on the top of the cape.
Yuhigaoka Observatory (夕日ヶ丘展望台) is an observatory located about 2 km northwest of the Oshidomari village.
It is on the cliff of the coast and grassland expands around the observatory.
In the northwestern direction, you can see a small island "Ponmoshiri island".
And Rebun Island is seen in the distance.
"Yuhigaoka" means "Hill of sunset".
As its name suggests, the sunset over Rebun Island is beautiful.
(2) Himenuma (姫沼)
Himenuma is a small lake in primary forest on the foot of Mt.Rishiri
It is located 3 km southeast of Oshidomari town and is located 125 meters above sea level.
It is a very calm lake and we can see Mt.Rishiri.
It is 800 meters round and there is a wooden path along the lake.
(3) Mount Rishiri (利尻山)
Mount Rishiri is nearly the center of the island.
There are two routes of the climb.
One is from Oshidomari village.
We can go to "Rishiri-hokuroku camp site" located 2 km south of Oshidomari by car.
From there, there is a mountain trail to the top. The distance is 7 km.
There is a spring called "Kanrosen" near the camp site.
It is known for tasty water.
Another is from Kutsugata village.
We can go to "Mikaeridai observatory" located 5 km east of Kutsugata by car.
It is on the fifth station of the mountain.
Then we can climb from there for distance of 5 km.
It is very hard to climb this mountain.
There is no mountain hut on the route.
So, you shouldn't climb the mountain in light outfit.
Entrance to Lake Otatomari
(4) Lake Otatomari (オタトマリ沼)
Lake Otatomari is a small lake in the south part of the island.
It is close to the main road, so there is Numaura stop of the route bus near the lake.
This is one of good spots to view Mount Rishiri.
The spot is on the south side of the mountain, so it looks more cheerful than the scenery at Himenuma.
There is a walking trail along the lake, and a moor, an observatory and a camp sites are around here.
This scenery is used on the package of "Shiroi-koibito" which is the very popular cookie made in Sapporo.
How to get here
By ferry, 1 hour and 40 minutes from Wakkanai port to Oshidomari port.
And 40 minutes from Rebun island.
By airplane, 1 hour and 10 minutes from Shin-Chitose airport.