A mysterious world! The wildflower fields and wild animals of “Notsuke Peninsula” and a sand peninsula that is in constant flux

2018-11-06   Visit: Parks & Nature, Hokkaido,


A stark world stretches along all 26 kilometers of Japan’s longest sand spit

Is there anyone out there who hasn’t thought they’d like to take a drive through the great open spaces of Hokkaido?
Notsuke Peninsula is located between Shiretoko Peninsula and Nemuro Peninsula in Hokkaido. Curved like a hook that juts out into the sea, this uniquely shaped peninsula used to be home to a virgin forest of Sakhalin firs and Yezo spruce. As time passed, the land in the surrounding areas sank and the trees on the peninsula turned into a withered forest eroded by seawater. Known as Todowara (field of dead fir trees) and Narawara (field of dead oak trees), this is a bleak, almost apocalyptic landscape.

Coastal currents that transport drift sand and interact with static water so that the sand accumulates and forms a shape, somewhat like the beak of a bird, form Sand spit.


A rich world of wildlife with Japanese cranes, white-tailed eagles, and harbor seals

Notsuke Peninsula and Notsuke Bay are Ramsar Convention wetland sites. From spring until fall, summer birds such as Japanese cranes breed in the area while white-tailed eagles visit during the winter. This is Japan’s largest bird watching spot. Harbor seals and minke whales also make an appearance in the surrounding waters. If you’re lucky, you may spot an orca whale or dolphins!!

notsuki03(white-tailed eagles)White-tailed Eagles

notsuki04(Japanese cranes)Japanese Cranes

A road runs down the middle of the peninsula flanked by the sea. Drive right to the end to enjoy a beautiful sunset!

We particularly recommend the single road that runs straight down to the tip of the peninsula. You can enjoy the Sea of Okhotsk on your left, and on your right, Notsuke Bay with Narawara floating in it. This is a truly awesome drive “through the sea!”

The dusk scenery has the flavor of an unseen fantasy world. It will sweep you away. The Notsuke Peninsula is both a bleak landscape created through natural forces over many many years and somewhat similar to a sacred site, full of unusual wildflowers, insects, and wild animals. Extreme sand drifts and rising seawater levels due to fluctuations in the weather in recent years means that the sand spit and road will eventually be severed by the sea water, turning this peninsula into an island. There are also fears that the peninsula will disappear entirely.

The Notsuke Peninsula is a mysterious site offering a different face in each of the seasons. Without a doubt, this is a place to come and experience for your self.




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