Shiretoko Drift Ice Walk: How to Enjoy Drift Ice Without Joining a Tour?

Shiretoko’s drift ice has captivated many visitors with its beauty and mysterious atmosphere. But is it possible to enjoy the drift ice in Shiretoko without participating in the “Drift Ice Walk” tour? In this article, I will explain the several ways to appreciate Shiretoko’s drift ice without joining a tour, along with the pros and cons.

Observing Drift Ice: Even without joining a tour, you can observe drift ice along the coastline and ports of Utoro on the Shiretoko Peninsula. From the famous “Puyuni Cape,” known for its sunset views, you can observe the drift ice along with the setting sun on clear days.

Drift Ice Cruises: Cruises departing from locations along the Sea of Okhotsk, such as “Monbetsu” and “Abashiri,” offer opportunities to see drift ice. The “Garinko-go,” departing from Monbetsu, features a large drill on its hull to break the ice, progressing through the ice-covered waters. On the other hand, the “Icebreaker Aorora,” departing from Abashiri, uses the weight of its hull to push down ice sheets, breaking and advancing through the ice. Both ships will take you to the adventure.

Drift Ice Museum: If you want to learn the drift ice from various aspects, the “Okhotsk Drift Ice Museum” in Abashiri is recommended. The museum offers insights into the creatures living the sea under the drift ice, a cinematic experience showcasing the world beneath the ice, and a “Drift Ice Experience Terrace” where you can feel the drift ice in a -15°C indoor setting.

Pros and Cons of Enjoying Drift Ice Without Joining a Tour: The advantage of enjoying drift ice without joining a tour is the flexibility to do so in your preferred way and pace, for example, from a boat or the shore. However, the downside is that, for safety reasons, you won’t be able to experience the real drift ice on the sea. The “Shiretoko Drift Ice Walk” tour allows us safe and immersive experience of walking on the drift ice to fully appreciate its magnificent beauty. If you plan to visit the Okhotsk area to see the drift ice, consider joining the tour for an unforgettable experience! (For more details on the Picchio Shiretoko Drift Ice Walk, click here.)

Even if you choose not to join a tour, there are several ways to enjoy drift ice. Come and visit the Shiretoko Peninsula to savor the breathtaking views of ice!

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Winter’s popular activity, the Shiretoko Drift Ice Walk, is now accepting reservations! For more details, please refer here.

“Picchio” is the Italian word for “woodpecker,” the name of a wild bird that inhabits forests. We believe in preserving forests and their flora and fauna for the future, with the aim of enhancing the value of these forests. As part of our efforts to make more people aware of the positive value of forests inhabited by diverse wildlife, we organize nature experiences and activities in Shiretoko, where you can enjoy encounters with exciting flora and fauna through nature tours and more.

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