After a long and tiring nightdrive, I arrived at Shari, a small town by the oceanside in the eastern part of the island known as the Shiretoko Peninsula. This was probably the most "shocking" part of my trip because as this was my 2nd overall visit to Japan I was somewhat accustomed to its urban and busy environments.
The bus dropped me at a "dead" and small bus station, about 7am in the morning. Hokkaido is colder than the rest of Japan due to it being the northen part of the country, and I was already experiecing that in Sapporo but I remember that first morning in Shari was extremely chilly on top of rainy as well.
Unfortunately my hostel was still closed when I arrived so I walked to the nearest tourist information center (which is always a good idea in every new place in Japan that has one) to get some maps and talk with someone who could offer more information and share his experience.
I stayed in a hostel called "Bon's Home" which was a lovely place. The rooms were old fashioned japanese with tatami floors and futon beds which I personally love. I was lucky to share my stay with a nice Taiwanese couple where we shared our dinner and beers and had a good time. We also went for stargazing and it was an amazing experience - because Shari is so far away from the urban Japan all the stars were bright and you could see everything.
Next to my hostel there was a convience store, and also a hotel that had an amazing onsen on its top floor including an outside area which offered you a view to the city and the ocean around it. Probably one my favorite onsen experiences in Japan, definitely recommend going there!
Main things to do around Shari:
- This is THE hokkaido, in terms of nature (this and one of my destinations after). There are lot of nature trails, waterfalls, forests, capes to see.
- Cape Utoro
- Furepe Falls
- Visit Rausu
- Rausu Lake
There are a lot more things to do. As I had no car with me, traveling was very restricted which is a common problem for traveling around Hokkaido.
There were about 3 buses per day from Shari and back to these places, so you have to plan everything carefully and NOT miss your bus.
(Irrelevant if you're renting a car of course)
After my Shari stay I took a bus to Sounkyo, located in an area called Kamikawa and overall in the part of the island called "Daisetsuzan National Park".