Mt. Rausu Round Trip from Iwaobetsu Onsen (hot spring) | HIKES IN JAPAN

Mt. Rausu Round Trip from Iwaobetsu Onsen (hot spring)

Hike the Highest Mountain in Shiretoko, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.
  • Duration
    1Day / 8.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level
Mt. Rausu (Rausu-dake) is located in the center of the Shiretoko Peninsula, which became a World Natural Heritage Site in 2005. It is the tallest peak in the Shiretoko Mountain Range (Shiretoko-renzan), which also includes Mt. Sashirui (Sashirui-dake), Mt. Io (Ioh-zan), and many other mountains. The conical shape of the peak can be seen from a number of Shiretoko’s scenic spots, including the Shiretoko Goko Lakes, Shiretoko Pass (Shiretoko-toge), and Lake Rausu (Rausu-ko). Here, we introduce a relatively short round course from Iwaobetsu Onsen (Hot spring) in Shari Town.

Sign your name on the list of hikers at the Kinoshita-goya mountain hut listed at the trailhead and start hiking. After hiking the ridge trail through the forest belt for approximately an hour, you will arrive at the “650m Ganpo.”

After the hiking trail switches to a traverse, you will soon arrive at a mountain stream. While there is water here, drinking water from mountain streams in Hokkaido can lead to contracting echinococcosis, a parasitic disease spread by the Ezo red fox. As such, it would be best to bring your own drinking water. Proceed along the flat trail at Gokuraku-daira and up the steep, zigzagging Sennin-zaka Hill and you will arrive at the Ginreisui watering hole in approximately 90 minutes.

From here, the trail follows the valley up through the timberline and into a shrub belt that blooms with a variety of alpine plants in the summer. After walking from Ginreisui along the ridgeline for approximately an hour, you will arrive at Rausu-daira. The surrounding area is a dwarf stone pine belt that offers a scenic view including an up-close view of the peak of Mt. Rausu.

Leave the dwarf stone pine belt at Iwashimizu. From here, the hike to the summit is up a rocky section slope with rows of large boulders. After leaving Rausudaira you will arrive at the peak of Mt. Rausu in approximately an hour. If the skies are clear, you will likely be able to enjoy a 360-degree view of the mountains of the Shiretoko Mountain Range, the Sea of Okhotsk, and beyond.

Take the same path back down the mountain.

Other Info

Although this route can be hiked in a single day, it requires many hours of walking due to the large elevation difference. As such, we recommend staying at Hotel Chinohate located at the trailhead before and/or after hiking the route. There, you can enjoy open-air baths in a virgin forest sourced from Iwaobetsu Onsen’s hot springs.

Best Season:July to September

If you go to this trail outside of the best season, you should pay attention to weather and trail conditions, as the mountain is located in a snowy area; there may still be snow on the trail in June, and it may start snowing from September. Snow mountaineering equipements and experience are required during the winter season.


The Shiretoko Peninsula, which has an ecosystem that has remained largely untouched, is home to a wide variety of animal life. However, brown bears require an extra caution. Make sure to check the information on bear appearances that is available at the Kinoshita-goya near the trailhead. We recommend wearing bear bells in order to assure that bears are aware of your presentence and carrying bear spray in case of the unlikely event that you cross paths with a bear.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


1Day / 8.5Hours
Highest Point
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail


Kinoshita-goya (mountain hut)


Hotel Chinohate


Hotel Chinohate




The mountain is located near the center of the Shiretoko Peninsula in the eastern part of Hokkaido. A flight from Haneda Airport to Memanbetsu Airport takes approximately an hour and 45 minutes. From Memanbetsu Airport, take the Abashiri Bus to JR Abashiri Station (Approx. 30 minutes.) Transfer to the Senmo Main Line at JR Abashiri Station to JR Shiretoko-Shari Station (Approx. 50 minutes.)
Transfer to the Shari Bus from JR Shiretoko-Shari Station to Iwaobetsu Bus Stop (Approx. 80 minutes.). From the Iwaobetsu Bus Stop, take the Hotel Chinohate shuttle to the hotel (Approx. 10 minutes.). The trailhead is located right behind it.



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