Hokkaido Day Trip: Traverse Teuri and Yagishiri Islands | Japan Updates

When thinking of Japan’s islands, our mind travels to okinawa, Nagasaki or Shikoku. But what if we told you Japan’s northernmost prefecture has some islands of its own worth exploring?

About 25 kilometers from Haboro, a fishing village located in the Hokkaido subprefecture of Rumoi, the two verdant islands of Teuri and Yagishiri hold many treasures for the adventurous visitor. The islands make up two-thirds of the compact Shokanbetsu-Teuri-Yagishiri Quasi-National Park and are important parts of regional ecosystems that locals have vowed to restore and protect.

If you’re already planning a trip to Hokkaido, consider dedicating a day to exploring these picturesque isles. An early morning drive to Haboro will be your first step to visiting Teuri and Yagishiri islands. We recommend catching the first ferry of the day to ensure you can visit both islands in one trip.

hokkaido daytrip yagishiri island

The Ancient Forests of Yagishiri Island

When taking the ferry from Haboro, Yagishiri Island will be your first stop. Like many places in this area of ​​Hokkaido, Yagishiri saw its native ecosystem slowly being destroyed by deforestation and fires through both human interference and natural catastrophes. Once upon a time, the entire island was nothing but forests. Today, only one-third of the original woodlands, named Onko Forest, remains. Still, over 50 species of trees and 340 varieties of plants thrive here.

One of Yagishiri Island’s advantages is its accessibility. Cycle around its circumference to see sheep farms scattered around the island, as well as local restaurants and souvenir shops. The island also has numerous camping sites. Everywhere you look, you will see the product of locals’ efforts towards sustainability, including structures and facilities made entirely from Yagishiri wood.

Fly Like a Bird on Teuri Island

Head back to the port and onto the next stop: Teuri Island. Much like its neighbor, Teuri Island is full of life—especially if you look up at the sky. Although only about 330 people live on the island, Teuri is officially registered as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and is home to over one million birds, including native Guillemots and Rhinoceros Auklets.

During the nesting season, be on the lookout for eight species of birds building nests on the vertical cliffs on the west side of the island. There are a few observatories where you can birdwatch and take in the sea breeze. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes for the hike to these. It may be a bit of a trek, but the views and new friends you’ll make along the way make it worth the trip.

After exploring the two islands, it’s time to head back to Haboro. From there, you can either return to the bright lights of the city or continue exploring the wilderness of Western Hokkaido.

Yagishiri Island

More info

Find more information on Teuri and Yashigiri islands via the official tourism website and Instagram page,

How to get to Haboro

Haboro is easily accessible by car from Sapporo and Asahikawa. A less convenient but still reliable option is the Engan Bus company, which connects Sapporo, Asahikawa, Rumoi and Haboro cities.

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