【Kamuy landscapes】

The deep forests and coastlines inhabited by wildlife. Introducing Hokkaido’s natural scenery that changes with the seasons

Special feature

【Kamuy landscapes】 Forests of moss in the Shiretoko mountains where the sound of streams can be heard amid the silence

Maple leaves fall on the moss-covered fallen trees

After parking the car in the deepest part of a forest road in Utoro in the town of Shari in the Okhotsk region, we put on my rubber boots and head along the track that is closed to vehicles.

“The brown bears are downstream near the estuaries looking for salmon, so are no longer upstream above the waterfall.” The words of my companion, who is knowledgeable about the nature of Shiretoko, are reassuring. We cross the stream that meanders through the primeval forest several times. Fallen trees overlap in places, restricting the flow of water.

We set up a tripod in a gap between the fallen trees where the footing is poor, and photograph the contrast between the green moss and the colored maple leaves. The sound of the camera shutter is comforting as it reverberates around the forest where nothing but the sound of flowing water can be heard.

In autumn, the sun sets rapidly. We make our way back amid the dim light. A few minutes later, something splashed in river about 10 meters away. A mass of black runs away and we get a glimpse of the rear end of a big brown bear.

(Photo and words by Shigeru Tadanobu)

Location

Utoro in the town of Shari

Special feature

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