Wild Shiretoko - World Heritage Site *RERUN
Listed as a Natural Heritage site, Shiretoko is a treasure trove of flora and fauna. A remote land, closed by snow and ice in winter, it was embraced by pioneers who came to find new lives on land wrestled from nature. This program showcases the beauty of Shiretoko's transition through the seasons, and offers a glimpse of the lives of those who have reached a hard-won yet delicate accord with nature.

A frozen land

In winter, the sea that surrounds Shiretoko is closed by drift ice, but with the coming of spring the ice starts to melt and nutrients captured within it attract swarms of krill, which in turn attract some 200 kinds of fish, as well as whales, orca, and flocks of shearwaters.

The fishermen's way of life

Once the drift ice disappears, fishermen take up a rudimentary residence in this remote and desolate place that will serve as their home for the next 7 months. Though the environment is challenging, on their very doorstep lies an incredibly rich salmon fishing ground, a ground that attracts not only human endeavor but the roaming brown bear, and these 2 groups of hunters must learn to coexist.

Frontier farmland

Once considered inappropriate for farming, the intensely cold and windswept Shiretoko Peninsula was cleared of its primeval forests more than 100 years ago by pioneers hoping to cultivate farmland and new lives in this inhospitable land. Even now, frontier farmers continue to cultivate this soil and grow quality produce in fields that seem to remain strewn with rocks no matter how many times the land has been tilled.