8,910 (30 Sep 2013)
| 773.7 km²|
Sunday 4:13 AM
| Hokkaido (Kushiro Subprefecture)|
Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
-2°C, Wind SW at 11 km/h, 95% Humidity
Shiranuka District, Hokkaido
Shiranuka (白糠町, Shiranuka-chō) is a town located in Shiranuka District, Kushiro Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. As of September, 2013 it has an estimated population of 8,910 and an area of 773.74 km². The population has fallen significantly in recent years.
Shiranuka, Hokkaido Wikipedia
It is believed that the town's name, which is in the indigenous Ainu language, translates roughly into 'the place where the tide passes over the rocky shore'.
During the Meiji restoration, ethnic Japanese were encouraged by the central government to make moves to inhabit the fertile lands of Hokkaido. Shiranuka was thus founded as a small fishing village in 1884, eventually gaining town status in 1950.
Situated at the mouth of the river Charo into the pacific ocean, Shiranuka is flanked on both sides by small hills and has two narrow stretches of sand beaches.
The town has a typically Northern-temperate climate. Winter temperates reach a minimum of around −10 °C, climbing to a maximum of around 20 °C in summer. Snowfall tends to be slightly lower than the rest of Hokkaido, and the local region is known for a high proportion of overcast or foggy days.
Shiranuka is historically a fishing and farming town: many of its inhabitants are still employed in those areas. Local amenities and the civil service also provide a number of jobs.
Shiranuka has a number of kindergartens, an elementary school, a junior high school and a high school. Many junior school students opt to go to high school in Kushiro. The town board of education also covers schools in nearby Shoro and Charo villages.
Like Hokkaido as a whole, perhaps Shiranuka's greatest claim to fame is its culinary offerings. The town has a large population of Sika deer, which are consequently something of a local delicacy along with the sea produce brought in by local fishermen.
Shiranuka is linked to nearby Kushiro by road Route 38, as well as regular bus and train services. A regular train from Shiranuka reaches Sapporo in just under 4 hours; Nemuro and Obihiro are both roughly 2-hour train journeys away.
Although not a common tourist destination in itself, Shiranuka is well placed for nearby attractions. Kushiro wetlands have become famous in Japan since the recovery of the crane population, and Akan National Park is approximately an hours drive from the town. Shiretoko National Park (one of Japan's three World Natural Heritage Sites) is slightly further, but still accessible within 3 hours by car.