Owned by a diver/wildlife photographer (iruka means dolphin), this hotel guesthouse sits by the water in Utoro. Vast fish dinners are served in the bright, modern dining room and on the wooden deck overlooking the Okhotsk Sea. You can alo use the tiny outdoor hot spring. Yamamoto-san speaks some English and is qualified to take guests diving under the ice floes in winter. From the small tatami rooms at dusk, keep an eye out for local foxes that curl up on the hoods
of the still-warm cars in the parking lot. The bright yellow hotel is the first house in the village as you arrive from Abashiri, but you'll need to double back to get into the tiny entrance road.