10. Jan 2023 | News

Whereabouts of 2023 Drift Ice

I’m sure many of you who are planning a Hokkaido tour this winter are concerned about the arrival of the drift ice in the Okotsk Sea.

The Regional Coast Guard Headquarters realeased their regular website on drift ice information in December 2022. The Sea Ice Condition Chart shows where the drift ice is and its density. From my past experience, they update the information on a regular basis when the ice gets nearer to Hokkaido. Right now, the frequency of the updates are not mentioned.

This is their website:

As of today, we haven’t heard any official announcements on the dates of arrival of the drift ice to Hokkaido. But in average we see them at the horizon (ie about 20-25km away from shore) at the end of January or very early February. We call this the “First Day of the Drift Ice” (流氷初日).

rf. Ice Information Japan, 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Drift ice covering the Okhotsk Sea and the cruiser