Northern Hokkaido

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Bordered by both the Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk Sea, this area is home to the northern most point in Japan as well as large open pastoral leases. It is a favorite area for trekking and bird watching and home to the two islands of Rishiri and Rebun, which are known for their spectacular natural beauty and large variety of wildlife. Also well known is the road running along the coast from Sapporo to Wakkanai which delivers some of the best sunsets in Japan. Hot spring areas in this region include the Toyotomi Hot Spring and Wakkanai Hot Spring.

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NORTHERN HOKKAIDO CITIES
- Wakkanai
TOP SPOTS
  • Kitami Takinoshima Station Museum
    Even though Takinoue doesn’t have a train station, they do have a small museum dedicated to train memorabilia known as the ‘Old Kitami Takinoshi Station’. Opened in 1990, it’s an interesting place with plenty of exhibits with information about the station, and over three …
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  • 滝上神社 
    Takinoue Shrine
    Takinoue Shrine is a Shinto Shrine that was built in the heart of Takinoue. The location of a shrine is related to the sacred nature of a place where a holy ceremony took place in the past. In 1954 the center of the town was established by the village company, and the shrine was then constructed …
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  • Rakuyo Falls
    Takinoue Gorge & Rainbow Bridge
    Takinoue Gorge (Kinsenkyo) is a hidden gem in the pleasant town of Takinoue and is formed from the Shokotsu River that flows from east to west. The gorge has a fantastic walking track that runs on both sides of the river offering great views down the gorge, and was voted as one of Hokkaido’s top …
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  • Takinoue City Museum
    The Takinoue City Museum may not look much from the outside, but on the inside, its a hidden treasure trove of Japanese history, antiques, and large dioramas depicting early life in the Takinoue area. The first room has information and dioramas on the local wildlife. It also has information about …
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SIGHTSEEING GENERAL
  • Kitami Takinoshima Station Museum
    Even though Takinoue doesn’t have a train station, they do have a small museum dedicated to train memorabilia known as the ‘Old Kitami Takinoshi Station’. Opened in 1990, it’s an interesting place with plenty of exhibits with information about the station, and over three hundred items from the train stations of old. All the signs are in Japanese but you can still enjoy these items from over fifty years ago. The train museum is located right next to the Takinoue Cultur …
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  • Takinoue Shrine
    滝上神社 
    Takinoue Shrine is a Shinto Shrine that was built in the heart of Takinoue. The location of a shrine is related to the sacred nature of a place where a holy ceremony took place in the past. In 1954 the center of the town was established by the village company, and the shrine was then constructed 1965. It is said that the spirits of the Gods of Japan exist as a sacred object which is enshrined inside the building. Shinto priests and shrine maidens work there all year round and prepare a variety …
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  • Takinoue City Museum
    The Takinoue City Museum may not look much from the outside, but on the inside, its a hidden treasure trove of Japanese history, antiques, and large dioramas depicting early life in the Takinoue area. The first room has information and dioramas on the local wildlife. It also has information about life in the Hokkaido region from a hundred years ago, and the way people lived. It has clothing from that era, tools used, farming methods and a fantastic Meiji era living room. Although the …
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  • Takinoue Gorge & Rainbow Bridge
    Rakuyo Falls
    Takinoue Gorge (Kinsenkyo) is a hidden gem in the pleasant town of Takinoue and is formed from the Shokotsu River that flows from east to west. The gorge has a fantastic walking track that runs on both sides of the river offering great views down the gorge, and was voted as one of Hokkaido’s top hundred tourist spots for its breathtaking scenery. The path runs for 2.7km one way, starting from the rainbow bridge to the Keikoku Park Camping Ground. This river is a popular spot for fly fishing and …
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Wakkanai

North Breakwater Dome

North Breakwater Dome

North Breakwater Dome


This unusual sea wall is the symbol of Wakkanai and is located very near the sea terminal for ferries to Sakhalin, Rebun and Rishiri Islands. Named “The North Breakwater Dome”, it is 427 meters in length, has 70 pillars and there is also a walkway inside. The dome was built to protect the port from the strong winds and waves that are almost constant in this area. The dome was used as a pier for boats servicing the islands from 1923 to 1945, and now the dome is a popular tourist attraction and the main area for some of Wakkanai’s yearly events / festivals. Top

Admission-
Opening Hours-
Closed-
Contact-
Getting There1 Chome-1-2-2 Kaiun, Wakkanai-shi, Hokkaidō 097-0023, Japan

Wakkanai

Cape Soya & Wakkanai West Coast

Cape Soya is the most northern point in Japan and is marked by a small monument commemorating the north and the northern frontier spirit. From here, on clear days it is possible to see the Russian Island of Sakhalin which is only 43 kilometers away. 

Japanese Explorer

Japanese Explorer

Cape Soya is also part of Japanese northern exploration history and a monument to one of Japan’s famous explorers is here. This site is quite amazing and very beautiful. In winter huge ice flows from the north pass by and It is possible to take boat rides on various kinds of ice breakers to enjoy the spectacle more. Located on top of the cape above the area for the most northern pont, there are several monuments and a small lighthouse. One of them is “The Bell for World Peace”, which is a replica of the bell situated in the garden in front of United Nations Building in New York City.
Korean Air Disaster Memorial

Korean Air Disaster Memorial

Another is the “Tower of Prayer”, which was built as a memorial to the passengers of a Korean Airlines flight which was shot down by the Soviet Union just north of the cape. Top

Along the sea of Japan, the coastline running north and south of Wakkanai, is known as “The Wakkanai Western Coast”. This seaside highway which commands ocean views and views of the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park area is an extremely popular driving course and many motorcycle and car touring groups head this way. From the coastal road it is possible to see Mt. Rishiri Fuji, rising from the sea to a height of 1,721 meters. The national park consists of sand dunes and seasonally changing wild flowers and some magnificent sunsets on good days. A must see for nature lovers. Top

Admission-
Opening HoursOpen 24 hrs
Closed-
Contactwelcome.wakkanai.hokkaido.jp
+81 162-23-6161
Getting ThereSoyamisaki, Wakkanai, Hokkaido Prefecture 098-6758, Japan

Wakkanai

Wakkanai Park & Central District

Monument to Snow & Ice

Monument to Snow & Ice


Located on the western side of Wakkanai City, Wakkanai Park has several interesting monuments built in it. Monuments include “Hyohsestsu No Mon” or “the Gate to Ice and Snow” which commemorates the former Japanese settlements on Sakhalin before it was ceded to the Russians at the end of WWII. There is also the “Monument to Nine Ladies” which commemorates the nine young female telephone operators who committed suicide at the post office on Sakhalin at the endWorld War II. 

Another monument commemorates two sled dogs by the names of Taro and Jiro. These two dogs were used in Japanese Antarctic explorations. The two dogs were abandoned in Antarctica for more than a year and survived the experience.

Taro & Jiro Monument

Taro & Jiro Monument

The final monument is located at the highest point in the park and is called “The Wakkanai Centennial Memorial Tower” which commemorates the 100th year since the founding of Wakkanai. The tower commands an excellent 360° panoramic view of Rebun and Rishiri Islands, Sakhalin, and Cape Soya. In winter there is also a ski course here for some winter enjoyment. Top

Admission-
Opening HoursOpen 24hrs
Closed-
Contactcity.wakkanai.hokkaido.jp
+81 162-22-2229
Getting ThereYamuwakkanai Wakkanaimura, Wakkanai-shi, Hokkaidō 097-0000, Japan