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Rishiri Island from Wakkanai Coast.

Rishiri Island from Wakkanai Coast.

Wakkanai is the northern most city in Japan and sits on the Soya Peninsula and is surrounded on three sides by ocean. It is symbolized by it’s Greek style sea wall which is one of the places to visit in Wakkanai. The city is also known as the “Windy City” because of the almost constant breeze blowing through due to the surrounding ocean. The city has an estimated population of 44,135 and a total area of 797.361 km2. Before the Russo-Japanese War, Wakkanai developed as a port for transportation of goods to and from Sakhalin Island. After WWII, Wakkanai developed more as a major port for deep-sea fishing, local administrative center and a marine products center.

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Cape Noshapu, Wakkanai.

Cape Noshapu, Wakkanai.

Wakkanai takes up most of Cape Noshappu with the other half of the city stretching out to Cape Soya. The main train station is located almost in the center of the city with the downtown area snaking along the coast both north and south of the station. The port facility for transportation to Sakhalin, Rishiri Island or Rebun Island is also just a short walk away. The famous North Breakwater Dome is also just behind this facility. Approximately ten minutes by bus north of the city is the Noshappu lighthouse which is the tallest in Hokkaido. A 20 to 30 minute bus ride will get you to Soya Point the most northern point in Japan. From here on clear days it is actually possible to see Sakhalin (Russian Island), which is just 43 kilometers away.