go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Introducing Wakkanai

Wakkanai, Japan's most northern city, changes wildly with the seasons. From November to March, it's something akin to a remote Siberian outpost, home to hearty fishermen, kelp farmers and a harp-seal colony. Outside the winter months, it's a pleasantly mild port city that serves as a departure point for ferries to Rishiri-tō and Rebun-tō, two dramatic wildflower-dotted islands that rank among Hokkaidō's highlights, and – assuming you have your visa in order – a trip across the border to the Russian island of Sakhalin. And yes...those translations on the street signs about town are in Russian!

While it may seem at the northerly end of the world, Wakkanai is actually 45° North in latitude, about the same as Portland, Oregon, and Milan, Italy.