Cape sights in Japan
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Thirty kilometres from Wakkanai, this cape (宗谷岬) is the real thing: mainland Japan's most northern point. Among the cape's various monuments is one dedicated to the victims of Korean Airlines flight 007, which was shot down in 1983 by a Soviet fighter jet. Birdwatchers will love seeing hawks sitting side by side with seagulls and terns on the wave-washed black sand. There are four return buses each day, departing from JR Wakkanai Station (¥2430, one hour each way).
This cape (ノシャプ岬), the second most northern point in mainland Japan, is a nice place for a picture or a picnic, or just to watch the water for a while. If it's a clear day, look for the green flash as the sun slips below the horizon. The cape is a pleasant walk (35 minutes) or bike ride (15 minutes) away from town. Along the way, look out for the kelp-drying yards (they look like gravel-covered car parks if they're not covered with kelp) along the shoreline.