- Kommunistichesky pr 29 Town Centre
- tel, info: 8 4242 727 555
- admission Rbl70, photo/video permit Rbl50/Rbl70
- 11:00-17:00 Tue, to 18:00 Wed-Sun
Lonely Planet review for Regional Museum
Home to the Karafuto administration before the USSR seized the island from the Japanese in 1945, the pagoda-roofed Regional Museum is the city's best museum. On the 1st floor are photos of the island's (and the Kurils') natural features and Chekhov-era prisons, plus 19th century seal-hide tunics worn by the Ainu (some of the island's indigenous population). The wildlife room - a taxidermy-rama - features a seal exhibit complete with a model of a bird dung-splattered cliff.
Upstairs highlights the Soviet days - best is the photo of the 1931 komsomol group with a mix of races sitting sides by side. A small Korean exhibit has recently been added. It's all in Cyrillic (except for details in English on how to purchase art in the gallery). Next door, at the old Officers' Club (Dom Ofitserov), a jet fighter overlooks nine armoured vehicles and cannons: a free climbing zone for the area's tots.