Market in Wakkanai


About a 10-minute walk south of JR Wakkanai Station, this complex has restaurants, souvenir shops and the Minato-no-yu Onsen. It's designed to evoke the Wakkanai of bygone days. Poke around to see some historical...

Landmark in Wakkanai


Thirty kilometres east of Wakkanai, Sōya-misaki is mainland Japan's northernmost point, where walkers and cyclists traversing the full length of Japan either start or finish. Buses depart six times daily from bus...

Landmark in Wakkanai


The second most northern point in mainland Japan, this cape is a pleasant walk (45 minutes) or bike ride (6km, 20 minutes) north of town. On the way, look out for the kelp-drying yards along the shoreline. If the...

Russian in Wakkanai


If seeing all that Cyrillic on the street signs around Wakkanai has got you hankering for some pelmeni (dumplings; ¥700) or pirozhki (stuffed buns; ¥300), Pechika will help you out. There's plenty of Russian beer...

Seafood in Wakkanai


This popular seafood joint does good-value sushi sets as well as some seafood-themed variations on classic Japanese dishes, and some darned good fried chicken. Take-chan is a short walk from JR Wakkanai Station,...

Sports in Wakkanai

Japan Cup Dogsled Race

The biggest dogsled race in Japan takes place early in February and winds through some truly inhospitable frozen terrain (dress warmly!). Local buses (¥280) run to Ōnuma and a free shuttle bus operates between...

Notable Building in Wakkanai

Northern Breakwater Dome

Fans of kitsch will want to walk a few minutes north of the ferry terminal to see Wakkanai's breakwater, built in 1936 to look like a straightened version of the Colosseum in Rome.

Onsen in Wakkanai

Minato-no-yu Onsen

Wakkanai's best public onsen has outdoor baths that look over the harbour, and funky boat-shaped stairs for those who opt out of taking the elevator.