Tourist-friendly Port Town Wakkanai

Japan’s northernmost city of Wakkanai (稚内) is an important turning point for all tourists. In summer Wakkanai is crowded with group tourists, railway enthusiasts, hiker, bikers and cyclists. They spend a couple of time in the town and its surroundings before traveling onward. This nationally-famous city has ferry connections to Rishiri, Rebun and Sakhalin (only in summer) islands.

Wakkanai Station ‘KITAColor’

(稚内駅) The modern JR Wakkanai Station (tickets 6.20am-5.50pm), Wakkanai Station bus terminal (tickets 5.40am-6pm & 9.30pm-11pm) and Michi-no-eki (roadside station) are in one building of KITA Color (キタカラ).

The cinema complex T-Joy Wakkanai  is situated on the 2nd floor of JR Wakkanai Station. All films are ¥500 discount after 8pm (late show). It is a good place to kill time after dinner or before getting on the night bus.More info

North Breakwater Dome

(北防波堤ドーム) This 427m-long and 13.6m-height half-arched breakwater, designed by Tsuchiya Minoru (26-year-old at that time), is an enduring symbol of the city near JR Wakkanai Station. Kita-Bohatei Dome has 70 cylindrical columns and was built in 1936 as Wakkanai-Sanbashi (稚内桟橋) Pier Station. From here the railway ferries connected to Odomari on Karafuto (currently Korsakov on Sakhalin) until 1945. Today the breakwater promenade is good for a stroll.

Wakkanai Fukuko Market

(稚内副港市場) The Fukuko Ichiba (secondary port market) tourist complex houses a food alley, souvenir shops, restaurants plus the onsen Minato-no-yu (港のゆ: 11am-9pm; ¥680) with open-air baths. In the Wakkanai Karafuto Museum (稚内市樺太記念館: 10am-5pm; Closed Mon Nov-Mar; Free) exhibits maps and photos of old Karafuto (Sakhalin). This complex is a good place to hang out in the town center. It is about a 10-minute walk south of JR Wakkanai Station along Route 40. More info

Getting There