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Wakkanai Is Located in Northernmost Town in Japan and Tourists Are Moved by Inimitable Sceneries

April 9th, 2013

WAKKANAI

Wakkanai (稚内) that 40,000 people live is the 21th largest city in Hokkaido and is the northernmost port town in Japan. As for climate, it features that average annual temperature is 7 degrees Celsius for a sea breeze and the wind is strong. High trees are hard to grow, and there are many sightseeing spots that a good scenery can be seen. Wakkanai station is the northenmost station in Japan, too, and Japane's Northernmost Railway Monument is built.

Wakkanai
Wakkanai
Wakkanai Station
Wakkanai
Japane's Northernmost Railway Monument
Wakkanai

Hokkaido route 106 called Ororon Line (オロロンライン) with a good view attracts many motorcycle riders and drivers. It was very comfortable when I drove along the long straight road without signals in a summer. A scenery that ranches are combined with windmills built on hills looks like a piece of picture, it becomes a popular sightseeing spot.

Ororon Line
Wakkanai
Hay
Wakkanai

Wakkanai port is a sea traffic of importance to Rebun Island (礼文島) and Rishiri Island (利尻島), and ferries come and go. But the ferry does not run if the sea ran high. In addition, Wakkanai has the northernmost convenience store, too.

Ferry Terminal
Wakkanai
Northernmost Convenience Store in Japan, Seicomart Tomiiso Branch
Wakkanai

Tourist Spots

Wakkanai has many inimitable sceneries in Hokkaido, and there are sightseeing spots in various places of Wakkanai city. Cape Noshappu (ノシャップ岬), Cape Soya (宗谷岬), Soya hills (宗谷丘陵), Wakkanai Park (稚内公園), Onuma Pond (大沼) are particularly famous. In addition, local people recommend the sunset in Yuhigaoka Parking (夕日が丘パーキング).

Rishiri Island from Yuhigaoka Parking
Wakkanai
Sunset from Yuhigaoka Parking
Wakkanai

Cape Noshappu

Cape Noshappu (ノシャップ岬) is located in the northwestern part of Wakkanai city and is known as a cape that tourists can look over Rishiri Island (利尻島), Rebun Island (礼文島) and the beautiful setting sun. Sakhalin Island (サハリン), Russia is located in the north side of Cape Noshappu. There is Esandomari Fishing Port Park (恵山泊漁港公園) on the tip of the cape, and a monument of a dolphin and a monument of Cape Noshappu are built, and the Esandomari Fishing Port Park is adjacent to Noshappu Cold Current Aquarium and Wakkanai Lighthouse (ノシャップ寒流水族館) that is the second highest lighthouse in Japan, and there are souvenires and restaurants near those. There is Wakkanai Onsen (稚内温泉) near the cape, too. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. There is a restroom on the park. Article is here

Cape Noshappu
Wakkanai

Atmosphere of Cape Noshappu Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Cape Noshappu

Cape Soya

Cape Soya is the northernmost point in Japan along Japan national route 238, and there are souvenir shops, restaurants, a restroom around there. "Monument of Japan's Northern Most Point (日本最北端の地の碑)" for showing point of latitude 45 degrees 31 minutes is built at the tip of the cape, and many tourists form a line to take a picture themselves with the monument. There are Statue of Rinzo Mamiya (間宮林蔵) and Soyamisaki Music Monument (宗谷岬音楽碑) in the site. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge. Article is here

Japan's Northernmost Point Monument
Wakkanai

Atmosphere of Cape Soya Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Cape Soya

Soya Hills

Soya Hills (宗谷丘陵) near Cape Soya (宗谷岬) are located in the northeastern part of Wakkanai city and is a viewing spot that a combination of windmills and mountain ranges of a ranch creates a beautiful scenery. About 3,000 Soya Black Cattles are bred on the hills, and 57 windmills stand. Soil repeated freeze and fusion in the ice age, and such a scenery that the surface of hills waved was born. This is an inimitable superb view of the naure in Hokkaido. A parking lot is free of charge. There are no facilities except the parking lot. Article is here

Windmills and Hills
Wakkanai

Atmosphere of Soya Hills Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Soya Hills

Wakkanai Park

Wakkanai Park (稚内公園) is located on a hill that tourists can look over Wakkanai port and Wakkanai city area and is roughly divided into 2 areas, Hyosetsu-no-Mon (氷雪の門) Area and 100th Year Memorial Tower Area (開基100年記念塔). There is a turning point in the middle of the hill, and if tourists go to the Hyosetsu-no-Mon district, it is hard to visit 100th Year Memorial Tower. At first you should see the 100th Year Memorial Tower if you visit 2 areas. By the way, the hill can be gone up by cars or bikes, or on foot. Article is here

Hyosetsu-no-Mon Monument
Wakkanai

Atmosphere of Hyosetsu-no-Mon Monument and 100th Year Memorial Tower Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Hyosetsu-no-Mon Monument

Movie of 100th Year Memorial Tower

Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dome

Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dome (稚内港北防波堤ドーム) is located in the Wakkanai port and was built to protect baggages from angry waves and has the dome with semiarch form with 427 m in total length and 70 columns. Because its form was rare, it became a popular tourist attraction. Admission free.

Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dome
Wakkanai
Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dome
Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dom
Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dome
Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dom

Atmosphere of Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dome Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Wakkanai Kohoku Breakwater Dom

Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot Parking lot is not provided * Pull over to the shoulder
Business hours Open 24 hours
Regular closing day Open year all round
Telephone number +81-162-23-6161
Home page Home page is here

Onuma Pond

Onuma Pond (大沼) is adjacent to Wakkanai Airport. The perimeter of the Onuma Pond is about 10 km. It is famous as a place that about 5,000 whistling swans come flying in a spring and an autumn. Tourists can see a little less than 100 kinds of wild birds such as Wild Goose, Heron, Steller's Sea-eagle from an observation hut. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.

Onuma Pond
Wakkanai

Atmosphere of Onuma Pond Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Onuma Pond

Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot Free parking is provided (72 Cars)
Business hours Open 24 hours * Onuma bird house 09:00-17:00
Regular closing day Open all year round * Onuma bird house 11/26-03/24
Telephone number +81-162-23-6161
Home page Home page is here

Tasty Foods

As for the Wakkanai city, the fishing industry have been prosperous. My grandmother came from this neighborhood, and she said that she caught and ate octopuses sticking to tetrapods in old days. The octopus is noted product. The big octopuses are fished. Octopus shabu-shabu (タコしゃぶしゃぶ) is one of local speciality dhies. In addition, there is a local speciality food called chao mien, too.

Ramen

Wakkanai Ramen uses soup broth made from kombu and pork bones. Many ramen restraunts serve ramen with light taste and Umami. I am enchanted in particular beautiful salt ramen. I visited Takaraya (たからや) that got the Bib Gourmand in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition and Mamiyado (間宮堂).

Atmosphere of Takaraya and Mamiyado Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Mamiyado's Salt Ramen with Scallop

Movie of Takaraya's Salt Ramen

Steak

Steak House Vin (ステーキハウス ヴァン) is a steak restaurant in Wakkanai city. There is a building near Wakkanai station. It is known as the steak restaurant located in the northmost in Japan and visitors can eat soya beef (宗谷牛) at the restraunt. They garnered one star in MICHELIN GUIDE Hokkaido 2012 Special Edition. Business hours are, from 18:00 to 20:00, very short. An owner and his wife are at an old age and seemed to shorten working hours. Article is here

Vin's Steak
Steak -Vin in Wakkanai-

Steak and Atmosphere of Ramen Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Vin's Steak

Conveyor Belt Sushi

Hanaichimonme Head Office (花いちもんめ) is a popular conveyor belt sushi restaurant (回転寿司店) in Shiomi, Wakkanai city and is known as the northernmost conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Japan. I visited here with my friend, visiting Hokkaido for the first time, around 17:00. There were already several groups of visitors at the restaurant. We sat at counter seats at once. The sushi is gotten on a conveyor belt, but we can order it ordinary. I ordered restaurant's recommendations and seafood caught in Wakkanai's sea. Article is here

Scallop
Conveyor Belt Sushi -Hanaichimonme in Wakkanai-

Conveyor Belt Sushi and Atmosphere of Restaurant Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Conveyor Belt Sushi

Sweets

Wakkanai is known for Milk, too. Tourists can enjoy Wakkanai Milk's milk products at Wakkanai Vice-port Market (稚内副港市場). They sell milk, an ice cream and a soft serve ice cream.

Wakkanai Milk's Milk and Soft Ice Cream
Wakkanai Milk Wakkanai Milk

Onsen

Wakkanai Onsen is located in the northwestern part of Wakkanai city and is known as the northernmost hot spring resort in Japan.

Wakkanai Onsen

Domu (童夢) is a public bath in Wakkanai city. It is said that this onsen is located in the north most in Japan, and visitors can stay at several hot spring hotels near a bulding. There are Cape Noshappu (ノシャップ岬) and Wakkanai Youth House (稚内青年の家) near the building. There is a restraunt "Yunagi (夕凪)" at the building, too. It seemed to be popular by local people, and many visitors came to take a bath. By the way, a photography was prohibited at a bathhouse. Bad luck! Article is here

Wakkanai Domu
Wakkanai Onsen

Events

Wakkanai has the only sled dog race in Japan. If visitors watch dogs running on snowy field in a winter, the visitors forget cold and dogs may make us passionate.

Wakkanai Sled Dog National Tournament JAPAN CUP

A sled dog race is held on last Saturday and Sunday in February every year. Races are categorized, 1-dog class, 2-dog class, 3-dog class, 4-dog class, 6-dog class. Admission free. A parking lot is free of charge.

Atmosphere of Wakkanai Dogsled National Tournament JAPAN CUP Can Be Watched on Youtube

Movie of Wakkanai Dogsled National Tournament JAPAN CUP

Admission fee Free of charge
Parking lot Free parking is provided (200 Cars)
Business hours 09:00-15:00
Regular closing day -
Telephone number +81-162-23-6161
Home page Home page is here

Accommodations

Refer to following websites for the accommodations around Wakkanai.

Booking.com

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