Wakkanai is one of many small and sleepy town in Japan. Unlike other towns Wakkanai can boast at the fact that it’s at the northern most point of the country because this sets apart the Hokkaido region and well represents the town. It’s a great place to get away from the average routine. So if your interested in getting away from the big city’s and bragging to you friends about one the more isolated place you visited. The frozen paradise has a few things to offer.
1. Cape Soya
Cape Soya is probably the most popular place to visit in the town. The cape is host Wakkanai northernmost point monument the site of is the cape. There is ferry service that will take from one end of the cape to another. Cape Soya is the most popular place in Wakkanai. There will be more than enough time to see everything so don’t hesitate to explore the both sides of the cape.
- Name: Northernmost Point Monument
- Access: 30km across the Soya bay from Wakkanai
2. Wakkanai Port Kita Bohatei Dome
Breakwater Dome is slightly unusual to see in Japan, as its model after roman architecture. Since it’s located in the town you will see it more often than not. It’s good to know there are not many unique structures of this kind in Japan definitely a must see. The dome used during summer months as an outdoor market. A great place to mingle with locals, a known as a hangout spot. The main landmark in the town.
- Access: Within the town
3. Wakkanai Noshappu Cold Water Aquarium
It’s a great aquarium and all the lovely sea life is of the cold-water variety. Now, I will admit don’t except much from the indoors, but the seals put on a great show for the cameras. The aquarium is small but cozy, and the staff does a great job being hands on and providing information. This one of those places you just one to help out. They are very friendly and appreciative to every visitor.
- Address: 097-0026, Japan Hokkaido Wakkanai noshappu 2-Chome 2-17
- Price: ¥400
- Opening hour: Apr/Oct 9am-5pm Nov/Mar 10am-4pm
- Website: http://www.city.wakkanai.hokkaido.jp/suizokukan/
4. Wakkanai Park
Wakkanai Park is great place to go for a stroll. This by far one of the biggest attractions in the town as many other things worth visiting are inside the park. During the summer months the views from the park are spectacular. The hilly terrain is not rugged at all and most trails lead to more landmarks worth seeing. The natures lovers will admire the scenery and take in a picnic if the conditions allow, those beautiful green hills to snow-white in the winter.
- Name: Wakkanai Kōen
- Access: Directly west of the town
5. Wakkanai Fukukou Ichiba
The Wakkanai seafood market is very traditional. You will find all the items you’re accustomed to in Japan, but the main focus is on the local catch. Fishing is very important source of income to resident, and the catch at market is fresh. The prices are more than reasonable for those on a budget. If you plan on stick around the town for a while you will become well acquainted with the market.
- Access: Located within the town
6. Motoe Hiraku Centennial Memorial Tower
Memorial tower is within the Wakkanai Park and is definitely amazing to look at. This large tower is not just for show but a historic landmark. The tower has been around for over 100 years making one the many icons of the north. One of the amazing things that Wakkanai park has to offer. There’s no way you can miss this structure by far the most visible in Wakkanai.
- Access: with in the Wakkanai park
7. Esandomarigyoko Park
Esandomarigyoko Park located in Noshappu cape and is a great place for sunrise. The Oceanside scenery in the park is breathe taking and peaceful all wrapped in one. The kind of place you can lose yourself while breathing pure air from the sea. Japan, know for being the land of the rising sun, and one sunrise in the park will convince you. As most activities in Wakkanai it depends on the weather but seeing in summer or winter its amazing.
- Access: Located Noshappu cape
8. Cape Noshappu
Cape Noshappu is very popular among locals. The cape manages to stay active for most of the year, as people gather around Esandomarigyoko Park. A very romantic place if you plan on taking a stroll. The fresh sear air and sunrises are the specialties of Cape Noshappu. The cape is the place to remind you where you are on the map. Hokkaido the frozen land of the north.
- Access: Right outside the town
9. Lake Ōnuma Bird Observatory
The bird observatory is subject to those weather conditions I keep mentioning. Wakkanai is the farthest most point in the country and the birds now that. Just a short bus ride outside the town in the summers and you will see a variety of birds the migrate to the area. The village Keotoi is tranquil place making ideal for birdwatching. A good trip that will let you know more about birds and Hokkaido.
- Access: A JR bus ride to Keotoi Village
- Open: Available Mar/Nov
10. Hokumon Shrine
This small but majestic shrine has a large cherry tree on site probably the most iconic tree in Japan. The shrine seems to maintain a steady flow of visitors during the summer months due to its location Wakkanai Park. However as you can see during winter is maintained quite well, but the cold temperature does its job of keeping people away. Hokumon Shrine is not different from other shrines in Japan, but still worth a visit.
- Access: Located with in the Wakkanai park
This small town is for those adventure seekers who wish to do something different. Japan is by far one of the most famous countries in the world with many tourist attractions, but like anywhere else there’s place of the beaten path. If you’re looking to see a side of Japan that most don’t see. Make your way up north to Hokkaido and you’ll see the winter wonderland of Japan without the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities. The town of Wakkanai is by far one of the unique and isolated places in all Japan. This alone should make it a must see for adventures.
Have a good trip and travel!