Wakkanai (Japan)

Wakkanai Travel Guide and Trip Resources


Japan's northernmost city

Wakkanai is the northernmost city of JapanNot much to see and do inside of the city
Ferries to Sakhalin and Rebun and Rishiri head off from hereStay away in winter

For some reason you've stumbled upon Wakkanai (稚内), Japan's northernmost city. Are you sure you want to go here? In winter the temperatures in this city of 37,000 people drop far below freezing (exacerbated by the wind) and the city experiences snowfall on practically every day, reaching an average of nearly 2 meters a month. Admittedly things are a lot better in summer, but the attractions in town are not all that great. So that brings us back to the question of why anyone would want to go to Wakkanai?

Well, for some it's the proximity to Sakhalin (43km) in Russia and the summer-only ferry that goes from here to there. For others it is the ferry to Hokkaido's highlights of Rebun and Rishiri, two national park islands with lovely scenery, again in summer only unless you like bleak scenery and want to freeze your toes off.

Those are *very* valid reason for spending a day or so waiting for the ferry in town, in which case you may want to spend your time at some of the other attractions in town which you might otherwise not find as interesting. For instance Wakkanai Park with its observatory overlooking the city, or the strangely iconic and half a kilometer long Breakwater Dome that prevents high waves and strong winds from reaching the city. Or perhaps the Russian shopping street (the city has lots of signs in Russian anyway). Further outside of the city you can head to Sōya Misaki, the northern tip of Japan (save for some islands). [Review by travelindicator]

Key info

  • Wakkanai is a city in Japan's region of Hokkaido. It has a population of 37,011, is situated at an altitude of 39ft and the best airport to fly into is WKJ (Hokkaido, Wakkanai)
  • The main spoken language here is Japanese, and the average English skill is low
  • The currency used in Japan is the Japanese yen (JPY)

Other cities in the region (Hokkaido, Japan)

Sapporo, Niseko, Otaru, Hakodate, Abashiri

Wakkanai Weather

Historical average maximum temperature per month (℉):

27 27 34 45 54 61 68 72 68 57 43 32

Historical average rainfall per month (inches):

3.3 2.4 2 1.9 2.7 2.1 3.6 4.6 4.9 5.3 4.8 4.4

More Wakkanai travel resources

The Wakkanai Wikitravel might be of interest, just like this cool travel blog of a couple that almost found themselves snowed in and unable to leave the city.

Wakkanai Attractions (Foursquare)

Browse: Most Similar Cities (Travelindicator algorithm)

Browse: Nearest Destinations (157mi-257mi)

Other travel destinations in Japan (by popularity)

Hatsukaichi, Kyoto, Tokyo, Sapporo, Hiroshima, Osaka, Takamatsu, Okinawa, Kanazawa, Fukuoka, Nara, Yokohama, Otaru, Sendai, Kitakyushu, Niseko, Kobe, Nagoya, Niigata, Wakkanai, Nikko, Sai, Akita, Abashiri, Hakodate, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Okayama [Browse all]