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Wakkanai, Hokkaido, is the northernmost city in Japan.

Wakkanai means "a stream for good drinking water" in Ainu, thus the name of the city stems from a clean stream which used to run in the heart of the city. A railway ferry was operated between Wakkanai in Hokkaido and Odomari in the Southern Sakhalin, the distance of which is 40 kilometers, before the Second World War, as the Southern Sakhalin was Japan's territory at that time. So, Wakkanai was by far a busier city than now. After the war, Wakkanai became known just by the northernmost railway station or northernmost port town, and was one of the most important trade bases with Russia as of before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Everything here is turned into laughing remark by the term "northernmost-something in Japan" though, the first photo shows Wakkanai Sation, which is Japan's northernmost train station. This was originally built in 1928 as a junction to the railway ferry for the Southern Sakhalin. Going with the discontinuation of the railway ferry service right after the war, the number of passengers of the station declined dramatically, and now averages only 160 passengers per day, most of whom are tourists. In front of the new station building rebuilt in 2011, a railroad car stop befitting this northernmost station is on display. The second photo shows the monument standing on Cape Nosappu,the northernmost tip of Japan together with Cape Soya.


Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。




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