close

Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Cape Soya 宗谷岬

The northernmmost tip of Japan, with Russia in sight

Cape Soya is the northernmost point of Hokkaido , and therefore of Japan. Close to the city of Wakkanai , the cape is a popular stopping point for bikers and tourists and has quite a few monuments, gift shops, a windmill, and a lighthouse. If the weather is good you can see Sakhalin, a Russian island once part of Japan, from the lookout point.

Don't Miss

  • Taking photos at the lookout and the view of the islands from the naval watchtower
  • Visiting the Tower of Prayer and other monuments to reflect on what happened long ago

How to Get There

You can reach Wakkanai , the nearest city, by road, rail and air. From there, access to the cape is by bus, car or taxi.

Trains to Wakkanai start in Sapporo, and there are flights from both Sapporo and Tokyo to the city as well. From Wakkanai, you can take a bus or drive the 31 kilometers to the cape along route 238 or take a taxi. A bus ride takes about 45 minutes.

Quick Facts

The northernmost point has a Russian-Japanese peace and cooperation monument

At this time the inside of the lighthouse is out of bounds

There is a shopping area near the monuments for souvenirs

Monuments entertaining and sobering

A musical monument here plays a hit ballad from 1976 called "Soya Misaki," written about the cape and in the Japanese style of music known as enka.

The tallest monument is the Tower of Prayer monument, shaped like a paper crane, dedicated to Korean Airlines flight 007, which the Soviets shot down in September 1983. Beside the prayer monument is a children's peace bell, world peace bell and world peace garden.

One more monument just for fun

Another monument, known as Akebono, shows a male and female embracing. Oddly enough, it celebrates Hokkaido's dairy agriculture, marking a year when the prefecture farmed half a million head of dairy cattle and produced a million tons of milk.

All along the watchtower

The old naval watchtower is great for photos of the surrounding area. You'll probably also be able to see farmers drying seaweed on the shores in Wakkanai . Drift ice appears every winter, and the weather can be brisk, so dress warmly.

Unwind a bit

There is room near the entrance of Cape Soya Park where you can rest, and many shops where you can buy souvenirs. If you're coming here by bike or motorbike, there are minshuku and hostels available at the cape, while nearby Wakkanai has a wider range of hotels.