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The northernmost tip of Japan, with Russia in sight

Cape Soya is the northernmost point of Hokkaido , and therefore of Japan. About 30 kilometers from the Wakkanai area, 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 (New Chitose Airport) and Tokyo to Wakkanai as well. From the Wakkanai area, 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

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

There is a shopping area near the monuments for souvenirs

Musical and sobering monuments

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 was 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 can wash ashore in winter, and the weather can be brisk, so dress warmly.

Unwind a bit

There are restaurants, shops, and souvenir stores near the entrance of Cape Soya Park. If you're coming here by bike or motorbike, there are minshuku and hostels around Cape Soya, and a wider range of hotels if you return to the Wakkanai area.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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