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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
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. 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
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours 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
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders 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
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life 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 northern-most tip of Japan, with Russia in sight

Cape Soya is the northernmost point of Hokkaido, and therefore of Japan. Near 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 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.