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How to get to Russia from Hokkaido?
 
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tinou
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Japan
PostYou have posted in this forum: Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:25 pm Back to top

Once in Japan, it's hard to realize two things:

1) Japan is an island country.
2) Japan is an island country and going abroad is not especially cheap (as compared to Europe), though destinations in nearby countries are usually cheaper than domestic flights.

And it's harder to realize:

3) The closest country to Japan is Russia.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Japan is located in the Far East, and if you look at a map, you'll notice the Sakhalin Island is quite close to the northern tip of Hokkaido.




W RED

Wakkanai



S RED

south tip of Sakhalin Island



T WHITE

Tokyo




Russia is reachable by plane from many cities across the country. Going by boat from Vladivostok to Fukui is also possible. And it is actually quite a nice way to end a Transsiberian travel (or going the opposite way to start one), ans is also quite popular, although it takes more than a day to cross the Sea of Japan.

The Sakhalin island is also directly reachable from Hokkaido (and only Hokkaido, actually).

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You can reach the Sakhalin Island from Hokkaido:

--> by plane: from Hakodate and Chitose airport, a couple times a week flying with SAT. I'll add details afterwards

--> by ferry from Wakkanai, through Heart Land Ferry:



  • This works from May till October (in winter the Sea of Okhotsk is covered with ice).
  • The boat leaves from Wakkanai to Korsakov every 3 days in July and August. There are fewer rides per month in May, June, September and October. Check --> http://www.heartlandferry.jp/english/index4-1.html.
  • Crossing the La Perouse Strait takes approximatively 5 hours.
  • There is a +2 hours time difference between Japan and Sakhalin in summer, and +1 in winter.
  • Round-trip fare starts at 38,000 yens for an economy class ticket. If you have extra-luggage, a car a motorbike and so on, it will charge higher rates. However, if you are only with your backpack or hand luggage, then it's fine, you won't need to check it in and you won't pay extra-charge. Check the website.




The ferry terminal is located east of Wakkanai Station. The international ferry is brand new, in fact everything got renewed as the owner changed its name last year from Higashi Nihonkai Ferry to Heart Land Ferry. It is actually the same company that runs ferry services from Wakkanai to the islands of Rebun and Rishiri, and between those two islands.

_________________
--> my travelog
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