Cape Soya is about half an hour drive away from Wakkanai station (稚内駅). Once past the town area, it’s a very pleasant drive following the coastline, with the sea on one side and lush green hills on the other.
Cape Soya / Soya-misaki (宗谷岬)
The northernmost point! There are plenty of northernmost stuff here.
Soyamisaki Farm (宗谷岬牧場) / Soya Rolling Hills (宗谷丘陵)
Across from the seaside park up the hill is the starting point of the Soya Footpath Course, going through Soyamisaki Farm (宗谷岬牧場). The course is nearly 10 km in total so we wouldn’t have time to complete, but there’s a particular place of interest – the “white shell path”, that shouldn’t be too far away.
We walked on after some cow watching. But the “white shell road” was still nowhere in sight, so we decided to go back to grab some lunch first and then return to get the car to cover more distance.
We turned back towards Cape Soya; just when we were at the hillside park, a small herd of deer appeared. It’s the first time we saw wild deer with their beautiful antlers – These aren’t the pseudo-wild deer seen in other places in Japan like Nara or Miyajima, that take biscuits from tourists hands and had their antlers cut off for safety! We had to keep our distance while taking pictures…
Fukuko Market (副港市場)
Returning to the Wakkanai town area, we made a stop at the Fukuko Market (副港市場). There’s a shop that sells Wakkanai produced dairy products, and then later on we had planned to come back for dinner at a Russian restaurant there. Wakkanai is geographically close to Russia, and this restaurant is quite famous here with authentic dishes, so we had high expectation. But then we found out it’s closed on Sunday!
We tried to check out a few more restaurants nearby that we were interested in, but they were either closed (for Sunday), or finished for the day (it’s not even 6 pm!). Well, in a small town like this just can’t expect these small local restaurants to open for long! Finally, we went back to Wakkanai train station which has a restaurant still opened.
Yuhi-ga-oka / Sunset Hill Parking (夕日が丘パーキング)
At this northern location, sunset in the summer is after 7 pm. It’s the right time to catch a view of that after an early dinner. Previous entry mentioned a good place to view sunset is Cape Noshappu; but as it’s easily accessible from town it tends to attract more of a crowd; with a car, we tried another recommended place a bit further away – Sunset Hill Parking (夕日が丘パーキング).
Back to the hotel, we had to rest early to be ready for a very early start tomorrow.