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Going around Hokkaido (6) Cape Noshappu to Cape Soya: Driving towards the northernmost point of Japan




Driving along the coastline of Hokkaido from Otaru!

This is the sixth article of the series. I will finally reach the northernmost point of Hokkaido, Cape Soya!

I left Cape Noshappu in Wakkanai City, stopped by Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome and the White Path, and finally reach to Cape Soya, where the monument of the Northernmost Point of Japan is built. 

 
▲日本最北端に到達!▲I reached the northernmost point of Japan! 

 

Table of Contents

- About the series: Going around Hokkaido
- About the route: From Cape Noshappu in Wakkanai City to Cape Soya in Wakkanai City
- Cape Nosshapu to Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome: Drive the downtown of Wakkanai City 
- Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome to the White Path: I will almost reach to the northernmost point! 
- A little detour: You should stop by “the White Path” and “Soya Hills” 
- The White Path to Cape Soya: I am finally at the northernmost point of Japan! 



北防波堤ドームは絵になる♪▲Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome is very photogenic. 

 

About the series: Going around Hokkaido

This is a part of the series of articles to introduce my journey to go around Hokkaido. I will introduce my relaxing trip about visiting cities and towns, enjoying beautiful views, having delicious foods, and encountering to fascinating people.

Below are the basic rules about the project:
- Basically, drive only National Routes or Hokkaido Roads along coastlines.
- I can use municipal roads near central towns, promontories, etc. However, I try not to use community roads and private roads. 
- I only drive the mainland of Hokkaido. (I’m sorry to those live in islands!)
- I drive from the sunrise to the sunset to enjoy the views.
- I divide my journey into a few times according to the coverage schedule.


 

About the route: From Cape Noshappu in Wakkanai City to Cape Soya in Wakkanai City

 

今回のルートはこちら(Google My Maps)▲The route of this article (Google My Maps) 


Cape Noshappu to Cape Soya
Mileage: Approx. 38 kilometers (Except the detour)
The time required: Approx. 1 hour 5 mins (except breaks, time to stop at sightseeing spots, and the detour)


Check the detailed map from the link below! 
Going around Hokkaido

You can find the previous article of the series here: 
Going around Hokkaido (5) Teshio to Wakkanai Cape Noshapu: Getting close to Mt. Rishiri, driving further than uncultivated fields

 

Cape Nosshapu to Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome: Drive the downtown of Wakkanai City

Cape Noshappu to Wakkanai Breakwater Dome
Mileage: Approx. 4 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 15 mins


 
今回の起点はノシャップ岬。宗谷岬まで左手に宗谷海峡を眺めながら進みます▲The starting point this time is Cape Noshappu. I will keep driving to Cape Soya as I see Soya Strait of the left. 


When you see the map of Hokkaido, you will notice the shape of the upper part is separated into two parts like horns. The left horn is Cape Noshappu, and the right horn is Cape Soya, the northernmost point of Japan. 
* In this article, I refer to the northernmost point without the Northern Territories. 

 
ノシャップ岬に隣接する「恵山泊漁港公園」を見学したら出発!▲I left after seeing “Keizanhaku Gyoko Park,” located next to Cape Noshappu. I recommend visiting Noshappu Aquarium if you have time! 


I first drove towards Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome, located near JR Wakkanai Station, from Cape Noshappu. 

I went south along the road which fixed-route busses use. There were houses, post offices, schools on both sides of the road. 

The number of buildings increased gradually, and more and more concrete constructions appeared. Turn left when you reach to central downtown of Wakkanai. Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome is soon after driving straight for a while.

 
ノシャップ岬からゆっくり走って15~20分で北防波堤ドームへ▲It took about 15-20 mins to Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome from Cape Noshappu. 
 

Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome to the White Path: I will almost reach to the northernmost point! 

Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome to the White Path
Mileage: Approx. 26 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 35 mins


This dome-shaped breakwater took five years to build from 1931 to 1936. 

 
高波や風雪がかかるのを防ぐためにドーム型をしています▲It is built in the shape of a dome to protect people from storm waves, wind and snow. 


There was a railroad from Wakkanai Station to here and was connected to the ferry boats to Karafuto (now Sakhalin). 

I stopped here for a while to take pictures and imagine history. 

 
古代ローマ建築物のような回廊が印象的♪▲The hallway looks like an ancient Greek architecture. 


Wakkanai Station, which is very close to Wakkanai North Breakwater Dome, is located in the facility “Kitakara” with Michi No Eki (roadside station) and a bus terminal. 

I parked the car to the parking of Michi No Eki and shopped and used the bathroom to prepare for the drive from here. 

I kept driving the downtown of Wakkanai City for a while. 

After passing the port area then took a turn to the national route 238. The number of buildings decreased suddenly after passing the Koetoi District. 

 
右手には稚内空港が見えてきました▲I could see Wakkanai Airpot on the right. 


 
左手は海。さっきまでいたノシャップ岬がずいぶん遠くにある印象です▲The left side was the ocean. I feel like Cape Noshappu is already far away although I was just there a while ago. 


As I passed the runway along the road, the scenery of uncultivated fields and hills on the right and ocean on the left continued for a while. 

I passed by a convenience store in the Tomiiso District. 

I didn’t see any signs or advertisement, but I think this was the northernmost convenience store in Japan. If you are particular about finding the northernmost something, maybe you should stop by. 


I passed the Tomiiso District and turned right at the Soya District. A small sign of “White Path” is the entrance of the next destination. I followed the sign and kept driving the narrow road. 

 

A little detour: You should stop by “the White Path” and “Soya Hills” 

I was going a little inland and away from the route to go around the coastline, but this spot is wonderful, and I would strongly recommend to stop by. 

See this picture! This bright white road appears after driving the narrow road for a while! 


細かく粉砕したホタテの貝殻を敷き詰めた白い道▲The White path is paved with crushed scallop shells. 


The White Path continues for approximately 3 kilometers. When I looked back after driving a while, fantastic scenery appeared. 

 
振り返ると、真っ白い道の先には宗谷海峡が広がり、左側に礼文島が見えます▲I saw Soya Strait ahead of the white path and Rebun Island on the left when I looked back. 


Every direction was photogenic. 

I got really excited and jumped and ran around. I was literally dancing, both physically and emotionally. 


いい歳して恥ずかしくないの!?と言われそうですが…、そんなの関係ないよと言い返してしまうくらい、スゴい絶景なんです!▲Some people may think I am too old to do things like this… However, the scenery is too beautiful, and I can say that age does not matter! 


The White Path is a part of Soya Hills, a gently hilly area located at the back of Cape Soya. 

Majestic views continued after passing the White Path. 


日本離れした広大な風景が広がる宗谷丘陵▲Soya Hills look majestic, and I felt like I was not in Japan. 


I went back and forth from the White Path to Soya Hills to take many pictures. This area is magical as I almost forgot that I was in the middle of the journey to go around Hokkaido. 


Well, I have to finish my detour here. 

Many people visit this place with a car or a motorcycle, but I saw many people walking the paths. Get off the car and walk for a while if you have some time! 

 

The White Path to Cape Soya: I am finally at the northernmost point of Japan! 

The White Path to Cape Soya
Mileage: Approx. 8 kilometers
The time required: Approx. 15 mins


You can also reach to Cape Soya through Soya Hills, but I drove back a little and took the National Route 238, which is along the sea, to Cape Soya. 


再び左手に海を眺めながら進みます▲I started driving again with the view of the ocean on the left. 


I noticed a stone monument on the left when I almost reached Cape Soya. 

It was the stone monument to tell the place where Rinzo Mamiya, who is known for his mapping of Sakhalin (Karafuto) as an island, departed. 


宗谷岬沖にある岩礁、トド島が見えます▲I could see Benten-jima (commonly called Todo Island), a reef on the coast of Cape Soya. 


I took a small break and kept driving again. 

 
宗谷岬の看板が見えてきました。間もなく日本最北端♪▲The sign of Cape Soya appeared. I am almost at the northernmost point of Japan. 

 
着いた~!!▲Here I am! 


As it was right after the Obon holidays, there were many cars at the parking. 


日本最北端の地の碑の周辺には多くの人が集まっていました▲Many people were gathering near the Monument of the Northernmost Point of Japan. 


Park the car and land to the northernmost point of Japan. 


ここで写真を撮るのは鉄板!遠くにサハリンの島影もうっすら見えました▲Everyone takes a picture here! I could catch a glimpse of the island of Sakhalin far away. 

 
宗谷丘陵を背に丘の上へ上がると見晴らしよし!▲The view was beautiful when I went top of the hill, seeing Soya Hills at the back. 


○Check out this article by Hokkaido Likers for details
Spent a night around Cape Soya, the northernmost point of Japan


I am finally at the northernmost point of Japan. 

I feel like I achieved something because it took a long time to come here. 
This place makes us feel that we took an adventure to come here. 


I was driving towards the north until now, but I will change my direction to the south. 

I will go down south the coastline of the Sea of Okhotsk. 
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