小石川人晃 / CC By SA 4.0

Wakkanai Station

Japan's northernmost railway station

小石川人晃 / CC By SA 4.0
Kim   - 2 min read

Wakkanai is Japan's northernmost city, which is also home to Japan's northernmost railway station. Served by the JR Soya Main Line, the station was opened in 1928 and offers a direct rail link to Sapporo — the journey via limited express takes around 5 hours.

One reason for catching the train all the way to Wakkanai is that it offers close ferry proximity for those who are planning to visit Rishiri and Rebun islands, two popular hiking and nature tourism destinations. Ferry timetables and fare information from Wakkanai to Rishiri and Rebun islands can be found in English here.

The Wakkanai Station building is spacious and modern, and it's conveniently connected to the Kitacolor shopping center if you have some time to spare before your train departs. The center has a tourist information area which is staffed between 10 am until 6 pm, a children's play area (complete with kid-sized restrooms!), a cinema, and several eateries and souvenir stores. The Wakkanai Select store is particularly handy if you're after some omiyage style boxed treats from different corners of Hokkaido, and the Kitacolor Cafe offers a range of quick meals in a family-friendly setting. You'll also find a SeicoMart at the station - it's a Hokkaido-based convenience store chain which has a range of unique products, including plenty of tasty ice creams made with Hokkaido milk.

Taxi and bus services are available directly at the front of the station building. There are also several car rental companies if you plan to self-drive during your travels in the area, including Times, Toyota, and Nippon Rent-a-Car.

Getting there

Wakkanai Station is located approximately 20 minutes drive via taxi or private vehicle from Wakkanai Airport (airport code WKJ). The airport operates regular flights to and from Tokyo and Sapporo. Bus services from the airport to the station are also available.

For those who are accessing the station via private vehicle, there is free parking available.

Kim

Kim @kim.b

I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's gr...