Wakkanai

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Wakkanai
稚内市
Вакканай
Вакканай
Left:View of Wakkanai from Wakkanai Park, Wakkanai Ice Snow Gate, Cape Sōya Wind Farm, North Breakwater Dome, Right:North Extreme Point monument in Cape Sōya, Wakkanai Lighthouse in Cape Nossapu, Wakkanai Train Station (all item from above to bottom)
Left:View of Wakkanai from Wakkanai Park, Wakkanai Ice Snow Gate, Cape Sōya Wind Farm, North Breakwater Dome, Right:North Extreme Point monument in Cape Sōya, Wakkanai Lighthouse in Cape Nossapu, Wakkanai Train Station (all item from above to bottom)
Flag of Wakkanai
Official seal of Wakkanai
Location of Wakkanai in Hokkaido Prefecture, highlighted in pink
Location of Wakkanai in Hokkaido Prefecture, highlighted in pink
Wakkanai is located in Japan
Wakkanai
Wakkanai
 
Coordinates: 45°24′56.4″N 141°40′23″E / 45.415667°N 141.67306°E / 45.415667; 141.67306Coordinates: 45°24′56.4″N 141°40′23″E / 45.415667°N 141.67306°E / 45.415667; 141.67306
CountryJapan
RegionHokkaido
PrefectureHokkaido
Government
 • MayorHiroshi Kudo (since May 2011)
Area
 • Total761.47 km2 (294.01 sq mi)
Population
 (June 1, 2019)
 • Total33,869
 • Density44/km2 (120/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+9 (Japan Standard Time)
- TreeSakura, rowan
- FlowerRosa rugosa
Phone number0162-23-6161
Address3-13-15 Chūō, Wakkanai-shi, Hokkaido 097-8686
Websitewww.city.wakkanai.hokkaido.jp

Wakkanai (稚内市, Wakkanai-shi, Ainu: ヤㇺワッカナイ Yam-wakka-nay meaning "cold water river")[1] (Russian: Вакканай) is a city located in Sōya Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the capital of Sōya Subprefecture. It contains Japan's northernmost point, Cape Sōya, from which the Russian island of Sakhalin can be seen.

As of 1 June 2019, the city has an estimated population of 33,869 and a population density of 44.5 persons per km2 (126 persons per mi2). The total area is 761.47 km2 (294.01 sq mi).[2][3]

Wakkanai is also home to Japan's first nursing home built inside the central train station of its city, a novel approach to caring for Japan's growing elderly population that has since been imitated in several other cities.[4]

History[edit]

Wakkanai was originally home to an Ainu population. The first Japanese settlement was established in 1685.[5]

  • 1879: The village of Wakkanai was founded.
  • 1897: Sōya Subprefecture established.
  • 1901: Wakkanai village became Wakkanai town.
  • 1949: Wakkanai town became Wakkanai city.
  • 1955: Soya village was merged into Wakkanai city.
  • 1959: Wakkanai Airport opened.

During World War II: The Imperial Japanese Navy used the harbor and port as a submarine base. Wakkanai was far enough north to be outside the range of American heavy bombers and was safe from air attack. Until the early to mid-1960s, the northern portion of the harbor remained divided by concrete sub-mooring pens. The large breakwater structure (which still exists) was actually a sub-repair facility. At the shore end there was a huge winching mechanism capable of hauling subs up into the partially enclosed structure where they could be repaired while completely out of the water. Built into the hills above the city there were several reinforced concrete bunker-type caves where (anecdotally) they were used either to store ammunition and armament, or as air raid shelters for the civilian populace. History would suggest the former use, rather than the latter. During a re-build/renovation of the harbor sometime during the 1960s or 1970s, the harbor was cleared of the concrete pens and the machinery was removed from the breakwater structure which was reconfigured.

Geography[edit]

Japan's northernmost point, Cape Sōya, is located in Wakkanai, which is on a peninsula jutting towards Sakhalin Island in Russia, which is 43 kilometres (27 miles) away. On a clear day, the Russian island can be easily seen. There is also an island called Benten-jima located northwest of Cape Sōya.

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

Climate[edit]

Wakkanai has a humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfb) typical of Hokkaido but with strong influence of the ocean as island portions near the great land masses (such as the smaller islands of Nova Scotia),[6] with cold winters, warm summers and generally heavy precipitation from the Aleutian Low, whose winds hit the city direct from the Sea of Japan but with strong oceanic influence (46 °F). The winter is cold enough not to fall in a "Cfb" climate and the summers although very mild for typical climate "b" is warm enough to fall into a "Dfc", both in the classification of Koppen.[7] The mean annual temperature, at 6.8 °C (44.2 °F), is the second lowest for a significant population centre in Japan after Nemuro. Snowfall at 6.6 metres (260 in), the third highest for a big city in Japan after Asahikawa and Aomori and one of the highest anywhere in the world. For comparison, Nain in Canada receives 194 inches (4.9 m) of snow.[citation needed]

The Aleutian Low also makes the sunshine hours the lowest of Japan's major population centres and in the winter the wind speeds are the highest in Japan with an average of 20.2 km/h (12.6 mph), which adds to the −4.7 °C (23.5 °F) cold of a typical winter day. The city's port is usually usable throughout the year, but does occasionally freeze in cold winters.[citation needed]

Climate data for Wakkanai (1991−2020 normals, extremes 1938−present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7.4
(45.3)
9.3
(48.7)
13.1
(55.6)
20.2
(68.4)
26.9
(80.4)
26.8
(80.2)
32.7
(90.9)
31.6
(88.9)
29.7
(85.5)
23.5
(74.3)
17.4
(63.3)
11.5
(52.7)
32.7
(90.9)
Average high °C (°F) −2.4
(27.7)
−2.0
(28.4)
1.6
(34.9)
7.4
(45.3)
12.4
(54.3)
16.1
(61.0)
20.1
(68.2)
22.3
(72.1)
20.1
(68.2)
14.1
(57.4)
6.3
(43.3)
0.0
(32.0)
9.7
(49.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.3
(24.3)
−4.3
(24.3)
−0.6
(30.9)
4.5
(40.1)
9.1
(48.4)
13.0
(55.4)
17.2
(63.0)
19.5
(67.1)
17.2
(63.0)
11.3
(52.3)
3.8
(38.8)
−2.1
(28.2)
7.0
(44.6)
Average low °C (°F) −6.4
(20.5)
−6.7
(19.9)
−3.1
(26.4)
1.8
(35.2)
6.3
(43.3)
10.4
(50.7)
14.9
(58.8)
17.2
(63.0)
14.4
(57.9)
8.4
(47.1)
1.3
(34.3)
−4.2
(24.4)
4.5
(40.1)
Record low °C (°F) −19.4
(−2.9)
−18.3
(−0.9)
−17.4
(0.7)
−8.0
(17.6)
−2.2
(28.0)
2.1
(35.8)
6.4
(43.5)
8.9
(48.0)
3.5
(38.3)
−4.4
(24.1)
−11.4
(11.5)
−16.0
(3.2)
−19.4
(−2.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 84.6
(3.33)
60.6
(2.39)
55.1
(2.17)
50.3
(1.98)
68.1
(2.68)
65.8
(2.59)
100.9
(3.97)
123.1
(4.85)
136.7
(5.38)
129.7
(5.11)
121.4
(4.78)
112.9
(4.44)
1,109.2
(43.67)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 129
(51)
105
(41)
68
(27)
9
(3.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(0.4)
41
(16)
122
(48)
477
(188)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 23.8 20.0 16.3 11.3 10.8 10.2 9.5 10.6 12.6 16.3 20.2 23.9 185.4
Average relative humidity (%) 72 71 70 75 79 85 87 84 75 68 67 70 75
Mean monthly sunshine hours 40.6 74.7 137.5 173.5 181.6 154.6 142.7 150.7 172.1 134.6 55.9 28.4 1,446.9
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency[8][9]

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

Wakkanai Airport is located in Wakkanai. There is a daily flight to New Chitose Airport near Sapporo and there is also a seasonal daily flight to Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Rail[edit]

JR Hokkaido runs diesel train services on the Sōya Main Line from Wakkanai to Nayoro, Asahikawa and Sapporo. The Sōya limited express runs once a day to and from Sapporo, while the Sarobetsu runs twice a day to and from Asahikawa, with a change of trains to either a Lilac or Kamui limited express service at Asahikawa required to reach Sapporo.

Above are the stations located in Wakkanai.

There are plans for a massive extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway. If becoming a reality, it would go via Sakhalin and end in Wakkanai.[10]

Sea[edit]

Chihaku ferry "Aniwamaru" of Japanese Governmental Railway, touching down the north pier of Wakkanai port. Chihaku ferry had connected Wakkanai in Hokkaido and Odomari in Sakhalin, until the ferry ceased its operation in 1945.

Heartland Ferry operates seasonal ferry service to Rebun Island and Rishiri Island. Ferry service to Korsakov on Sakhalin Island was terminated on September 18, 2015. Wakkanai governor KUDO Hiroshi pledged to restore ferry service to Sakhalin and in 2016, the route resumed operation between the months of June and September of each year and is commercially operated by the Commonwealth of Dominica flagged vessel Penguin 33, which is a High-speed craft owned by Penguin International Limited and operated by Sakhalin Shipping Company.[11][12]

Education[edit]

University[edit]

High schools[edit]

Public[edit]

Private[edit]

  • Wakkanai Otani High School

Tourist attractions[edit]

Shore of Wakkanai
The northernmost point in Japan monument (on land) in Cape Sōya
Wakkanai lighthouse in 2006

Sister cities and friendship cities[edit]

Sister city[edit]

Friendship cities[edit]

Domestic[edit]

International[edit]

Sister ports[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ アイヌ語地名リスト [Ainu Language Place Name List] (PDF) (in Japanese). Office of Ainu Measures Promotion, Department of Environment and Lifestyle, Hokkaido Government. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  2. ^ 稚内市の概要 [Outline of Wakkanai] (in Japanese). Wakkanai, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan: City of Wakkanai. 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  3. ^ 稚内市の人口と世帯 [Population and Households of Wakkanai] (in Japanese). Wakkanai, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan: City of Wakkanai. 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-09.
  4. ^ "Every Human Intention by Dreux Richard: 9781101871119 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books". PenguinRandomhouse.com. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  5. ^ History of Wakkanai
  6. ^ Muller, M. J. (2012-12-06). Selected climatic data for a global set of standard stations for vegetation science. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789400980402.
  7. ^ "Koppen Climate Classification" (PDF).
  8. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  9. ^ "47401: Wakkanai (Japan)". ogimet.com. OGIMET. 29 July 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  10. ^ Russia Is All In: the New Trans-Siberian Railway May Actually Happen
  11. ^ 稚内市. "Sakhalin regular line / Wakkanai-shi". www.city.wakkanai.hokkaido.jp.e.dh.hp.transer.com. Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  12. ^ "HSL 北海道サハリン航路株式会社". hs-line.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  13. ^ ESPN.com article
  14. ^ a b Morrison, Geoffrey (2016-12-31). "Touring Wakkanai And The Northernmost Point Of Japan". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  15. ^ Nanda, Akshita (2016-11-06). "Exploring the northernmost tip of Japan". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-03-02.
  16. ^ International interaction of Wakkanai
  17. ^ Domestic Interaction of Wakkanai

External links[edit]