Wakkanai, Rishiri and Rebun 3 days sample trip plan. The trip to the farthest land in northern Hokkaido

The limited express train “Super Soya” runs into the rural area of northern Hokkaido.

Wakkanai is located at the northernmost place of not only Hokkaido but also Japan. Honestly it is not very accesible place and I have never been there yet. But this area has been in my bucket for a long time. This farther place has been attracting me.

This time, I would like to show you the 3-day trip plan. Actually this is a part of my future trip plan. This plan covers these following spots in the very isolcated area of northern Hokkaido:

✔ Wakkanai (the northern most city in Japan)
✔ Cape Soya (the nothern most place in Japan)
✔ Cape Noshappu
✔ Rishiri island
✔ Rebun island

Overview

3-day trip route map
The blank map provided by CraftMAP

On day 1, catch the train to Wakkanai. After arrival, take the bus to Cape Soya

On day 2, take the ferry to Rishiri island and Rebun island. Join the sightseeing bus tour in these islands

On day 3, visit Cape Noshappu and some tourist spots in the city of Wakkanai. After that, take the train or the flight to go back to Sapporo

JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass and Peach Kita Hokkaido Free Pass cover all train trips. But all trips by the bus and the ferry are not covered

Day 1, Sapporo – Wakkanai

wakkanai station
Wakkanai station is the northermost station in Japan.

On the first day, take the limited express Super Soya from Sapporo to Wakkanai. After arrival in Wakkanai, take the bus to Cape Soya and spend the rest of the day to see other places in Wakkanai.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
07:30Sapporo station
(The limited express Hokuto 6)
12:40 / 13:20Wakkanai station
(Soya bus)
14:10 / 14:55Cape Soya
(Soya bus)
15:47 / 17:31Wakkanai station
(Soya bus)
17:47 / 18:29Cape Noshappu
(Soya bus)
18:39Wakkanai station
You can adjust the time to go to Cape Noshappu. The bus runs every 17 minutes.

Highlight

Cape Soya

cape soya
The monument of Japan’s nothernmost place

Cape Soya offers the picturesque views of the sea. The Sakhalin island of Russia is about 40 km away from this cape.

Breakwater Dome

wakkanai breakwater dome
The heritage site of Hokkaido

This very unique structure is the icon of Wakkanai. This half dome has been protecting the port of Wakkanai from the severe winter storm.

You can get there in 5 minutes from Wakkanai station on foot.

Cape Noshappu

Sunset at Cape Noshappu (C) Ka23 13 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

This is another cape in Wakkanai but it is much closer to the city center. Cape Noshappu is well known as the best place to see sunset. If you go there in a sunny day, you will see the unforgettable view of sunset.

Stay overnight in Wakkanai

Day 2, Wakkanai – Rishiri island – Rebun island – Wakkanai

Wakkanai city
The city center of Wakkanai is located by the port.

On the second, take the ferry to get to Rishiri island and Rebun island. Since it is hard to visit the places in these island by a public transportation, take Soya bus sightseeing bus tour in both islands.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
07:15Wakkanai port
(Heart Land Ferry)
08:55 / 09:10Oshidomari port (Rishiri island)
(Soya Bus sightseeing course “Rishiri A”)
12:45 / 13:05Oshidomari port
(Heart Land Ferry)
13:50 / 14:05Kafuka port (Rebun island)
(Soya Bus sightseeing course “Rebun B”)
16:40 / 17:15Kafuka pofrt
(Heart Land Ferry)
19:10Wakkanai port

Highlight

Rishiri island

Lake Otatomari and Mt. Rishiri in the distance

Mt. Rishiri is sometimes called “Rishiri Fuji” because of the beautiful shape of this mountain. And the view of Mt. Rishiri from Lake Otatomari is used as the pachage of the popular cookie, “Shiroi Koibito.”

Senhoushi Misaki Park, Neguma Rock and a few more places can be seen in this bus tour.

Rebun island

Cape Sukoton

Cape Sukoton is the highlight of this northern island. At the tip of the cape, the scenery is a wild landscape and the view of the Sea of Japan is amazing

The sightseeing tour bus takes you some more places in Rebun island, such as Cape Sukai and Nishiuedomari.

Day 3, Wakkanai – Sapporo

Wakkanai airport
Wakkanai airport is 30 minutes away from the downtown.

The 3-day trip is wrapped up. Spend the time until you leave to visit the places in Wakkanai or the last minutes shopping. There are a few options to go back to Sapporo.

Itinerary

TimePlace and transporation
06:36Wakkanai station
(The limited express Sarobetsu 2)
10:19 / 10:30Asahikawa station
(The limited express Lilac 18)
11:55Sapporo station
TimePlace and transporation
10:45Wakkanai station
(Airport Shuttle Bus)
11:15 / 11:50Wakkanai airport
(All Nippon Airways / NH4842)
12:45 / 13:42New Chitose airport / station
(Rapid Airport 137)
14:20Sapporo station
TimePlace and transporation
13:01Wakkanai station
(The limited express Sarobetsu 4)
16:48 / 17:00Asahikawa station
(The limited express Lilac 36)
18:25Sapporo station

I showed three options. If you take the train, the trip is covered by the rail pass. But the route is exactly same as the way to Wakkanai. And it is more than 5 hours trip. You might feel wasing the time. You can take a domestic flight to go back to Sapporo. If you want, you can go back to Tokyo from Wakkanai directly.

An air fare is very pricey. Because only ANA (All Nippon Airways) operates a flight. Even if you buy a ticket at the early bird discount, the fare never be affordable. The price starts from 15,000 yen for Wakkanai to Sapporo.

Wakkanai airport is a small local airport. 30 minutes is enough to check in.

Travel cost

All train trips are covered by JR Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass or Peach Kita Hokkaido Free Pass. The local bus rides, the ferry fares and the admission fees are extra. If you use Hokkaido Rail Pass 3-day (at 17,400 yen) or Peach Kita Hokkaido Free Pass, you can get your money worth by this 3 days trip.

Please see the table below to find the cost breakdown:

TripCost
The limited express Soya from Sapporo to WakkanaiCovered
The round trip to Cape Soya by Soya bus2,260 yen
The round trip to Cape Noshappu by Soya bus440 yen
The one way trip to Oshidomari port (Rishiri island)
(non reserved ordinary seat)
2,550 yen
Soya bus sightseeing course Rishiri A3,400 yen
The one way trip to Kafuka port (Rebun island)
(non reserved ordinary seat)
920 yen
Soya bus sightseeing course Rebun B3,200 yen
The one way trip to Wakkanai port
(non reserved ordinary seat)
2,850 yen
The limited express Lilac from Wakkanai to AsahikawaCovered
The limited express Lilac from Asahikawa to SapporoCovered
Total cost15,620 yen
Accommodations and meals are not included. If you take a flight from Wakkanai, please expect to pay at least 15,000 yen.

Summary

This is a very simple trip plan but you can cover major places in southern Hokkaido area.

I hope you can enjoy this trip.

2 thoughts on “Wakkanai, Rishiri and Rebun 3 days sample trip plan. The trip to the farthest land in northern Hokkaido”

  1. It’s not much cheaper, and still not great value (you can fly from Osaka to Sapporo for the same price), but if you book at least 30 days ahead from outside Japan, ANA’s Discover Japan Super Value fare from Wakkanai to Sapporo is 11,000 yen. (https://www.ana.co.jp/en/ca/book-plan/fare/special/discover-japan.html)

    A better deal, although it’s not currently offered (I guess due to the pandemic situation), is the Experience Japan fare. It’s only 5,500 yen for Wakkanai to Sapporo. When available, it can be booked just 3 days ahead (although I suspect availability would be scarce at such a late date), from within Japan. You do have to show a non-Japanese passport (no mention of visa status, so I think temporary residents, e.g. on a work or student visa, are eligible too), or a Japanese passport if you’re permanent resident of another country, and any international return ticket originating outside Japan.
    (https://www.ana.co.jp/en/ca/promotions/share/experience_jp/)

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