Known for its sunrise, many visit Cape Nosappu to see the sunrise on New Year’s Day. It is the earliest place in Japan to see the morning sun. Half an hour’s drive from central Nemuro in eastern Hokkaido, the Northern Territories and the Shiretoko Peninsula can be seen.
The Nosappumisaki Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Hokkaido, and was built in 1872. On a clear day, the islands of Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai can be seen. The symbol of Cape Nosappu, an arch-like monument named “Shima-no-kakehashi” or “Bridge to the four islands” was built in the hope that the Northern Territories will return to Japan. One of the top photography spots in the area, Shima-no-kakehashi was built in 1980, 13 meters in height.
There is also a visitor center, which houses a museum, documenting the outline and history of the Northern Territories. Materials and documents about the Northern Territories before World War II are displayed. To have a closer look at the Northern Territories, telescopes are available as well.
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I still clearly remember the day I first landed in Japan, and since then it has been my goal to set foot in all 47 prefectures. I try to look for less touristy areas, preferring the countryside to the city. I'm always amazed by the many Haagen Dazs and ice cream flavors available only in Japan.