KorsakovKorsakov (Russian: Корса́ков, kahr-SAH-kuhf; Japanese: 大泊) is a port town of 36,652 people in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia. It is at the southern tip of the island on the shores of Anniva Bay, some 42 km south of the island's primary city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. While rather drab, with few things to entertain the visitor, it does host one of the two ferry connections between Russia and Japan.
There are connections to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the island's main airport by a Japanese-built narrow gauge railway, but services are random and far between – buses are far more convenient. If the train is your thing, there are 3 daily scheduled departures departing Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk at 05:30, 13:45 and 19:44.
By busThere are both scheduled and "leave when full" minibus connections between Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Korsakov. Both depart in front of the Yuzhno-Sakhalin railway station. Minibuses are the most convenient: ask around with the different drivers, they will point you to the right bus. Journey time ranges between 30 to 60 minutes depending on the driver and traffic conditions, and the price is around . The public bus 115 takes 90 minutes for the same trip, and costs around .
By ferryWakkanai, Japan –
Ferries depart for Wakkanai on Hokkaido, Japan, from the sea terminal (Морвокзал) on the southern pier (Южно порт), Service is limited to late May-early June through to late September-early October (varies every year), due to ice conditions in the strait. Ticket sales in Korsakov are handled by the Inflot agency, whose office is on the 1st floor of the large 3-story Upravlinie building next to the sea terminal. The ferry is Japanese, operated by the Ferry company.
If you arrive by ferry to Sakhalin, it is strongly recommended to have some Russian rubles with you. There are no exchange facilities and no ATM machines in the terminal. You will probably need a taxi to take you to the bus station to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. You can exchange some Russian rubles in the banks in Wakkanai (ask around).
Yuzhno-Kurilsk, Kurile Islands –
There is a ferry service between Korsakov and Yuzhno-Kurilsk on Kunashir Island in the Kurils, operated by the Igor Farkhutdinov passenger vessel; however, there is no set schedule, as the ship departs only when there is freight to carry. The only way to buy tickets is through a tour agency on Sakhalin.
Mainland Russia –
There are also ferry services on combined freight/passenger ships to and from the mainland, but schedules and tickets are very hard to come by if you don't speak Russian. A much easier option to the mainland is the daily scheduled ferry from Kholmsk.
phone: +7 424 352-12-00address: 22 Krasnoflotskaya St.A small museum with exhibitions about the Japanese possession (1905-1940).
Old Hokkaido Takushoku BankThis crumbling building at the southeastern corner of the city park is one of the only visible remains of the Japanese possession of the city. Efforts to convert the building into a museum have yet to bear fruit, and the doors and windows have been barred.
Outside Korsakov there are a few beaches at the hamlets of Okhotsk (about 1 hour) and Prigorodnoye (about 30 minutes) which also host a few Japanese war monuments. Access to both of these sights requires a car or taxi.
Penguin Barphone: +7 42435 2-28-18address: 9 Oktyabirskaya StThe Penguin pub is in a local brewery, and carries locally-produced beer on tap. The menu is rather limited: a few sandwiches and assorted bar food. It's a short walk from the sea terminal, and you may even meet the occasional foreign oil worker or seaman here if you are extremely lucky.
Hotel Alfaphone: +7 42435 4-10-10address: 31 Krasnoflotskaya StThe city's only hotel, it is renovated and has large rooms.