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Film Location: Wakkanai, Hokkaido, Japan

Written on August 28, 2017


Wakkanai is the northernmost city in Japan. It is so far north that on clear days you can see Russia’s Sakhalin Island. Some street signs are in both Japanese and Russian, on account of regular visits from Russian sailors.

Wakkanai is a quiet city known for its busy industrial fishing port. Seaweed harvesting (kombu) and fishing are Wakkanai’s major industries. For tabletop shoots and food network productions looking for somewhere unique with excellent seafood, Wakkanai offers some of the best sea urchin in the world. The sushi and scallops are excellent all year round. Several varieties of crab are on offer including the Hairy Crab in spring. The famous local steak is black angus bred on soya and delicious creamy Wakkanai milk.

Locations of interest include the Suehiro Wharfs, breakwater dome, Wakkanai lighthouse, and wind farms that dot the horizon. Wakkanai has a couple of onsens, one with a view of Rishiri Island. The city sees very few tourists, so exclusive use of public space for filming is easy to arrange. Farther east from Wakkanai you can see winter ice floes in the Sea of Okhotsk.

When To Shoot

Wakkanai has long, cold winters that experience very heavy snowfalls. During the colder winters, the port can freeze over. Summers are warm with chilly evenings. Strong Siberian winds are common throughout the year.

The Japan Cup, taking place in February, is the biggest dog sleigh race in Japan.

Getting In & Around

Wakkanai can be reached by road or rail (it is terminus of the Japanese Rail Line). The city also has an airport.

Heartland Ferry operate seasonal services to the National Park islands of Rebun and Rishiri. Ferries also runs to Korsakov, on Sakhalin Island in Russia.

Hokkaido Film Crews & Fixers

Contact us if you are looking for production service support such as fixers or line producers in Wakkanai, or anywhere else in Hokkaido. We can also recommend Hokkaido based shooting crew such as photographers, videographers, cameramen, DoP’s, and directors.