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  #1  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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ferry Wakkanai-Sakhalin before 8th. june?

Does anyone know if there is a ferry service other than the Heartland Ferry that runs between Wakkanai and Sakhalin Island. We think that we will be in Wakannai around mid May and do not want to spend 2 weeks waiting for the first Heartland ferry which starts 8th June.

Simon
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  #2  
Old 11 Jan 2010
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No other ferry service.
You may be able to find a fishing or cargo vessel that would take you, but I doubt it would be easy to do.
You know, it is still pretty cold in May. Take the 2 weeks to travel around Hokkaido and Tohoku. That has some of the best riding in Japan.
Or go to Vladivostok and deal with their notorious customs house...
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Old 11 Jan 2010
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Hi Chris,
does "still pretty cold" mean snow / ice still on the ground. At this stage we are tenatively booked to fly into Tokyo on 21st. April, ride around the 3 major islands for about 3 weeks then hop over to Sakhalin which was going to be around mid May.

Would the same weather apply to Vladivostok? I don't really want to start the russian leg there as it sounds like a big expensive port city and not much else.

Simon
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Old 11 Jan 2010
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When I went in June 2003, I had one night below freezing near Chita.
Average May temp. in Wakkanai, the northernmost city in Japan, is 8.7 degrees C.

But really your choices are either wait for the Sakhalin ferry on June 8 (and enjoy more of Japan ), go to Vladivostok (nice group of bikers , unpleasant customs house), go to Korea (extra ferry ride, sometimes hard to get a one-way ticket from Japan), attempt to hitch a ride on a fishing boat (not sure if legal so Japan customs may not stamp out your carnet).
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Old 11 Jan 2010
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Not only may Japan customs have an issue with it ... My guess is Russian customs and immigration would take a VERY dim view of a guy arriving on Sakhalin on a fishing boat. That sounds too much like asking for trouble. Stick to scheduled commercial vessels if at all possible.

If you can talk your way out of trouble in Russian, easily, it "might" be worth a go. But don't expect it to be easy even if you can speak good Russian. If you cant speak good Russian, then don't expect it to be possible.
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  #6  
Old 12 Jan 2010
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thanks for the advice guys I think we will delay our departure from sydney until early May giving ourselves a five week run to get to the first ferry in June. not keen on the hassles of Vlad.
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris in Tokyo View Post
When I went in June 2003, I had one night below freezing near Chita.
Average May temp. in Wakkanai, the northernmost city in Japan, is 8.7 degrees C.

But really your choices are either wait for the Sakhalin ferry on June 8 (and enjoy more of Japan ), go to Vladivostok (nice group of bikers , unpleasant customs house), go to Korea (extra ferry ride, sometimes hard to get a one-way ticket from Japan), attempt to hitch a ride on a fishing boat (not sure if legal so Japan customs may not stamp out your carnet).
Can the Sakhalin ferry be prebooked or it is first come first serve. I had a look at their website but couldn't find the "bookings" like as I cannot read Japanese. Cheers, Cain
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Can the Sakhalin ferry be prebooked or it is first come first serve. I had a look at their website but couldn't find the "bookings" like as I cannot read Japanese. Cheers, Cain
Best to make reservations in advance. I heard of someone being turned down in the past by showing up the day before.
They don't accept online reservations it seems. They don't even list an email address in Japanese.
Best to call the head office in Sapporo.
+81-11-233-8010 (011-233-8010 within Japan) FAX +81-11-233-2783 (011-233-2783)
or Wakkanai branch office
+81-162-23-3780 (0162-23-3780 within Japan) FAX +81-162-23-6730 (0162-23-6730)
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Thanks Chris I will call them today.
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  #10  
Old 24 Feb 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Thanks Chris I will call them today.
Cain,
Did you manage to make reservations for the ferry?
I was just wondering if they handled English OK.
It is not a problem for me, as I speak Japanese, but I would like to be able to tell others what the situation is.

Chris
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  #11  
Old 24 Jun 2010
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hey!
Get the ticket in advance!!!

I just got turned down to buy a ticket for the next ferry. The only ticket they will let me buy, is for the ferry a week from now :@

Now I am here waiting, in a city with nothing to do
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  #12  
Old 24 Jun 2010
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Originally Posted by lakers6902 View Post
hey!

Now I am here waiting, in a city with nothing to do
Then get out of the "city" (if you can call Wakkanai a city).
Some of the best riding in Japan is in Hokkaido. Why would anyone spend a week sitting around Wakkanai??

Going between Japan and Russia is not like traveling between European countries. You don't just show up at the dock and expect to get on an international ferry here. In fact, Japan and Russia never signed a peace treaty after WWII.
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