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Northern Territories promotional video
Aiming to Resolve the Northern Territories Issue
Northern Territories Animation
National Speech Contest
Erika-chan’s dream: to be a weather woman
Erika-chan dreams of being a cute weather reporter.
Today, I'll outline the climate of the Northern Territories. The Kurile cherry is the official flower of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories, and the tree usually bears beautiful pale-pink flowers in mid to late May in Nemuro, Hokkaido.
Outline of the Northern Territories / educational videos
Video tour of the Northern Territories and awareness-raising facilities
This video with commentary introduces the Northern Territories, which can be seen from Cape Nosappu in Nemuro, Hokkaido, as well as provides an inside look at Hoppo-kan (Northern Museum) and Bokyo-no-Ie (Northern Territories Folk Museum) .
Blakiston's Fish Owl and Pirika-chan: What is the Northern Territories issue? (digest version)
This is the digest version of a video for elementary and junior high school students to learn about the Northern Territories. It explains the geography and history of the Northern Territories in an easy-to-understand manner.
Initiatives of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories (digest version)
This is a digest version of Initiatives of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories, which introduces the campaign in detail, including its history and nationwide activities as well as efforts to involve young people who can take it forward.
Testimonies of history: Storytellers of the Northern Territories
Mr. Takashi Takahashi Yuri Island, Habomai Islands
Born in 1933 (age 11 at the end of the war)
- Interview details
- Childhood memories
- Life on Yuri Island
- Connection between islanders
- Memories at the end of the war
- Landing of Soviet troops
- From Shibotsu Island to the camp
- Life at the camp
- Visiting Yuri Island
Mr. Yoshikatsu Kimura Shibotsu Island, Habomai Islands
Born in 1934 (age 10 at the end of the war)
- Interview details
- Life on Shibotsu Island
- Memories on the day the war ended
- Landing of Soviet troops
- Form Shibotsu Island to the camp
- Life at the camp
- To Hakodate by repatriation ship
- Life in Nemuro
- Visiting Shibotsu Island
Mr. Kiyotoshi Ichikawa Tomari Village, Kunashiri Island
Born in 1922 (age 22 at the end of the war)
- Interview details
- Work on Kunashiri Island
- Life on the island
- Entertainment on the island
- Drafted into the army
- To Nemuro after demobilization
- Strong thoughts for returning to the island
- Reunion with family
- Visiting Kunashiri Island
Video materials for areas adjacent to the Northern Territories
Four Northern Islands Exchange Center NI HO RO, Nemuro Nemuro City
The Four Northern Islands Exchange Center NI HO RO features exhibition rooms showing the history and current situation of the Northern Territories, the Russian Culture Room, where visitors can experience Russian culture, and the Northern Museum, which exhibits valuable documents and maps.
The exhibition rooms clearly show the history, current state and people’s lives of the Northern Territories. The second-floor exhibition rooms display historically valuable photos, documents, and maps related to the four northern islands. The Japanese Culture Room is a Japanese-style room where visitors can experience traditional Japanese culture, including tea ceremony and flower arrangement. Russians living on the four northern islands who visit Nemuro under the visa-free exchange program experience Japanese culture here.
On clear days, Kunashiri Island can be seen from the observation room on the second floor.
Hanasaki Kurumaishi (wheel stone) Nemuro City
Located near Cape Hanasaki, south of downtown Nemuro, this rock measuring approximately 6 m in diameter was formed roughly 60 million years ago. It is thought that magma became spherical when it touched the seawater and cooled. Its unique shape makes it a global curiosity, and it was designated as a National Natural Treasure in 1939. The name derives from its wheel-like shape.
Nemuro City Museum of History and Nature Nemuro City
This brick building was built in 1942 as the Nemuro Branch of the Ominato Naval Communications Unit and was used as an elementary school after the war. It exhibits valuable materials, such as drawings of the ship Ekaterina, on which the Russian Adam Laxman arrived in Nemuro, a stone marker showing the border with Russia that was placed on the 50th parallel in northern Karafuto, and plant specimens from Shikotan Island.
Cape Nosappu Nemuro City
Cape Nosappu is the easternmost point of Hokkaido. It is famous as the first place in Hokkaido to welcome each day's sunrise. The Habomai Islands and Kaigara Island are just 3.7 km away, and Suisho Island is 7 km from Cape Nosappu, which is Hokkaido's closest point to the Northern Territories. On clear days, the mountains of Kunashiri Island can be seen.
Bokyo-no-Ie (Northern Territories Folk Museum) and Hoppo-kan (Northern Museum) Nemuro City
Nemuro is known as the starting point of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories. Hoppo-kan, on Cape Nosappu, overlooks the Habomai Islands. At Hoppo-kan, historical materials and photos show the background of the Northern Territories issue. Bokyo-no-Ie opened as a sanctuary for those who were expelled from the four northern islands. Maps showing pre-war townscapes and houses are on display here. Hoppo-kan and Bokyo-no-Ie allow visitors to learn a lot about history and life in those days while seeing the Northern Territories.
Shunkunitai Nature Center Nemuro City
Shunkunitai, a sandbar between Lake Furen and the Sea of Okhotsk, is in an area of diverse habitats, including wetlands, forests and tidal flats. Approximately 320 species of wild birds inhabit Shunkunitai and Lake Furen, and various wild birds can be seen in every season from the nature observation path of the nature center.
Akesato Ito Dairy Farm Nemuro City
This dairy farm allows you to interact with cows. At the entrance is a building where dairy products, such as soft-serve ice cream, and handmade gifts and souvenirs are sold, allowing visitors to enjoy the charm of the dairy farm as well as the splendor of the vast pastureland. Participatory programs range from milking and butter-making to real dairy farming work just like that done by farm workers.
Etopirika passenger ship Nemuro City
Etopirika, which entered service in FY 2012, is used for the four-island exchange program. The ship was named by the public after the tufted puffin (etopirika) a seabird that inhabits the waters of the Nemuro Peninsula and the four northern islands. The name conjures up images of free movement between the four northern islands and the rest of Japan. To accommodate aging former islanders, the ship is equipped with an elevator for wheelchair-users, a "barrier-free" cabin, and restrooms with multifunction toilets. It also has gender-segregated baths and shake-reduction devices for comfort and safety. The dining-cum-assembly room can be used for gatherings of all passengers.
Northern Territories Observation Tower Betsukai Town
The Notsuke Peninsula and Kunashiri Island on the Nemuro Strait can be seen from here. Kunashiri Island is just 16 km from the peninsula. Next to the observation tower are four pillars representing the four islands and “crying statues” of an old woman, her son, and her grandchild crying sadly for the return to the Northern Territories across the sea.
Notsuke Peninsula Nature Center Betsukai Town
The Notsuke Peninsula is the largest sand spit in Japan. It has a unique crochet-hook shape and a length of 26 km. The fantastic scenery of Todowara (still-standing dead Sakhalin fir trees) and Narawara (still-standing dead Japanese oak trees) that has been created by seawater make the area a scenic spot. Information on the Notsuke Peninsula is available on the first floor of the nature center, as are a restaurant and a shop for local specialties, and on the second floor there are exhibits on the history, flora, and fauna of the Notsuke Peninsula. Panoramic views of Notsuke Bay can be enjoyed from the observation deck.
Betsukai sightseeing ship Betsukai Town
Passengers can enjoy a cruise while looking out over the Notsuke Peninsula and Notsuke Bay. There are three cruise routes, including one that allows you to see Kunashiri Island up close, and another, the Todowara Route, that allows you to enjoy the scenery of dead trees.
Nakashibetsu Municipal Folk Museum Nakashibetsu Town
Located in leafy Maruyama Park, this museum displays approximately 1,500 materials related to the history, folklore, and pioneering days of Nakashibetsu from its collection of more than 40,000 items. Pottery with frog motifs, which has been designated as a cultural property by the town, and materials on Shibetsu Line of the former Japanese National Railways are also on display. The C11-209 steam locomotive is stored next to the museum.
Salmon Museum Shibetsu Town
This salmon aquarium exhibits some 30 species of salmonid fish. The highlight is the large 110-kiloliter seawater tank. In addition to salmonid fish, other fish living in the Nemuro Strait are raised and displayed. From September to November, watch from up close as salmon migrate upstream. Observe spawning in November and salmon fry and yamame trout swimming in schools from February to August. A participatory program in which you put your fingers in a sturgeon's mouth is popular. When you bring your hand close, sturgeon come to you thinking that your fingers are food, but since sturgeon have no teeth, they won't hurt you.
Northern Territories Museum Shibetsu Town
Photo panels and panoramic models are on display here. Learn about the history of the Campaign for the Return of the Northern Territories and the state of the Northern Territories before the war. On the first floor are stuffed animals living in the Northern Territories, and from the exhibition room on the second floor, you can see Kunashiri Island across the water.
Whale-watching Rausu Town
Departing from Rausu Port, a ship sails in search of whales and dolphins in coastal waters administered by Japan. Sperm whales with a body length of nearly 20 m are often seen from July through October, while killer whales are likely to be seen in April or May. A friendly school of whales may approach the ship. On clear days, Kunashiri Island can be seen from up close.
Rausu Visitor Center Rausu Town
This visitors' center is situated in Rausu, the entrance to Shiretoko, a World Natural Heritage. In addition to exhibits on the nature, history and culture of Shiretoko, you can see the four seasons of Shiretoko on video. This base connects people to nature in Shiretoko. Japan’s largest skeletal specimen of a killer whale can be seen.
Rausu Fishing Port Rausu Town
This fishing port was the first in the Nemuro area to have a covered wharf, which makes it a port where catches can be landed and freight can be handled whatever the weather. Cold, clean deep seawater is pumped up from the depth of 350 m for use in the preservation, cleaning, and cultivation of fish.
Rausu Folk Museum Rausu Town
This folk museum was built by remodeling an elementary school building. Rausu is a place where Northern peoples came and went, and it abounds in archeological artifacts from the unique Okhotsk and Tobinitai cultures, as well as from the Satsumon culture. The museum is divided into nine exhibition rooms with themes of archeology, modern times, industry, lifestyle and more. Learn about history from the Paleolithic era to recent times.
Kunashiri Observation Tower Rausu Town
This observation tower is on Bokyodai, a hill about 2 km from downtown Rausu. At 167 m above sea level, it overlooks Rausu Fishing Port and Kunashiri Island across the Nemuro Strait. In the facility, see videos on the history of the Northern Territories issue and how the exchange program is conducted. The view from the roof has been selected as one of the "eight views of Rausu."