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Sakhalin for Those Who Have Little Time
June 15, 2011 14:18


 Sakhalin is not only a disputed territory but a unique island region, with beautiful nature, unhacked history and a few amusing museums. The region is getting more open now. Recently tourists from Japan have been coming by ferry, staying for 72 hours visa-free and seeing sights of the region. Hopefully this is only the beginning, and this opportunity will be available not only for the Japanese. Anyway, Sahkalin is a place where you find traces of Russian Classic literature, many birds and sea mammals, one art museum with a good collection, and a very old oil derrick.

Museums

The following Sakhalin museums are recommended by the tour operators. They are Sakhalin Museum of Local History, Sakhalin Regional art museum and Anton Chekhov's museum.

Sakhalin Museum of Local History, founded in 1896, is situated in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Museum occupies the building constructed in 1937 for a museum of Japanese governorate Karafuto (the island belonged to the Japanese in 1910-1945). Museum unites collections of Japanese governorate and Soviet time. Subjects of collections are archaeology, ethnography, mineralogy, geology, etc. The most interesting things are the relics of traditional cultures of Sakhalin, Ainu and Nivkhs. Documents and artifacts of the period when the region was the place of labor camps in 1868-1905 are also represented there.

Sakhalin Regional Art museum, situated in the building of the former Japanese bank of Hokkaido Takushoku, was built in early 1930-s. The building is a peculiar site, from architectural point of view. Temporary exhibitions take place in the big hall on the ground floor, while rooms on the first level are occupied with permanent exhibitions of Old Russian, Japanese art and Korean art.

Museum of Anton Chekhov is situated in the town of Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky. Anton Chekhov, the Russian writer and medical doctor, spent three months on Sakhalin in 1890, where he extensively researched the plight of the prisoners and the native population. The publication of his Sakhalin Island in 1895 highlighted the depravity of the situation in this remote corner of Russia and led to public protests that helped to close the penal colony.

Among the monuments of history, a notable one is an oil derrick of late 19th century. It was the first one constructed on the island and reminds about beginning of Sakhalin oil patch. The monument of history, technologies and maybe technical architecture is situated not far from Okha town.

Kurilsky nature reserve is interesting for its fauna: there are many species of sea mammals here (from seals to whales). However, the seals can be seen not only in the reserve: they like to stay on a breakwater in the port of Nevelsk from February till early June. The most interesting objects of nature in the region are single islands, like Moneron and Tyuleniy (Seal Island): first is a unique ecological complex, the second one is place of huge bird spots and sealing grounds. And speaking of Sakhalin itself, one should mention Tunaicha lake and huge grasses and plants characteristic for southern part of island.

Ferry schedules for trips Hokkaido-Sakhalin are available here.

trasa.ru
travel.sakh.com
rubin-hotel.ru


Author: Yulia Buzykina

Tags: Sakhalin Region Anton Chekhov Kuril islands   

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