The gateway to the world at the tip of Notsuke Peninsula: prologue

At a total length of 28 km, Notsuke Peninsula, which protrudes from the central part of the coast of the Nemuro Strait, is Japan’s largest sand spit. The single road, flanked on both sides by the sea, leads to a decaying forest, the desolate scenery of which conjures up images of the remotest land. However, from the period of the ancient northern culture until the Edo period (17th century to mid-19th century), this was the base from which crossings to Kunashiri Island departed. The region fulfilled the role of Japan’s eastern gateway to the world via the Kuril Islands beyond, through which people continuously passed. Legend has it that in the past, places of entertainment existed at its tip. What attracted the people who came and went throughout the ages was Nemuro Strait’s greatest product – salmon.