Korsakov  (Russian: Корсáков, Japanese: 大泊) is a port town of 36.652 people, in Sakhalin Oblast, Russia. It is located on the shores of Anniva bay, on the southern tip on the island, some 42 km south of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the islands principal city. While rather drab, with few things to entertain the visitor, it does host one of the two ferry connections between Russia and Japan.
Further information available
While there are connections by a Japanese built narrow gauge railway, running along the coastline from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where the island's main airport is placed. Services are random and far between - buses are far more convenient. If the train is your thing, there were 3 daily scheduled departures at the time of writing, departing Yuzhno Sakhalinsk at 05:30,13:45 and 19:44.
There are both scheduled, and - leave when full - mini bus connections between Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Korsakov. both depart for Korsakov in front of the Yuzhno-Sakhalin railway station. Mini buses are the most convenient, ask around the different drivers, they will point you to the right bus. Journey time ranges between 30 to 60 minutes depending on the driver and traffic conditions, and the price is around 200 Rubles. Public bus 115 takes 90 minutes for the same trip, and costs around half.
Wakkanai, Japan Ferry's depart for Wakkanai on Hokkaido, Japan, from the sea terminal (Морвокзал) on the southern pier (Южно порт), Service is limited to late May-early June through to late September-early October (varies every year), due to ice conditions in the strait. Ticket sales in Korsakov are handled by the Inflot agency, their office is on the 1st floor of the the large 3 story Upravlinie building next to the sea terminal. The ferry is Japanese operated, by the Heartland Ferry company.
Yuzhno-Kurilsk, Kuriles islands There is a ferry service between Korsakov and Yuzhno-Kurilsk on Kunashir island in the Kurils, operated by the Igor Farkhutdinov passenger vessel, however there is no set schedule, as the ship departs only when there is freight to carry, the only way to buy tickets are through a tour agency on Sakhalin.
Mainland Russia There are also ferry services on combined freight/passenger ships, to and from the mainland, but schedules and let alone tickets, are very hard to come by if you don't speak Russian, a much easier option to the mainland, is to take the daily scheduled ferry from Kholmsk.
Unscheduled minibuses and taxis provide the city's quite limited transportation. However the town is compact, and you can easily cover most places on foot.
There are very little in the way of sights in Korsakov. But there is a great view over the harbor, along with an uninspiring monument, on the hill just behind the sea terminal. The main drag Sovetskaya street are lined with small street stalls during spring and summer months, selling fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a wikipedian the strawberries are particularly good.
- Korsakov History Museum, 22 Krasnoflotskaya St.. The city also has a small museum with exhibitions about the Japanese possession (1905-1940)
- Old Hokkaido Takushoku Bank. This crumbling building on the south eastern corner of the city park, is one of the only visible remains of the Japanese possession of the city. Efforts to convert the building into a museum have yet to bear fruit, and the doors and windows have been barred.
Outside Korsakov there is a few beaches at the hamlets of Okhotsk (about 1 hour) and Prigorodnoye (about 30 minutes) which also hosts a few Japanese war monuments. But access to both of these sights, requires a car or taxi.
There is a few restaurants located along the the main drag, Sovetskaya Street - going south from the central Lenin square. The restaurant inside Hotel Alfa has an English menu, with a selection of traditional Russian cuisine
- Penguin bar, 9 Oktyabirskaya St, ☎ (42435) 2-28-18. The Penguin pub is located in a local brewery, and carries locally produced beer on tab. The menu is rather limited, a few sandwiches and assorted bar food. It's a short walk of the sea terminal, you may even meat the occasional foreign oil worker or seaman here if you are extremely lucky.
- Hotel Alfa, 31 Krasnoflotskaya St (at the nortwestern end of lenin square), ☎ +7 (42435) 4-10-10. Is the city`s only Hotel, it is recently renovated with large rooms. Rates start from 5600 RUB, but discounts may be available if you talk to the manager, who speaks fairly good English - as he get's pretty upbeat about foregin visitors..