Korsakov (Russian: Корсаков, 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.
While there are connections by a narrow gorge railway from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where the islands main airport is placed. Services are random and far between, busses 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, journey time is a slightly under one hour.
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 busses are the most convenient, ask around the different drivers, they will point you to the right bus. Journey time ranges between 30 to 60 minuttes depending on the driver and trafic conditions.
Unscheduled minibusses and taxi's provide the city's very 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 habour, along with an uninspiring monument, on the hill just behind the sea terminal. The city also has a small museum with exhibitions about the Japanese possesion (1905-1940)
Outside Korsakov there is a few beaches, but access to these requires a car or Taxi.
There is a few restaurants located along the the main drag, going south from the central Lenin square.
The Post Office of Lenin Square, has two computers with Internet access
Wakkanai, Japan Ferrys depart for Wakkanai on Hokkaido, Japan, from the seaterminal (Морвокзал) on the southern pier (Южно порт). Ticket sales in Korsakov are handled by the Inflot agency, their office is on the 1st floor of the the large 3 storey Upravlinie building next to the sea terminal. the ferry is Japanese operated, by the Heartland Ferry company.
A comprehensive itenerary for the journey from Khabarovsk on the transsiberian main line, to Wakkanai in Japan, can be found on the contributing authers blog
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 dont speak Russian, a much easier option to the mainland, is to take the daily scheduled ferry from Kholmsk.