Russia and Japan learned about the Kuril Islands at the same time. From the 18th century, the Russian side began to send expeditions to the islands, and by the end of the century, it was possible to establish relations with the local population and bring more than 1,500 people into Russian citizenship. The Japanese did not like this state of affairs and relations with Russia became aggravated.
At the end of the 19th century, Russia handed over to Japan all the Kuril Islands in exchange for abandoning claims to Sakhalin Island.
In 1945, the reverse agreement on the transfer of the Kuriles to the Soviet Union was accepted, and today Japan is again demanding that four islands be transferred to their possession. Admire one of the most picturesque and warm islands of the Kuril ridge – Kunashir Island!
How to get to Kunashir
The entire territory of the island is considered a border zone. In this regard, those wishing to get to the island need to get a pass in the Sakhalin border management ( Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk ), as well as an additional pass in the administration of the reserve in Yuzhno-Kurilsk.
What to see in Kunashir
The Kurilsky Reserve with the Tyatya Volcano and the Stolbchaty Cape
This natural monument, covering an area of 65 hectares, 70% of which are forested, was discovered in 1984. The reserve is unique in terms of the number of historical and cultural sites and Red Book inhabitants. In total, there are 227 species of birds and 29 species of mammals living on the territory of the Kurilsky.
On Kunashir, there are a unique species of so-called brown “white” bears, which can be found only on the three islands of the Kuril archipelago – Iturupe, Shumshu, and Paramushir.
There is also one of the most beautiful active volcanoes in the Kuriles – “Tyatya”, 1819 meters high, the last eruption of which was recorded in 1981.
Another attraction of the reserve is Cape Stolbchaty, which is very popular among tourists thanks to the picturesque cliffs up to 50 meters high. The cape arose as a result of the petrification of basaltic lava, and under the influence of temperature drops, it was divided into beautiful multi-faceted columns.
In the process of destruction at the foot of the cape, accumulations of fragments of rock of unusual shape are formed.
Having admired the views of the reserve, go look at the rock “Devil’s Finger”, the height of a five-story house, which, unfortunately, few tourists know. Such solitary rocks of natural origin are also called “kickers”.
Of the natural attractions of Kunashir, it is also worth mentioning fur seal and seal rookeries. As a rule, they are found in places difficult for predators, for example, in rocks.
From the category of funny oddities, Kunashir may be surprised by the fact that after World War II, a warehouse of Japanese left boots was found on it. Such an unusual logistics was not accidental. It turned out that the right boots were kept separate from the left ones due to theft from the personnel guarding the warehouse. As you can see, there really is something to see on Kunashir.