1. Theme






2. Region, city, itinerary

Yuzhno-Sakahlinsk, Chekhov peak, Dolinsk town, Tunaicha lake, Izmenchivoye lake,  Okhotskoye lake, Busse lake.

3. Seasonality

May – September

4. The complexity, style of the tour

Moderate, trekking, hiking

5. Accommodation


6. Number of days


7. Number of people

No limits

8. Booking conditions

15 days before the tour start

The main richness of Sakhalin is taiga forest. The island's forests are a unique set of species in their composition, and the Sakhalin taiga is one of the richest in Russia in terms of its variety of tree species, where an unexpected combination of elements of northern and southern flora is found. In the south of Sakhalin, you can find vegetation typical of the middle regions of Russia and even the subtropics. There are about 200 species of trees, shrubs and woody lianas.

Our "Flower Watching" tour is dedicated to nature lovers and true connoisseurs of beauty. Below is an incomplete list of flowers that grow on Sakhalin, a large part of which are red-listed.

Flowers: yathryshnik, peony back-oval, belokopytnik (burdock), kaluzhnitsa fern, red-book lily of the Glen and kortuza Sakhalin (Peking), violets, trillium, rhododendron, ginseng, eleutherococcus, linseed, chamomile, ivan-tea, tiger lily, locust, wild poppies, sakura, Kuril bamboo (peculiar only to the south of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands).

Berries: blueberries, blueberries, currants, edible honeysuckle, Ainu cherry, elderberry, rose hips, ferns, cranberries, redberries, actinidia, lemongrass, forest raspberries.

Day 1

Chekhov Peak is one of the highest points of the island (1045 m). The peak is located in the southern part of the island, not far from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, we will get there on passable 4WD jeeps. The peak is named after the Russian writer A. P. Chekhov, who visited Sakhalin in 1890. During the Japanese Karafuto period, Chekhov Peak was revered as a sacred mountain. Then on top was built a small temple and a house dedicated to the goddess of the sun Amaterasu. In our peak there are several hiking routes. Our route will last 8-10 kilometers.

Day 2

As you know, the Sakhalin Railway is a unique narrow-gauge railway for Russia, unlike any other. The track width of the Sakhalin railway is 1067 mm. And in short, the story is as follows. In 1905, Russia was defeated in the war with Japan. The southern part of the island was given to Japan as a contribution. Almost immediately, in 1906, the Japanese began construction of a railway from Korsakov (then Otomari) to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Toyohara). The 39-kilometer-long road was built very quickly, in about two months. Initially, it was "super-narrow" (610 mm). Soon, in 1910, the line was reconstructed, and it received the standard gauge for Japan - 1067 mm.

From Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the railway was extended to the north, initially to the current Starodubskoye station. At the same time, the Kanuma (Novoaleksandrovka) - Kawakami (Sinegorsk) line appeared, which led to the coal mine, and some other branches.

In 1918, the construction of the Western Highway (with a gauge of 1067 mm) began-from Kholmsk (Maoka) to Nevelsk (Honto) and Chekhov (Noda). The traffic along this road was opened at the end of 1921. The northern section was soon extended to Tomari station. Initially, this line was completely autonomous.

In the 1930s, the network was further developed, numerous small autonomous lines appeared, mainly serving industrial enterprises. The largest of these roads, located in the vicinity of Shakhtersk (Toro) and Uglegorsk (Esutoro), had a deployed length of about 80 kilometers.

As a result of the successful military operation of the Soviet troops conducted in August 1945, Southern Sakhalin returned to the control of the USSR. At the same time, mass destruction was avoided. The Sakhalin railway has remained since that time "a gift of the Japanese government to the island of Sakhalin".

We will get to Dolinsk by rail (to the north of the island about an hour) and spend a walk for 1, 5-2 hours in the vicinity of the city to observe the flowering plants in the area.

Dolinsk is also notable for the fact that a section of the railway passes through it, which is associated with the journey of the famous Japanese poet Miyazawa Kenji, who wrote during this Sakhalin journey the allegory novel "Night on the Galactic Railway" (later called by critics the Japanese "Alice in Wonderland" and filmed). Kenji took his inspiration on thw shore near Sakagami and the lake Tokusuru.

In the area of Dolinsk there is a place, where there was an old Japanese station Sakaehama.

On the way, we will make a stop in the village of Starodubskoye "Amber Coast", where you can collect local amber "Sakhalinite" as a Sakhalin souvenir right on the seashore. Local amber has a beautiful black tea color with a cherry tint and will be a great addition to your jewelry collection.

Nearby, we can visit the village Vzmorye (“Seaside”), and the temple of Higashi Synaura Jinja.

After lunch we’ll return to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk for a sightseeing tour of the city visiting: the regional Museum (the building of the Japanese buildings in the traditional architectural style of "Kaikan zukuri"), city panorama from viewing point of ski resort "Mountain air", Victory Avenue, Victory square, Gagarin Park, walk of Fame, Communist Avenue, the Memorial complex "Victory", Christmas Cathedral, open market.

Dinner with dishes of Sakhalin salmon.

Day 3

Today we spend the whole day in nature on the largest and richest lakes of Sakhalin: Izmenchivoye (“Changeable”), Tunaycha, Busse.

Izmenchivoye lake is quite deep and salty, flows into the sea of Okhotsk. The lake is famous for its healing properties due to marine sulfide mud, which helps to get rid of skin and gynecological diseases. The water in the lake is sea, salty, which allows various varieties of fish to breed well: navaga, catfish, smelt. The lake is adjacent to a magnificent pine forest, where we will walk and watch the flowering plants.

Lake Tunaicha is the second largest on Sakhalin and a real natural monument. The lake is brackish, flows into the Komissarovka River, the lake is home to 29 species of fish, including salmon (chum salmon and pink salmon). In summer, you can pick berries on the lake, admire a variety of plants and enjoy the cleanest air, as well as take beautiful landscape photos.

Busse is a lake (lagoon), named after Major Busse, a member of the Amur expedition of 1849 - 1855. In the lake grow different sea grasses and algae, among which a valuable red Alga (ahnfeltia concinna), from which agar-agar is extracted. The lake is home to many species of fish, including pink salmon, chum salmon, herring, navaga, smelt, crucian carp, taimen and shellfish (mussels, giant oysters, scallops, trepangs).