Founded in 1853 as Sakhalin's first Russian military post, Korsakov would later serve as a penal colony. Ruled by Japan between 1905 and 1945, and later reclaimed by the Soviet Union, Korsakov is the place where Japan and Korea left imprint of their sojourn here on Russian culture. Though its tumultuous history includes power struggles and forced labor, the town is the perfect picture of tranquility today.
Being the south sea gateway of Sakhalin, Korsakov leads you to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the island's administrative capital and popular tourist destination. Due to Sakhalin's significant natural resources the city is surging with prosperity. Here, you can see a fascinating mix of modern buildings, museums and executive offices sitting comfortably with Russian and Japanese structures.
Points of Interest
The building, reminiscent of a pagoda, was erected during the Karafuto period as a Karafuto museum. Today, the museum contains a collection of eclectic exhibits.
An example of one of the simplest, as well as oldest, types of wooden churches. Built from square-frame logs, its roof is topped with the iconic gold onion domes and Russian Orthodox crosses.
Two sites dedicated to Russia's triumph over Japan and its reclaim of the island and dedicated to honor the Soviet soldiers who died during Sakhalin's liberation of 1945.
Like many Russian towns, statues of Lenin still stand and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is no exception. In the center of the main square you'll have the chance to take photos of the towering symbol of Soviet Russia looking down on the square and a number of smaller monuments.