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Sakhalin Oblast

Moneron Island

Moneron Island is a famous tourist destination in Sakhalin Oblast. Nine important cultural heritage sites are located here: ancient camps and settlements from the neolithic age (the 3rd millenium BC) to the culture of the Ainu people (the 18th century), as well as monuments erected by the Japanese and Russians at the beginning of the 20th century.

Also historical and cultural sites of local importance are preserved here. Examples include the Moneron lighthouse, built in 1914, and the remains of a 1906 Japanese telegraph station, part of the intercontinental telegraph line that connected Japan with the mainland. It is notable that the underwater cable was laid from Soya Cape through Moneron up to De-Kastri Bay.

In addition, it is possible to see the only concrete Japanese pedestrian bridge in Sakhalin Oblast; a concrete port-basin built in 1934; the remains of a Japanese road on Chuprov's Bay; the remains of Shinto Temple Ninomiya Jinja and Japanese memorial stones in the Bay of Kologeras; a Russian cemetery in Krasnaya basin; and the remains of a Soviet frontier post from the 1940s-1950s.

The island also has placer deposits of semi-precious stones (agate and calcedony) that are sold as popular souvenirs.

The island's clear-water rivers are very picturesque. Thanks to the amazingly clear mountain water that flows into the Strait, the waters adjacent to the island are incredibly pure (the transparency of the sea water near the island's coast is 20 meters). Unique waterfalls, rock shelters, and rock crevices are some of the other natural features on the island.  Flora of the island numbers 448 species of plants, and also 59 species of trees, nearly 30 of them are listed in the Red Book. Krasnaya basin includes a small fir tree forest that is more than 100 years old.

Colonies of sea birds live on the small coastal islands and rocks. The birds conquered and shared small islands, and their presence makes the local environment even more beautiful. Every cornice, every shelf, or accumulation of stones that is fit for habitation provides them with shelter. The most widespread gulls are the kittiwake and black-tailed gull. A famous fisher-virtuoso, the cormorant, also inhabits the island. The spectacled guillemot nests in the alcoves. Steppe guillemots sit along the cliffs (they are very conservative and occupy one and the same cliff year after year). Nearby on a hillside, the earth is completely covered with soft rye grass and holes made by horn-billed puffins. Horned puffins sit in silent meditation. There is also a one-of-a-kind colony of birds, quite rare in Russia, on the island: the long-billed sea parrot.

Sea lions and bay seals have organized breeding grounds here. The largest sea lion population (300-350 heads) is observed near the south and south-west coasts of the island from the end of February until May. Up to 1000 seals visit their breeding grounds in the early spring and at the end of December.

The underwater world of the island's shelf zone is unique. The main resource of Moneron is the marine fauna. The rare combination of the warming influence of Tsushima current and the unique underwater relief around the island has made it possible for subtropical species to thrive here: abalone, sea cucumber, sea urchin with rare spines, starfish, etc.

Official portal of the Ministry of Sports, Tourism, and Youth Policy of Sakhalin Oblast /

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Phone number: (4242) 51-02-39, (4242) 51-02-40
Address: Sakhalin Oblast, Strait of Tartary

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