Shikotan Island (derived from an Ainu word meaning “the best place”) is a small island within the Smaller Kuril Archipelago. Its gulfs and bays are very picturesque and are often compared to Norwegian fjords.
The island possesses a touristic highlight — the famous Cape Krai Sveta (“the world’s edge”) with a unique lighthouse which is a site for pilgrimage of artists that love painting the Kuril Islands. As soon as you arrive there, the meaning of the place’s name becomes clear. The Cape is actually a piece of land that wedges into the sea and ends with a vertical drop. The top platform commands a breathtaking view over the boundless expanses of the Pacific ocean, so that you cannot help but think you truly are at the world’s edge. The name was suggested by Yury Yefremov, the head of the 1946 Kuril combined expedition. Other local points of interest include the Malokurilskaya (“Lesser Kuril”) and Krabovaya (“crab”) Bays. There are yew-trees and Amur cork-trees, wild grapes wines and lianas growing on Shikotan Island. If we also mention magnolia that grows in the island’s southern part, it will become clear that the local flora can be a research subject for scientists from all over the world.