The Sakhalin Region was founded in 1932, its total are is 87,1 thous. sq.km. It boarders Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, Primorski Territories and Japan. The Region comprises: the Sakhalin Island (the largest Russian island) with adjoining islands, and the Kuril Islands — the only Region in Russia located on islands. The Sakhalin Region is located in two time zones — the time difference between the Moscow time and the time zones is +7 and +8 hours correspondingly. The administrative centre — is the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (population 182 thous. people), located in the distance of 7373 km from Moscow (linear distance), or 10417 km (flight distance). The time difference between the Moscow time and the time zone is +7 hours.
The climate is moderate, monsoon, the average temperature in January is from —6 in the South and from —24 in the North, the average temperature in August is from +19 in the South and from +10 in the North. The weather depends on wind direction, inshore wind contributes to rains and land wind contributes to dry sunny weather. Summer may be hot (air temperature runs up to +40 degrees of Centigrade in 1999) and may be cold and gloomy. Winters are not very cold (-10-15), however it is wet and windy. At times typhoons may occur.
The best part of the territory is occupied by boreal forest, Sakhalin fir tree forest, broad-leaved forest with lianas. Almost 10% of the territory is occupied by specially protected natural areas — 2 wildlife areas, one of them is federal wildlife area, one natural park, 12 game parks, 47 natural monuments. Inquiries on wildlife and natural area visiting regime shall be made particularly as far as many of them are located in the border area.
The Region population is 546,5 thous. people, among them over 80% live in cities (the Region includes 18 cities). The first Kurils’ inhabitants were not Russians or Japanese but Ainu people, who lives now only on the Hokkaido Island.
Touristic potential of the Region is great but it is feebly mastered thus the Region is considered as a travelling place for «wild» tourism, fishing, hunting and eco-tourism explorers, also there are abilities to develop therapeutic tourism. Tourists must pay special attention when making passes — some island areas are border zones. The passes are issued by Sakhalin coast guard border administration of Federal Security Service of Russia, located in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Diving lovers may take an interest in «The Moneron Island» project which will become an international diving base in prospect. The Region administration also welcomes ski mountaineering and snowboard lovers at «Gorny Vozdukh» base.
The Sakhalin Island incorporates a lot of rivers. For example, travelers tell stories about fascinating cruising in the Poronay river (stream length 250) where one can see many sights (in addition to fishing and wildlife purity): light tower on the Cape Krilyon, the Tyuleniy Island, Chekhov museum, thermal springs and other places of interest.
Panoramic view lovers definitely must visit the Ilya Muromets waterfall over 140 meters height.
Of course each voyager dreams of visiting the World's End — this is one of the capes located on the Shikotan Island.
The Sakhalin regional museum is the place of a paramount interest for history-minded person, which incorporates a lot of archeological, ethnographic, historic and paleontological exhibits. The museum exhibition has exhibits of Karafuto Japanese county collection (1910-1945), ancient samples of Sakhalin Ainu and Nivkh straight culture, documents and materials of Sakhalin hard labor in exile.
A lot of sights may be noticed going down the Sakhalin street in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk: the stone in honor of the Vladimirovka village foundation named after Vladimir Napoleonovich Yantsevich — the head of Korsakov penal jurisdiction; brewing plant producing «Beer» beer; Japanese bridge across the Susuya river; busts of Sakhalin conquerors and explorers — Golovnin, Krusenstern, Nevelsky; the monument to Sakhalin Koreans — Japanese militarism victims.
For more detailed information on the Region, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.