Kunashir Island, Kuril Islands
Kunashir Island (meaning Black Island in Ainu) is the southernmost island of the Kuril Islands, which are controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan. It lies between the straits of Kunashir, Catherine, Izmena, and South Kuril. Kunashir is visible from the nearby Japanese island of Hokkaid from which it is separated by the Nemuro Strait.
Kunashir is formed by four volcanoes which were separate islands but have since joined together by low-lying areas with lakes and hot springs. All these volcanoes are still active. The island is formed with the volcanic and crystalline rocks. The climate is of monsoon type. The vegetation mostly consists of spruce, pine, fir, and mixed deciduous forests with lianas and Kuril bamboo underbrush. The mountains are covered with birch and Siberian Dwarf Pine scrub, herbaceous flowers or bare rocks.
Things to See & Do
* Northern Fur Seals
* Horned Puffins
* Slatey-Backed Gulls
* Tufted Puffins
* Brunnich’s Guillemots
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – Ruble (RUB)
Language – Russian
Population – 8,000 approx
Land Area – 1,490 km2
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time - GMT plus hours nine hours
International Country Telephone Code – +7
Port Location – Visitors to the Kuril Islands leave from the Port of Korsakov. Kunahsir island port is located next to Yuzhno-Kurilsk, the island's main settlement.
Travel Links – SAT Airlines flies from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to Yuzhno-Kurilsk four times a week.
A ferry operates from Korsakov on Sakhalin, taking roughly 12 hours.