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If you’re trying to get to Sarufutsu in a hurry, the best way is to fly into Wakkanai, a blustery little fishing town on the extreme northern tip of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, then rent a car or take the bus east. From Tokyo the whole trip takes just over three hours.

But if you are in a hurry, you probably shouldn’t be headed to Sarufutsu in the first place — and if you’re not watching the clock, there’s a slower, better way to go.

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