Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Russia

Despite the fact that in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is home to about two hundred thousand people, the city is the administrative center of the Sakhalin region, known for its abundant wildlife and pristine volcanic landscapes. For forty years the town was in possession of the neighboring Japan and one of the surviving Japanese building now houses a large museum. In the summer the locals are hiding in the shadows of beer tents in the popular city park, and tourists go out of town to enjoy the beauty of nature and stunning views of the island.