Lighthouses of Japan: Eastern Hokkaidō

Hokkaidō is the northernmost of the four main islands of Japan. It is very roughly triangular in shape, facing north on the Sea of Okhotsk, southeast on the Pacific Ocean, and west on the Sea of Japan. It is separated from Honshū to the south by the Tsugaru Strait and from Russian Sakhalin to the north by the La Pérouse or Sōya Strait. The entire island forms a single prefecture, which is easily the largest prefecture of Japan.

This page covers lighthouses of eastern Hokkaidō, including the subprefectures of Nemuro, Kushiro, and Tokachi. The easternmost land in Japan, this coast faces east on the Pacific Ocean. In the north, the narrow and twisting Nemuro Strait separates Hokkaidō from the Kuril Islands. (The southernmost Kurils, including Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Khabomai Islands, are occupied by Russia but claimed by Japan.)

In Japanese, the word for a lighthouse is tōdai or toudai (灯台). The words saki and misaki are for capes and headlands, shima (also spelled sima or jima) is an island, wan is a bay, and is a harbor. Lighthouses in Japan are operated and maintained by the Japanese Coast Guard's Maritime Safety Agency. Lighthouses in Nemuro Subprefecture are the responsibility of the Nemuro Coast Guard office, and those in Kushiro and Tokachi Subprefectures are maintained by the Kushiro office.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. JCG numbers are the Japanese Coast Guard's light list numbers. Admiralty numbers are from volume M of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Lighthouses in Japan - Hokkaidō
Photos and data for Hokkaidō lighthouses; mostly in Japanese but the page titles are in English.
Lighthouse of Japan - Hokkaidō
Another site with excellent photos and text in Japanese.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour - Hokkaidō
Photos and brief notes in English.
Kiso's Lighthouses - Hokkaidō
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Form of a Lighthouse
Another site with many photos of lighthouses in northern Japan.
Nemuro Coastal Lighthouses
This page links to pages for the individual lighthouses. Another page links to pages for the breakwater lighthouses.
Nemuro Lighthouse Photo Album
Additional photos posted by the Nemuro Coast Guard Station.
Kushiro - Coastal Lighthouses
Photos and brief accounts posted by the Kushiro Coast Guard Station.
Lighthouses in Hokkaido Prefecture
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Japan: Modern Lighthouses
Historic postcard images posted by Michel Forand.
The Famous Fifty Lighthouses
Photos of the lighthouses voted most famous in Japan, posted by the Eighth Coast Guard Region. Three of the fifty stand in the area covered by this page (Nosappu Misaki, Hanasaki, and Otiisi Misaki).

Kushiro
Kushiro Saki Light, Kushiro, May 2011
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by pakku

Nemuro Subprefecture Lighthouses

Rausu Town (Shiretoko Peninsula East Coast) Lighthouses
Note: The rugged Shiretoko Peninsula projects 70 km (43 mi) into the Sea of Okhotsk, making it a significant obstacle to navigation. The wild outer half of the peninsula is protected as the Shiretoko National Park. In the language of Japan's indigenous Ainu people, shiretoko means "end of the earth." For lighthouses on the west side of the peninsula, see Northern Hokkaidō.
* Chienbetsu (Tienbetsu, Tienbetu) Kō (North Breakwater)
1979. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Additional photos are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north (main) breakwater enclosing the small harbor of Chienbetsu, about 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Rausu. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-990; JCG-0217; Admiralty M6861.5; NGA 0428.
* Rausu
1971. Active; focal plane 87 m (285 ft); white flash every 10 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached at one end of a 1-story keeper's house. Tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. A 2013 photo is at right, the Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, the Lighthouse of Japan site has a good photo, Misty's Tour has a fine closeup, additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory north of Rausu, a port on the east side of the Shiretoko Peninsula, directly opposite Utoro on the west side. Site open, parking available, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-501; JCG-0216; Admiralty M6858; NGA 0424.
* Rausu Kō West Breakwater
1980. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo is available; in the background is the Russian-occupied island of Kunashir. Another photo is available (halfway down the page on the right), and Bing has a distant satellite view. Due to a missing header in the NGA listing, ARLHS has this light listed as Matunori West Breakwater. Located at the end of the north inner breakwater at Rausu. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-906; JCG-0215; Admiralty M6861.2; NGA 0420.
* Rausu Kō South Inner (No. 2) Breakwater
1970. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. Another photo is available (halfway down the page, on the left), Google has a distant street view, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the south end of the inner breakwater at Rausu. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-0214; Admiralty M6861; NGA 0416.
* Rausu Kō South (No. 1) Breakwater
1964. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available (halfway down the page, on the left), another view is available, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater at Rausu. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-0212; Admiralty M6860; NGA 0412.
Matsunori (Matunori) Kō
1964. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Matt Saunders has a photo and a view across the harbor, additional photos are available, and Google has a distant street view and a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater enclosing the small harbor of Matunori, about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Rausu. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-905; JCG-0211; Admiralty M6857.5; NGA 0404.
Rausu Light
Rausu Light, Rausu, July 2013
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by 星組背番号10

Shibetsu Town Lighthouses
* Kunbetsu (Kunbetu)
1978. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white light, occulting once every 8 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached at one end of a small equipment shelter. Tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, the Lighthouse of Japan site has good photos, Misty's Tour has a distant view, additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view from the coastal highway. Kunbetsu is at the base of the Shiretoko Peninsula and in the westernmost curve of the Nemuro Strait. The lighthouse is located on heights above the town. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-302; JCG-0210; Admiralty M6857; NGA 0400.
* Shibetsu (Sibetu) Kō
1980. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red light, occulting once every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Sei Ichiro has a distant view, additional photos are available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater enclosing the harbor of Shibetsu, on the north side of town. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-970; JCG-0209; Admiralty M6856.7; NGA 0396.
* Notsuke (Notuke) Saki
1953. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The Coast Guard has a page for the light station, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, Misty's Tour has several photos, a closeup and additional photos are available, and Google has a distant satellite view of the station. NGA misspells the name as Hutuke Saki. Notsuke Saki is a sand spit about 16 km (10 mi) long projecting southeastward into the Nemuro Strait south of Shibetsu. The light marks this hazard and the narrowest passage of the strait. Russia's Veslovskiy Light on Kunashiri is about 20 km (13 mi) to the northeast. Located at the eastern end of the spit. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-436; JCG-0206; Admiralty M6856; NGA 0388.

Betsukai Town Lighthouse
* Odaito Kō
1979. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, a photo, a second photo and additional photos are available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Odaito harbor faces Ryujin Bay, the sound sheltered by the long hook of Notsuke Saki. Located at the end of the central quay of Odiato, about 11 km (7 mi) south of Sibetu. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-970; JCG-0205; Admiralty M6856.5; NGA 0392.
Kunbetsu Light
Kunbetsu Light, Shibetsu, February 2004
Japanese Coast Guard Nemuro Office photo

Nemuro City: North Side Nemuro Peninsula Lighthouses
Note: The Nemuro Peninsula extends eastward into the Pacific for 30 km (19 mi); for most of its length it is about 8 km (5 mi) wide. The entire peninsula is governed as part of Nemuro City. Cape Nosappu, at the tip of the peninsula, is the easternmost point of Hokkaidō and indeed of Japan (not including the southern Kurils claimed by Japan).
Nemuro Kō South Breakwater
1926. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A photo and additional photos are available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Klaus Huelse has a historic postcard view of this lighthouse, the oldest harbor light on Japan's north coast. Located at the south end of the long south (really west) breakwater at the south entrance to Nemuro harbor, on the north side of the peninsula. The breakwater is attached to an island, Bentenjima. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. JCG-0204; Admiralty M6852; NGA 0432.
* Nemuro Kō North Breakwater
1945. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Additional photos and a view across the harbor are available, and Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. Located at the end of the short north breakwater at the north entrance to Nemuro harbor. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-924; JCG-0203; Admiralty M6850; NGA 0436.
* Nokkamappu Saki
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Misty's Tour has a good photo in which the dark bands on the tower appear red in the setting sun, additional photos are available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Nemuro; accessible by an unpaved road off the main highway to Nosappu Misaki. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-928; JCG-0202; Admiralty M6847; NGA 0440.
* Nosappu (Noshappu) Misaki (Cape Nosappu, Nemuro) (3)
1930 (station established 1872). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 3 s on, 3 s off. 14 m (46 ft) round, broadly cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. A Coast Guard has the photo at right and a good page for the lighthouse, Lighthouse of Japan has a portfolio of photos, Wikimedia has several photos, Misty's Tour has a page with a nighttime view, additional photos from 2010 are available, and Bing has a satellite view. This is one of Japan's oldest and most historic light stations. The original lighthouse, a hexagonal pyramidal tower with a small lantern, was built by the British engineer Richard Henry Brunton only four years into the reign of the reform emperor Meiji. A photo of this lighthouse is seen near the bottom of the Coast Guard page. The second lighthouse was a round cylindrical cast iron tower with a first-order lantern. Cape Nosappu (or Nemuro) is the northeastern tip of Hokkaidō and the easternmost point of Japan's major islands. A short distance west of the lighthouse, the soaring Tower of Peace provides a high-level observation platform with a broad view of the cape, the Pacific, and the southern Kuril Islands. Located on the point of the cape, a razor-thin promontory nearly surounded by water. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-431; JCG-0154; Admiralty M6840; NGA 0448.
Kaigara Shima (Shell Island)
1937. Sometimes active, it seems; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 1.5 s on, 3.5 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. The Coast Guard has a page with several small photos, two photos show the isolated location of this lighthouse, Lighthouse Explorer also has a distant photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This is a gravely endangered waveswept lighthouse. Kaigara Shima is a shoal, underwater at high tide, halfway between Cape Nosappu and the nearest island of the Kurils, only 7 km (4.5 mi) away. Obviously, it is a major hazard to navigation through this narrow strait. But the Kurils are occupied by Russia, and the territorial dispute has prevented the Maritime Safety Agency from rebuilding the lighthouse. The tower has a significant lean and could fall at any time, but the Agency struggles to keep a light lit somewhere on the tower. Located 3.6 km (2.25 mi) northeast of Cape Nosappu. Accessible only by boat; there is a distant view from the cape. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-209; JCG-0155; Admiralty M6842; NGA 0452.
Cape Nosappu Light
Nosappu Misaki (Nemuro) Light, Nemuro
Japanese Coast Guard Nemuro Office photo

Nemuro City: South Side Nemuro Peninsula Lighthouses
Habomai Kō South Outer Breakwater
1985. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Bing has a satellite view. Located on the seaward spur of the detached outer breakwater at Habomai, a fishing port about 8 km (5 mi) southeast of Cape Noshappu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-855; JCG-0151.5; Admiralty M6839.2; NGA 0468.
Habomai Kō South Breakwater
1967. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Additional photos are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the east end of the detached outer breakwater at Habomai. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-856; JCG-0152; Admiralty M6839.4; NGA 0464.
Habomai Moshiri (Mosiri) Shima
1957. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Another photo is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island just off the southeast coast of the Nemuro Peninsula about 6.5 km (4 mi) southwest of Cape Nosappu. The island is a restricted bird sanctuary. There is a distant view from route 35 along the coast. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-857; JCG-0151; Admiralty M6839; NGA 0460.
* Hanasaki
Date unknown (station established 1890). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, 6 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the seaward end of a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted with a broad red horizontal band below the gallery. Fog horn (5 s on, 10 s off). A photo is at right, the Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, Takeshi Oshawa has a fine closeup photo, another photo is available, Misty's Tour has two photos, additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the entrance to the harbor of Hanasaki. Located on a promontory on the southeast coast of the Nemuro Peninsula about 1 km (0.6 mi) southeast of Hanasaki and 5 km (3 mi) south of Nemuro. The lighthouse is accessible by car, with parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-085; JCG-0150; Admiralty M6836; NGA 0472.
* Hanasaki East Inner Breakwater
1984. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Additional photos are available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the original east breakwater of Hanasaki. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-864; JCG-0150.2; Admiralty M6837; NGA 0476.
Hanasaki Detached Breakwater
1997. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. Another photo (last photo on the page) is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the southeast end of a detached breakwater protecting the harbor of Hanasaki. Accessible only by boat, but there should be good views from the waterfront and from the Hanasaki lighthouse. Site and tower closed. JCG-0150.21; Admiralty M6837.5; NGA 0474.

Hanasaki Light, Nemuro, August 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by 100yen
Yururi (Yuturi) Shima
1960. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a small equipment room. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. Another photo is available (second photo on the page), also a second photo, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Yururi Shima is an island off the east side of the Nemuro Peninsula about 8 km (5 mi) south of Hanasaki. The island is a protected wildlife reserve. Located on the west side of the island, marking the passage between the island and the mainland of Hokkaidō. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1025; JCG-0149; Admiralty M6835; NGA 0480.
Ochiishi (Otiisi) Kō North Breakwater
1982. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted red. This lighthouse is on the left of the harbor entrance in a distant sunrise photo of the harbor, and another photo is available, but clouds block Google's satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Ochiishi Kō, a harbor on the north side of the bay protected by Ochiishi Misaki. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-935; JCG-0148; Admiralty M6834.5; NGA 0484.
Ochiishi (Otiisi) Kō West Breakwater
1998. Active; focal plane 12 m (36 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white. This lighthouse is on the right in a distant sunrise photo of the harbor, another photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Ochiishi Kō, a harbor on the north side of the bay protected by Ochiishi Misaki. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-936; JCG-0147.9; Admiralty M6834.3; NGA 0486.
* Ochiishi (Otiisi, Ochiishi) Misaki (Cape Ochiishi)
1890. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); flash every 8 s, white or red depending on direction. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the seaward end of a 1-1/2 story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted with a broad red horizontal band below the gallery; the red band extends across part of the keeper's house. Fog horn (10 s on, 20 s off). A Coast Guard's photo is at right and the Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, a more distant view and a nice sunset photo are available, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, Misty's Tour has excellent photos, another page has photos, and Google has a distant satellite view. This is a historic lighthouse, marking a cape that is considered to be particularly dangerous because it experiences frequent fogs. A signal station installed here in 1909 played a vital role in trans-Pacific navigation for many years. Charles Lindbergh aimed for this signal station in 1931 when he flew from Alaska to Japan, pioneering the Pacific great circle route to Japan and China. Located on a cape projecting from the southern base of the Nemuro Peninsula about 16 km (10 mi) south of Nemuro and the same distance east of Atsutoko. Accessible by a hiking trail or an unpaved road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-496; JCG-0147; Admiralty M6834; NGA 0488.

Ochiishi Misaki Light, Nemuro, 1990s
Japanese Coast Guard photo from the Famous Fifty collection

Kushiro Subprefecture Lighthouses

Hamanaka Town Lighthouses
* Kiritappu Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 4 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has only a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater at Kiritappu, a fishing port on the north side of the Cape Kiritappu peninsula. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-0146; Admiralty M6831; NGA 0496.
* Tobutsu (Tofutsu) Misaki (Cape Kiritappu)
1930. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction; also a continuous white spotlight (JCG-0145) illuminates the Hikake reef to the northeast. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from the center of a 1-story concrete keeper's house. Tower painted red, but the lantern and keeper's house are painted white, so the lighthouse appears white with a red horizontal band. Fog horn (10 s on, 20 s off). A photo is at right, the Kushiro Coast Guard Station has a photo of the ragged, rocky promontory on which it stands, additional photos and another view of the lighthouse are available, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of a rocky cape 6 km (3.5 mi) long, just east of Hamanaka and about 30 km (19 mi) east of Akkeshi. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-658; JCG-0144; Admiralty M6830; NGA 0492.
Biwase Hana (Biwase Kō)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has only a distant satellite view. Located at the east end of the detached south breakwater at Biwase, a fishing port sheltered on the south side of Cape Kiritappu peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-0143.7; Admiralty M6830.4; NGA 0498.
Tobutsu Misaki Light
Tobutsu Misaki Light, Hamanaka, September 2009
Panoramio photo copyright ni.na; permission requested

Akkeshi Town Lighthouses
Akkeshi
Date unknown (station established 1890). Active; focal plane 112 m (367 ft); white flash every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, attached to a 1-story equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a photo, another photo is available (third photo on the page), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the south end of Daikoku Shima, an island in the center of the entrance to Akkeshi bay. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-013; JCG-0141; Admiralty M6828; NGA 0500.
Akkeshi Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the outer breakwater of Akkeshi. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-844; JCG-0142.5; Admiralty M6829; NGA 0504.

Kushiro Town (Kushiro-chō) Lighthouses
* Konbumori
1960. Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); flash every 5 s, white or red depending on direction. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one black horizontal band. A Coast Guard photo is at right, Lighthouse of Japan has photos, Misty's Tour has a photo, additional photos are available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory about 8 km (5 mi) east of Kushiro. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-286; JCG-0139; Admiralty M6826; NGA 0508.
* Katsurakoi Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Katsurakoi, a harbor about 8 km (5 mi) east of downtown Kushiro. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-893; JCG-0138.5; Admiralty M6822; NGA 0512.

Kushiro City (Kushiro-shi) Lighthouses
Note: Kushiro, with a population of about 185,000, is by far the largest and busiest port of eastern Hokkaidō.
Shirito (Sireto) Syo
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash, every 15 s. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Upper half of the lighthouse painted yellow, lower half black. A photo is available (#0138, 1/4 the way down the page); Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the south end of a rocky shoal a short distance southeast of Kushiro harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-0138; Admiralty M6814.2; NGA 0520.

Konbumori Light, Kushiro
Japanese Coast Guard Kushiro Office photo
* Kushiro Saki (2)
Date unknown (station established 1891). Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); white flash every 15 s. 17 m (56 ft) U-shaped cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with one red horizontal band. Next to the lighthouse is a taller building that appears to be a signal or harbor control station. A 2011 photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouse of Japan has excellent photos, Misty's Tour also has good photos, additional photos are available, the Coast Guard has a night time photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The Coast Guard has a model (halfway down the page) of the original lighthouse, an octagonal tower with lantern and gallery. Located at the western end of a peninsula sheltering the harbor of Kushiro. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-316; JCG-0137; Admiralty M6814; NGA 0516.
Kushiro South Breakwater
1920s. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red light occulting once every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. A distant 2010 photo and another view (third photo on the page) are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the at the original end (now an elbow) of a detached breakwater protecting the eastern (older) harbor of Kushiro. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-976; JCG-0132; Admiralty M6815; NGA 0524.
Kushiro Detached Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a photo (bottom of the page), another view (third photo on the page) is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the detached south breakwater of Kushiro. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-973; JCG-0131; Admiralty M6814.5; NGA 0529.
Kushiro North-South Breakwater South Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard's photo is at right, a 2009 sunset photo and a distant 2010 photo are available, additional distant views are available (first two photos on the page), Google has a very distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The conical design of this lighthouse reflects the old-style design of the south breakwater light. Located at the south end of a detached breakwater protecting the eastern (older) harbor of Kushiro. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-975; JCG-0134; Admiralty M6816; NGA 0536.
Kushiro Nisi Kō (Nisiko) Breakwater East Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. A very distant view (first photo on the page) is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the east end of detached breakwater protecting the western harbor of Kushiro. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-925; JCG-0130; Admiralty M6814.4; NGA 0540.
Kushiro Breakwater Light
North-South Breakwater South End Light, Kushiro
Japanese Coast Guard Kushiro Office photo

Shiranuka Town Lighthouses
* Shiranuka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A distant view is available, and Google has a distant street view, but clouds block both Google's satellite view and Bing's satellite view. Located on the east breakwater of Shiranuka, a harbor about 15 km (9 mi) west of Kushiro. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-969; JCG-0128; Admiralty M6812.4; NGA 0548.

Tokachi Subprefecture Lighthouses

Note: Tokachi Subprefecture has a rather long coastline, about 100 km (60 mi), but in a rarity for Japan it is low and straight, with no capes or natural harbors. As a result it has few lighthouses.
Toyokoro Town Lighthouse
* Tokachi Ōtsu (Tokati Ōtu)
1964. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 14 m (46 ft) U-shaped cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with black and white horizontal bands. Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, Misty's Tour has a good photo, the Coast Guard has a winter photo, additional photos and a good 2012 photo are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Ōtsu is a village at the mouth of the Tokachi River, in the center of Hokkaidō's long, gently curved southeastern coast. Located on a bluff above the Pacific about 3 km (2 mi) southwest of the Tokachi River mouth, 35 km (22 mi) southeast of Obihiro and 65 km (40 mi) southwest of Kushiro. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-662; JCG-0126; Admiralty M6812; NGA 0552.

Hiroo Town Lighthouses
Tokachi Kō (Hiroo) North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft) red flash every 4 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. A photo (last photo on the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Tokachi Kō is a new port developed at Hiroo near the southern end of Tokachi Subprefecture. Located at the end of the north breakwater of the harbor. Site status unknown. JCG-0123.5; Admiralty M6809; NGA 0562.
* Hiroo
1959. Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); two white flashes every 15 s. 13 m (43 ft) square concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. A Coast Guard photo is at right, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at on a bluff in Hiroo, at the south end of Tokachi Kō. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-868; JCG-0122; Admiralty M6807.5; NGA 0556.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Hiro'o Light
Hiroo Light, Hiroo
Japanese Coast Guard Kushiro Office photo

Adjoining pages: North: Northern Hokkaidō | East: Kuril Islands | South: Southeastern Hokkaidō

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Posted June 8, 2006. Checked and revised July 14, 2014. Lighthouses: 44. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.