Lighthouses of Japan: Northwestern 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 Soya Strait. The entire island forms a single prefecture, which is easily the largest prefecture of Japan.

This page covers lighthouses of the northwestern coast of Hokkaidō, facing the Sea of Japan and including the subprefectures of Ishikari and Rumoi. For the most part, this is a scenic but sparsely populated coast. Most of the lighthouses are accessible but rarely visited.

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. In the Ainu language indigenous to this area, shir or shiri is an island. Lighthouses in Japan are operated and maintained by the Japanese Coast Guard's Maritime Safety Agency. The lighthouses of Ishikari Subprefecture are the responsibility of the Coast Guard's Otaru Office, and those of Rumoi Subprefecture are maintained by the Rumoi Office.

A note on the Sea of Japan/East Sea controversy: The Directory takes no side in any international dispute; it makes use of the terminology, names, and spellings as they currently exist in each area covered. The sea between Japan and Korea is called the Sea of Japan on the pages for Japan and the East Sea on the pages for Korea.

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.
Lighthouse of Japan - Hokkaidō
Another site with excellent photos and text in Japanese.
Form of a Lighthouse
Another site with many photos of lighthouses in northern Japan.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour - Hokkaidō
Photos and brief notes in English.
Lighthouses in Hokkaido Prefecture
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Kiso's Lighthouses -Hokkaidō
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses.
The Hokkaidō Lighthouse
Photos and data for many of the lighthouses.
Rumoi Section Guide to Lighthouses
Information and photos posted by the Rumoi Coast Guard Station.

Rumoi Light
Rumoi Light, Rumoi, September 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by 100yen

Ishikari Subprefecture Lighthouses

Ishikari City Lighthouses
Note: Although the Ishikari District has city status, the lighthouses in this group are located on the steeply mountainous east coast of Ishikari Bay, a very rural area.
* Atsuta (Atsuga)
1955. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the main (west) breakwater of Atsuga, a fishing port about 25 km (15 mi) north of Otaru. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-847; JCG-0573; Admiralty M6675.5; NGA 1240.
* Hamamasu (Kawashimo) Kō West Breakwater
1944. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Additional photos are available, but the light is not seen in Google's satellite view. Located at the end of the west (really south) breakwater of Hamamasu, a fishing port about 5 km (3 mi) south of Cape Poro. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-896; JCG-0572; Admiralty M6674.4; NGA 1244.
* Hamamasu (Kawashimo) Kō North Breakwater
1964. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Additional photos are available, but this lighthouse is barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. Located at the end of the north (main) breakwater of Hamamasu. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-895; JCG-0571; Admiralty M6674; NGA 1248.
* Horo (Poro, Ishikari Wan)
1986. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white flash every 10 s. 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a small 1-story equipment building. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lighthouse of Japan's page has good photos, Misty's Tour has a good photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located atop a promontory near the northern entrance to Ishikari Wan, about 50 km (30 mi) southwest of Rumoi. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-138; JCG-0570; Admiralty M6973.5; NGA 1252.

Rumoi Subprefecture Lighthouses

Mashike District Lighthouses
* Ohuyu (Ofuyu) Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Additional photos are available, but the lighthouse is barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. Located at the end of the original west (main) breakwater of Ohuyu, a fishing port just north of Cape Ohuyu and about 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Mashike. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-939; JCG-0569; Admiralty M6972.6; NGA 1256.
* Betsukari (Betukari) Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 11 m (36 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 main (west) breakwater of Betukari, about 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Mashike. Accessible by walking the pier. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-849; JCG-0568.3; Admiralty M6972.4; NGA 1258.
* Mashike Kō
1890. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); flash every 16 s, alternately red and white. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a small 1-story equipment building. Lighthouse painted white with one red horizontal band. A photo is at right, Misty's Tour has a photo, the Coast Guard has a photo, a 2008 photo and additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a bluff on the west side of the harbor of Mashike, about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Rumoi. Site open, tower normally closed. ARLHS JPN-332; JCG-0566; Admiralty M6970; NGA 1260.
* Mashike North Breakwater
1929. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the end of the short breakwater at the northwestern corner of Mashike harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-902; JCG-0567; Admiralty M6972; NGA 1268.
* Mashike West (Inner) Breakwater
1974. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. A photo of the lighthouse in silhouette is available, additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the end of the inner breakwater on the north side of Mashike harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. JCG-0568; Admiralty M6972.2.
Mashike Light
Mashike Kō Light, Mashike, October 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by 100yen

Rumoi City Lighthouses
Rumoi South Breakwater (2)
1974 (station established 1932). Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Additional views are available, and Google has a satellite view. The Rumoi Coast Guard Office also has a photo of the original lighthouse; the lantern and lens from this light were transferred to the new tower when the breakwater was extended. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Rumoi. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-955; JCG-0562; Admiralty M6961; NGA 1276.
* [Hatō No Hito]
2007. Active (privately maintained?); focal plane about 7 m (23 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 5 m (17 ft) statue of a seated woman holding a light over her head. A Coast Guard photo is at right, the Coast Guard has a second page for the light, additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. This statue was built with donations by the citizens of Rumoi. Located on the main quay at the south end of Rumoi harbor. Site open, tower closed.
Rumoi West (Southwest Inner) Breakwater
1975. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Additional views are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of an inner breakwater of Rumoi. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-956; JCG-0561; Admiralty M6960.8; NGA 1280.
Rumoi North Breakwater (2)
1974 (station established 1932). 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, painted white. Additional views are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west (outer) breakwater of Rumoi. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-954; JCG-0560; Admiralty M6962; NGA 1284.
Hatō No Hito Light
Hatō No Hito Light, Rumoi
Japanese Coast Guard Rumoi Office photo
* Rumoi
1966. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); white flash every 8 s. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is at the top of this page, the Lighthouse of Japan page has photos, the Coast Guard has a nice photo, Misty's Tour has a closeup photo, additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a hill behind (east) of the port of Rumoi. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-511; JCG-0558; Admiralty M6960.6; NGA 1272.

Yagishiri Lighthouses
Note: Yagishiri and Teuri are small islands in the Sea of Japan west of Haboro. Yagishiri, 20 km (13 mi) offshore, has a population of about 400 and is a nature preserve. Teuri is 28 km (17.5 mi) from Haboro and has a population of about 450. The two islands are administered as part of Haboro Town within the Tomamae District.
* Yagishiri (Yakashiri)
1913. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); four white flashes every 30 s; in addition, a continuous white spotlight (JCG-0543) illuminates the nearby reef Kamoi Iwa. 13 m (43 ft) octagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white. The Lighthouse of Japan site has a page with good photos, and another photo is available (a little over halfway down the page), but Google has only a very distant satellite view. Located on the southeastern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-744; JCG-0541; Admiralty M6944; NGA 1324.
* Nishiura (Nisiura) Breakwater
 Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A photo and a second photo (second photo on the page) are available, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the harbor. Located at the end of the north (main) breakwater at Nishiura, a small port on the north coast of Yagashiri. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-927; JCG-0542.5; Admiralty M6945; NGA 1330.
Yagishiri (Yakashiri) Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two red flashes every 8 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the harbor. Located at the end of a detached breakwater at the entrance to Yagishiri harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1013; JCG-0542; Admiralty M6946; NGA 1328.
Yagashiri Light
Yagashiri Light, Haboro
Japanese Coast Guard Rumoi Office photo (mouse over first photo)

Teuri Tō Lighthouses
* Teuri Tō
1968. Active; focal plane 76 m (249 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a small equipment room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Yobito Kayanuma's 2011 photo is at right, the Lighthouse of Japan site has a page with photos, and another photo is available (a little over halfway down the page), but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on a bluff at the northeastern point of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-641; JCG-0548; Admiralty M6939; NGA 1336.
Gome Iwa
1963. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted black with a yellow horizontal band. The lighthouse is at the left in the Coast Guard photo of the Teuri Tō lighthouse, a view from the shore is available, and the Coast Guard also has a page with a closeup photo. Located on a reef outside the entrance to the harbor of Teuri To. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-0544; Admiralty M6942; NGA 1352.
Teuri Kō North Breakwater
1967. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the harbor. Located at the end of the north breakwater of the small harbor of Teuri Tō. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-988; JCG-0545; Admiralty M6942.6; NGA 1344.
Teuri Kō South Breakwater
1973. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Located at the end of the south breakwater of the harbor of Teuri Tō. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-989; JCG-0547; Admiralty M6942.8; NGA 1348.
Akaiwa Saki
1952. Active; focal plane 137 m (450 ft); two white flashes every 7 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with good photos, and an evening closeup is available, but Google has only a very fuzzy satellite view of the cape. Located at the southwestern tip of Teuri Tō.Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-843; JCG-0549; Admiralty M6941; NGA 1332.
Teuri Tō Light
Teuri Tō Light, Haboro, August 2011
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Yobito Kayanuma

Tomamae District Mainland Lighthouses
* Onishika
1950. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Additional photos and a view across the harbor are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west (main) breakwater of Onishika, a small port about 25 km (15 mi) north of Rumoi. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-942; JCG-0555; Admiralty M6958; NGA 1300.
* Rikibiru Kō
1967. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two red flashes every 8 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Additional photos are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a breakwater at the entrance to the harbor of Rikibiru about 6.5 km (4 mi) north of Onishika and 8 km (5 mi) south of Tomamae. Accessible by walking the pier. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-953; JCG-0554; Admiralty M6957; NGA 1304.
* Tomamae Saki
1958. Active; focal plane 68 m (223 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post light rising from a 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo from the Coast Guard's page is at right, Misty's Tour has a photo, additional photos are available, the Coast Guard has a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory just south of Tomamae. ARLHS JPN-667; JCG-0553; Admiralty M6955; NGA 1316.
* Tomamae Kō (North Breakwater)
1933. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north (main) breakwater of Tomomae. Accessible by walking the pier. Site and tower closed. JCG-0551; Admiralty M6954; NGA 1308.
Tomamae Saki Light
Tomamae Saki Light, Tomamae
Japanese Coast Guard Rumoi Office photo
* Haboro Kō
1994. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Additional photos are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Haboro, a port about 12 km (7.5 mi) northeast of Tomamae. Accessible by walking the pier. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-858; JCG-0550; Admiralty M6954.4; NGA 1320.
* Hatsuura Kō (Shosanbetsu)
1983. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. NGA lists this light as "Konpira Misaki South." Located at the end of the original south breakwater of Hatsuura harbor in Shosanbetsu, a port about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Konpira Misaki. Accessible by walking the pier. Site and tower closed. JCG-0540.5; Admiralty M6934.5; NGA 1356.
* Konpira Misaki (Shosanbetsu)
1969. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery, colored with red and white horizontal bands. A photo from the Coast Guard's page is at right, Misty's Tour has a nice photo, the Coast Guard has a distant view, additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory on the north side of Shosanbetsu. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-287; JCG-0540; Admiralty M6935; NGA 1364.
Toyosaki (Toyomisaki) Kō
Date unknown. Inactive since 2013. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A 2008 photo and additional photos are available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater of Toyomisaki Kō, a small harbor on the north side of Konpira Misaki. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1003; JCG-0539; Admiralty M6936; NGA 1360.
Konpira Misaki Light
Konpira Misaki Light, Shosanbetsu
Japanese Coast Guard Rumoi Office photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Northern Hokkaidō | South: Southwestern Hokkaidō | West: Rishiri and Rebun

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Posted July 10, 2006. Checked and revised June 6, 2013. Lighthouses: 29. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.