Lighthouses of Japan: Fukushima

This page lists lighthouses of Fukushima prefecture on the east coast of Honshū, Japan's largest island. Facing east on the Pacific Ocean, the coast of Fukushima is relatively low by Japanese stanadards. Onahama, the harbor district of Iwaki City, is the major port.

This coast was devastated by the great Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011. The major lighthouses are high enough above the sea to escape the tsunami; all were damaged by the earthquake to some extent, but they have been returned to service. Many harbor lights, however, were overturned or destroyed by the tsunami. In addition to the direct damage from the tsunami, Fukushima also suffered the disastrous failure of its nuclear power plant; as a result, a part of the prefecture has been closed to the public since the disaster. Along the coast, the exclusion zone includes most of the town of Futaba, all of Okuma, and the northern part of Tomioka.

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, andis a harbor. Lighthouses in Japan are operated and maintained by the Japanese Coast Guard's Maritime Safety Agency. On Honshū there is usually one Coast Guard Section Office in each prefecture. That is the case in this region, with one section office at Fukushima City.

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 - Fukushima
A comprehensive site, although almost entirely in Japanese.
Lighthouse of Japan - Fukushima
Another comprehensive site, in Japanese, with pages for each prefecture.
Lighthouses - Fukushima
A large collection of Japanese lighthouse photos.
Form of a Lighthouse - Fukushima Prefecture
This web site has photos for many Japanese lighthouses.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour - Fukushima
Photos and notes for lighthouses in all parts of the country.
Lighthouses in Fukushima Prefecture
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
About the Fukushima Maritime Safety Agency
This page on the Coast Guard Office's web site has small photos and historical information for three of the major lighthouses.
Lighthouse Photos - Fukushima
Photos posted by the Coast Guard Second Region office.
The Famous Fifty Lighthouses
Photos of the lighthouses voted most famous in Japan, posted by the Eighth Coast Guard Region. One of the lighthouses (Shioya Saki, seen at right) stands in Fukushima.
Lighthouse Database of Japan
A useful listing of all the JCG lights, with their locations, posted by the Weather and Marine Company, Ltd.

Shioya Saki Light
Shioya Saki Light, Iwaki
Japanese Coast Guard Second Region photo

Shinchi Town Lighthouses
Sōma Kō Northeast Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Sōma's outer breakwater was heavily damaged by the tsunami, but this light survived. Located at the north end of the detached northeast breakwater, marking the entrance to the harbor of Sōma. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1166; JCG-1782.85; NGA 4478.
Sōma Kō North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. Approx. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater at the north end of Sōma harbor. Site status unknown. JCG-1782.9; NGA 4479.
Sōma Kō South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view and a very distant street view. Located at the end of the original south breakwater of Sōma harbor. Site status unknown. JCG-1784; Admiralty M6517.4; NGA 4480.
Sōma Kō Matsukawa South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 4 s. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater for the Matsukawa harbor, just southeast of Sōma harbor. Site status unknown. JCG-1785; Admiralty M6517; NGA 4488.
* Uno O Saki (Unoosaki)
1953. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 10 s. 13 m (43 ft) rectangular cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. A Coast Guard closeup photo is at right, Lighthouse of Japan has a page with good photos, Misty's Tour also has a photo, another page for the lighthouse has several good photos, another closeup is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. This lighthouse was damaged by the 2011 earthquake, but was back in service later in the year. Located on a cape at the south end of the harbor of Sōma. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-717; JCG-1787; Admiralty M6516; NGA 4496.
Unoo Saki Light
Unoo Saki Light, Sōma
Japanese Coast Guard Second Region photo

Okuma Town Lighthouse
Toden Hukushima South Breakwater (?)
Date unknown. Presumably inactive snce 2011; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower. A very distant view is available, and Bing has a post-tsunami satellite view. This light guided vessels arriving at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, site of multiple nuclear disasters following the March 2011 tsunami. Following the disaster, an area around the plant 20 km (13 mi) in radius was evacuated. Located at the end of the nuclear plant's south breakwater. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1365; JCG-1788; Admiralty M6515.4; NGA 4500.

Tomioka Town Lighthouse
Oragahama (2)
1997 (station established 1955). Active; focal plane 41 m (134 ft); white flash every 8 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse of Japan has a page with excellent photos taken in March 2010, Misty's Tour also has a photo, another photo is available, Lighthouses of Japan also has a photo of the original lighthouse (at the bottom of the page), and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse was out of service following the tsunami, but it was placed back in service in April 2013. Located on a bluff projecting into the sea about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Tomioka and 7 km (4 mi) south of the Fukushima nuclear plant; this is well within the nuclear disaster exclusion zone. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-492; JCG-1789; Admiralty M6515; NGA 4504.

Hirono Town Lighthouse
Toden Hirono South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 13 m (43 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. This light guides vessels arriving at the Hirono Power Plant, a conventional (non-nuclear) facility. This location is just outside the Fukushima nuclear exclusion zone. It was evacuated initially, but the power plant was restored to operation in July 2011 and the town reopened in March 2012. Located at the end of the power plant's south breakwater. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1364; JCG-1791; Admiralty M6514.95; NGA 4520.

Iwaki City Lighthouses
* Hisanohama Kō North Breakwater
1974. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red light, 4 s on, 4 s off. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a satellite view and a street view across the harbor. This light was listed as temporarily extinguished after the earthquake, but later restored, and there was no mention of the others by the Admiralty. An October 2011 photo of the harbor shows little damage, and all three lights in place. Located on the north breakwater of Hisanohama. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1348; JCG-1794; Admiralty M6514.6; NGA 4524.
* Hisanohama Kō South Breakwater
1974. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a sunrise photo, and Google has a satellite view and a street view across the harbor. Located on the south breakwater of Hisanohama. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1350; JCG-1796; Admiralty M6514.9; NGA 4528.
Hisanohama Kō East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 7 m (23 ft) round conical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. This light is in the background of the Coast Guard's sunrise photo, and Google has a satellite view. Strangely, NGA lists this as the west breakwater, an obvious error. Located on the south end of the detached outer breakwater of Hisanohama. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1351; JCG-1795; Admiralty M6514.8; NGA 4532.
Yotsukura Kō (Detached Breakwater)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top. Entire lighthouse is red. This light is on the left in a view from the waterfront, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view across the harbor. Located at the south end of a short detached breakwater off the fishing port of Yotsukura. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1371; JCG-1796.8; Admiralty M6514.3; NGA 4542.
Yotsukura Kō South Detached Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 7.5 m (25 ft)concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. This light is on the right in a view from the waterfront, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view across the harbor. Located at the north end of the main detached breakwater off the fishing port of Yotsukura. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1371; JCG-1797; Admiralty M6514.2; NGA 4536.
Toyama Kō Detached Breakwater
1988. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); three green flashes every 12 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of a breakwater sheltering the north harbor of Toyama, about 1.6 km (1 mi) north of the Shioya Saki lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1368; JCG-1800.7; Admiralty M6513; NGA 4550.
**** Shioya Saki (2)
1940 (station established 1899). Active; focal plane 73 m (240 ft); white flash every 15 s. 27 m (89 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. A large Fresnel lens is in use. Entire lighthouse is white. A Coast Guard photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouses of Japan has additional photos, Lighthouse in Japan has a page with excellent photos, a 2009 photo is available, Masashiro Hayata has a closeup of the lantern, the Coast Guard has a page with photos of the original and present lighthouses (near the bottom of the page), and Google has a distant satellite view and a distant street view. This is a staffed light and communications station with a visitor center and lighthouse museum (seen in the Coast Guard's photo). The original lighthouse, built of brick, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1938. The second lighthouse was heavily damaged by an American air raid only five days before the end of World War II. It was repaired and returned to service in 1947. The lighthouse was also damaged by the 2011 earthquake; it was out of service until November 2011. The museum was damaged badly by the earthquake and did not reopen until February 2014. The light station may also be endangered by erosion of the cliff on which it stands. Located atop a spectacular promontory about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Iwaki. Site open, tower open daily to guided tours. ARLHS JPN-574; JCG-1801; Admiralty M6512; NGA 4552.
Toyama Kō Shioya Saki Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view and a distant street view across the harbor. Located at the east end of a detached outer breakwater protecting the harbor in the lee of Shioya Saki. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1369; JCG-1801.5; Admiralty M6511; NGA 4556.
Ena Kō Southeast (Offing) Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view and a very distant street view across the harbor. Located on a short detached breakwater protecting the entrance to Ena harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. JCG-1803; Admiralty M6509.6; NGA 4564.
* Ena Kō West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A 2009 photo is at right, and Google has a street view and a distant satellite view. This is an unusually robust example of this style of pierhead light. Located at the east end of the inner breakwater protecting Ena harbor, about 8 km (5 mi) east of Onahama. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-1804; Admiralty M6508; NGA 4560.
#Nakanosaku Kō Old East Breakwater
Date unknown (station established 1935). Destroyed by the 2011 earthquake. 7.5 m (25 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse was red. A 2008 photo of the two old breakwater lights is available, but the east breakwater light is missing in Google's satellite view. This lighthouse probably will not be replaced. Located on the east breakwater of the old inner harbor of Nakanosaku. ARLHS JPN-399; ex-JCG-1808; ex-Admiralty M6507.4; NGA 4580.
Ena West Breakwater Light
Ena Kō West Breakwater Light, Iwaki, September 2009
Panoramio photo copyright urapyon; used by permission
Nakanosaku Kō Old West Breakwater (2?)
2011 (station established 1959). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); green flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse was white. A 2008 photo of the two old breakwater lights is available, and Google has a 2013 street view and a fuzzy satellite view. This light was damaged by the tsunami but was returned to service later in 2011. Located on the west breakwater of the old inner harbor of Nakanosaku. ARLHS JPN-1354; JCG-1809; Admiralty M6507; NGA 4584.
Nakanosaku Kō East (Detached) Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two red flashes every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a long-range street view and a distant satellite view. Located on a detached breakwater on the east side of the modern entrance to Nakanosaku harbor. Accessible only by boat. ARLHS JPN-1355; JCG-1812; Admiralty M6505.6; NGA 4588.
* Nakanosaku Kō West Breakwater (2)
2013. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Google has a street view and a satellite view. The original light was destroyed by the 2011 tsunami. Located on the short breakwater on the west side of the modern entrance to Nakanosaku harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. ARLHS JPN-1356; JCG-1813; Admiralty M6505.4; NGA 4592.
Ryugasaki Hana
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) lantern and gallery mounted atop a large steel tripod. Lighthouse painted white. A 2009 photo is at right, Misty's Tour has a photo, and Google has a satellite view and a street view from shore. Located in the surf just off the modern entrance to Nakanosaku harbor. Accessible only by boat, but easy to view from shore. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1363; JCG-1814; Admiralty M6505; NGA 4604.
* Bandokoro
Date unknown (station established 1928). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post light attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse of Japan has a page with good photos, Misty's Tour also has a photo, a closeup is available, the Coast Guard has a twilight photo, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse was damaged by the earthquake, but it was back in service later in 2011. Located on a promontory on the east side of Onahama harbor, about 10 km (6 mi) south of Iwaki. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-041; JCG-1815; Admiralty M6504; NGA 4608.
Ryugasaki Hana Light
Ryugasaki Hana Light, Iwaki, September 2009
Panoramio photo copyright urapyon; used by permission
Onahama Kō East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. A very distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located at the end of the east breakwater at Onahama. Site status unknown (may be accessible by walking the pier from Matsushita Park). ARLHS JPN-1358; JCG-1818; Admiralty M6500.4; NGA 4612.
#Onahama Kō
Date unknown. Destroyed. Approx. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower; lantern removed. A photo and a closeup are available, and the tower is seen on the right of a Coast Guard photo of the harbor. This former lighthouse survived the tsunami must was demolished, apparently in February 2012; it has vanished from Bing's satellite view. This lighthouse must have marked the eastern entrance to Onahama harbor; with subsequent redevelopment there is no longer a clear passage through this area. Located at the east end of a detached breakwater at Onahama. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ex-JCG-1816.
Onahama Kō West Breakwater East Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a photo, the light appears just to the left of the old light in the Coast Guard photo of the harbor, and Google has a distant satellite view. This light is the replacement for the old light (previous entry). Located on a spur near the east end of a detached breakwater at Onahama. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-1819; Admiralty M6501; NGA 4616.
Onahama South Breakwater West Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two red flashes every 7 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A Coast Guard photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the new outer breakwater of Onahama. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1361; JCG-1817.5; Admiralty M6499.8; NGA 4632.
Onahama No. 2 Southwest Breakwater (Hassaki Outer Breakwater)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A photo is available (3/4 of the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the older detached breakwater of Onahama. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1347; JCG-1822; Admiralty M6503.5; NGA 4648.
Hassaki South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); three green flashes every 13 s. 13 m (43 ft) concrete post attached to a 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A 2012 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of the Hassaki port. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1346; JCG-1823; Admiralty M6503.8; NGA 4644.
Nakoso (Hirakata) Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 5 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post attached to a 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view and a street view across the harbor. The fishing port of Hirakata straddles the border between Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures, with the portion in Fukushima being known also as Nakoso. Located at the north end of the detached breakwater of the Nakoso port. Accessible only by boat but easily seen from shore. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1388; Admiralty M6499; NGA 4652.
Onohama South Breakwater Light
Onahama South Breakwater West Head Light
Japanese Coast Guard Fukushima Office photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Miyagi | South: Ibaraki

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Posted August 15, 2006. Checked and revised September 11, 2014. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.