Lighthouses of Japan: Ibaraki

This page lists lighthouses of Japan's Ibaraki prefecture, located on the east coast of Honshū within a short drive of the Tōkyō metropolitan area. Ibaraki prefecture faces east on the open Pacific Ocean; its coast is relatively low except for the prominent capes of Ōtsu Saki in the north and Iso Saki in the center of the prefecture.

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, sometimes two. The Ibaraki Coast Guard office is located in Hitachinaka.

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.

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 - Ibaraki
A comprehensive site, almost entirely in Japanese.
Lighthouse of Japan - Ibaraki
Another comprehensive site, in Japanese.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour - Ibaraki
Photos and a few notes for lighthouses in all parts of the country.
Form of a Lighthouse - Ibaraki
Another site with many photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Lighthouses - Ibaraki
A large collection of Japanese lighthouse photos.
Kiso's Lighthouses
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Lighthouses in Ibaraki Prefecture
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
Leuchttürme Japans und Koreas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.
Lighthouse Database of Japan
A useful listing of all the JCG lights, with their locations, posted by the Weather and Marine Company, Ltd.
Hitachi Saki Light
Hitachi Saki Light, Hitachi, July 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Hiroshi Ishii
Kitaibaraki City Lighthouse
* Ōtsu Misaki
1960. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 8 s. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story keeper's house now used as a communications facility. Entire lighthouse is white. A closeup photo is at right, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, FOAL's page has photos, a 2010 photo is available, a Japanese web page has numerous photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a sharp promontory about 7 km (4.5 mi) northeast of Kitaibaraki. Accessible by road; parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-471; JCG-1827; Admiralty M6496.6; NGA 4660.

Hitachi City Lighthouses
* Kawaziri (Kawajiri) (2)
1951. Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouses of Japan has a photo at the top of the page; the photo at the bottom of the page is of another Kawaziri lighthouse in Yamaguchi Prefecture. FOAL's page has photos, Misty's Tour has two photos, a 2012 closeup is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a bluff about 8 km (5 mi) north of Hitachi. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-251; JCG-1829; Admiralty M6496.3; NGA 4668.
* Kawaziri (Kawajiri) South Breakwater
1979. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. FOAL's page has photos (near the bottom of the page), Google has a street view, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south (main) breakwater of Kawaziri port. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1382; JCG-1830; Admiralty M6496.2 NGA 4672.
* Hitachi
1967. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); three white flashes every 25 s. 25 m (82 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Hiroshi Ishii's photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouse of Japan has excellent photos, FOAL's page for the lighthouse has excellent photos, a nice view is available, Misty's Tour also has a photo, and Google has a closeup street view and a good satellite view. Located on a promontory in a city park on the south side of the city of Hitachi, north of the commercial harbor. Parking provided. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-127; JCG-1833; Admiralty M6495.8; NGA 4688.
Otsu Misaki Light
Ōtsu Misaki Light, Kitaibaraki, 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Hirotomo T.
* Hitachi North Breakwater (Kuji Kō)
1959. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post attached to the square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. FOAL's page for the lighthouse has several photos, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of the Kuji fishing port, at the north end of the Hitachi waterfront. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1384; JCG-1835; Admiralty M6495.9; NGA 4684.
Hitachi Southeast Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 6 s. 16 m (52 ft) red concrete tower with lantern and gallery. FOAL has a page for the two breakwater lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a detached breakwater on the east side of Hitachi harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1376; JCG-1836; Admiralty M6496.03; NGA 4696.
Hitachi West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two green flashes every 7 s. 16 m (52 ft) white concrete tower with lantern and gallery. FOAL has a page for the two breakwater lighthouses, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the southwest side of Hitachi harbor. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1375; JCG-1835.5; Admiralty M6496; NGA 4692.
Tōkai Nuclear Plant North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. FOAL's page has photos, and Google has a good satellite view. The Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant is Japan's oldest; one of its reactors was decommissioned in 1998, while the other was shut down following the 2011 tsunami and probably will not be restarted. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1392; JCG-1837; Admiralty M6496.02; NGA 4700.

Hitachinaka City Lighthouses
* Iso Saki
1951. Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 12 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Entire lighthouse is white. FOAL's page for the lighthouse has several excellent photos, Lighthouse of Japan has good photos, a 2009 photo is available, Misty's Tour has a nighttime photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a promontory jutting into the Pacific about 15 km (9 mi) south of Hitachi, near Katsuta. Accessible by road; parking available nearby. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-182; JCG-1839; Admiralty M6495.5; NGA 4704.
Nakaminato Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top. Entire lighthouse is red. FOAL's page has a photo (halfway down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the south end of a detached breakwater protecting the entrance to the harbor of Nakaminato. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1386; JCG-1840; Admiralty M6495.4; NGA 4728.
Nakaminato South Breakwater (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); two green flashes every 9 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. FOAL's page has photos (halfway down the page), a view across the harbor is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. NGA lists a skeletal tower. Located at the end of the detached south breakwater of Nakaminato. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-1842; Admiralty M6495.3; NGA 4708.
Iso Saki Light
Iso Saki Light, Hitachinaka
Japanese Coast Guard Ibaraki Office photo

Ōarai Town Lighthouses
* Ōarai Misaki
1949. Inactive since 2013. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Wikimedia has a 2010 photo, another photo and a more distant view are available, and Google has a satellite view. Google's 2015 street view shows that the light was not removed after deactivation. Located on the beach on the east side of Ōarai harbor. Site open, tower closed. ex-JCG-1843; ex-Admiralty M6494.2.
Ōarai Kō South Breakwater (2)
Date unknown (station established 1984). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. FOAL's page has February 2013 photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the detached outer breakwater of Ōarai harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. JCG-1846.5; Admiralty M6494.2; NGA 4732.

Kashima City Lighthouses
* Kashima
1971. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); white flash every 5 s. 32 m (105 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A Coast Guard photo is at right, FOAL's page for the lighthouse has numerous photos, Lighthouse of Japan has excellent photos, another photo is available (second photo on the page), Misty's Tour has a small photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on high ground in the Oritsu neighborhood, about 1 km (0.6 mi) from the coast and about 5 km (3 mi) north of Kashima harbor. Accessible by road; parking available. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-236; JCG-1848; Admiralty M6493.2; NGA 4740.
Kashima Kō (Leading Light)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction, continuous with a brighter light 2 s on, 2 s off. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with a larger lantern room, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Lighthouse of Japan has an excellent photo, FOAL's page has additional photos, Misty's Tour has a good photo, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. White light is shown northeast over the entrance channel. Located on the waterfront of Kashima harbor. The lighthouse is in an industrial area, and the Lighthouse of Japan webmaster says he used "illegal means" to get close to it. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-238; JCG-1848.5; Admiralty M6492.4; NGA 4741.
#Kashima South Breakwater (1)
Date unknown. Destroyed by the great tsunami of 11 March 2011. This was an 11 m (36 ft) square white concrete tower. No photo available, but the light is missing in Bing's post-tsunami satellite view. In April 2014 the light was replaced by an 11 m (36 ft) skeletal tower (focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s). Facing northeast (toward the earthquake epicenter), Kashima harbor was vulnerable to the great waves. Located at the end of the long south breakwater at Kashima. JCG-1849; Admiralty M6492; NGA 4744.

Kashima Light, Kashima
Japanese Coast Guard Ibaraki Office photo
* Kashima Kō Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); continuous green light. 22 m (72 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. No lantern. A 2016 closeup photo is available, Lighthouse of Japan has a good photo, FOAL's page for the range lights has additional photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This range guides ships into a large new artificial harbor excavated from low-lying land on the south side of Kashima by Sumitomo Metals Group. Located on the south side of the entrance to the harbor. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1378; JCG-1851; Admiralty M6491.4; NGA 4750.
* Kashima Kō Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); continuous green light. 27 m (89 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. No lantern. A photo is available, Lighthouse of Japan has photos, FOAL's page for the range lights has additional photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the south side of the entrance to the harbor, 200 m (650 ft) south of the front light. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1379; JCG-1852; Admiralty M6491.41; NGA 4750.1.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Fukushima | South: Chiba

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Posted September 25, 2006. Checked and revised November 23, 2016. Lighthouses: 18. Site copyright 2016 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.