Lighthouses of Japan: Southern Wakayama Prefecture

This page lists lighthouses of the southern part of the Japanese prefecture of Wakayama, which faces southwest on the Pacific Ocean southeast of Ōsaka. The prefecture includes a large part of the scenic Kii Peninsula, which projects southward into the Pacific and is the southernmost coast of Honshū. This is a rugged and scenic coast, marked by a series of major lighthouses.

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. On Honshū there is usually at least one Coast Guard Section Office in each prefecture; Wakayama has two, at Tanabe and at Wakayama City. The Tanabe office is responsible for all the lighthouses on this page.

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 - Wakayama
A comprehensive site, although almost entirely in Japanese.
Lighthouse-Japan.com - Wakayama
This site has excellent photos for many lighthouses in Wakayama.
Lighthouses (Wakayama Prefecture)
Another comprehensive site for lighthouse photos.
Kiso's Lighthouses
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses. Kiso's page for Honshū-Pacific Ocean has many of the photos referenced on this page. Unfortunately, this page is posted on Yahoo Japan, which does not allow us to link directly to the photos. To find a specific photo, look for the JCG light list number in Kiso's Japanese descriptions.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour - Wakayama
Photos and a few notes for lighthouses in all parts of the country.
Lighthouses in Wakayama Prefecture
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Lighthouses of Region 5 - Wakayama
Photos posted by the Fifth Coast Guard Region.
Tanabe Lighthouse Photos
A page of photos posted by the Tanabe Coast Guard Office.
The Famous Fifty Lighthouses
Photos of the lighthouses voted most famous in Japan, posted by the Eighth Coast Guard Region. One of the fifty (Shiono Misaki) is in Wakayama.
Richard Henry Brunton
Wikipedia article on the Scottish engineer who built most of Japan's oldest lighthouses, including the surviving Sugashima Light and the first lighthouse at Anori Saki.
Japan: Modern Lighthouses
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.

Kantori Saki Light
Kantori Saki Light, Taiji, January 2008
Wikimedia public domain photo by Tarafuku10

Shingū City Lighthouses
Shingū Detached Breakwater South Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a small photo (middle lighthouse in the last row), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the south end of the main breakwater of Shingū. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-2871.2; Admiralty M6007.3; NGA 8682.
* Shingū South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 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 small photo (right lighthouse in the last row), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the short south breakwater of Shingū. Probably accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1856; JCG-2873; Admiralty M6007.2; NGA 8684.
* Ugui (Ukui, Ugui Koma Saki)
1925. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, rising from a small square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has photos, another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The harbor facilities of Ugui are built on an isthmus, at least partially artificial, that connects a hilly, wooded island to the mainland about 10 km (6 mi) south of Shingu. Located at the southern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-711; JCG-2874; Admiralty M6007; NGA 8688.
Obera Shima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) round tapered white tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. The Tanabe Coast Guard office has photos, Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 1.3 km (0.8 mi) south of the Ugui lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-2876; Admiralty M6006.8; NGA 6696.

Nachikatsuura Town Lighthouses
Oto Shima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has closeup photos, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the southern tip of a small island at the entrance to Kii Katsuura harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1966; JCG-2878; Admiralty M6004; NGA 6700.
Ketano Hana (Naka Shima)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green light, 4 s on, 4 s off. 8.5 m (28 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory at the eastern tip of an island on the west side of the entrance to Kii Katsuura harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. JCG-2879; Admiralty M6006; NGA 6704.
Katsuo Shima (Katuojima)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); two white flashes every 7 s. 15 m (49 ft) round white tower with double gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a closeup photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a skerry about 5 km (3 mi) south of the Ugui lighthouse, off Taiji harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1952; JCG-2877; Admiralty M6003; NGA 6708.
* Taiji (Taichi, Taizi) Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 6 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a small photo (left lighthouse, fifth row from the bottom), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the main (north) breakwater at Taiji. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1974; JCG-2882; Admiralty M6003.4; NGA 6712.
* Kantori Saki
Date unknown (station established 1899). Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); white flash every 8 s; in addition a continuous white spotlight (JCG-2885) illuminates a reef 630 m (0.4 mi) to the southeast. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouse-Japan has photos, the Coast Guard has a page of photos, Kiso also has a good photo, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a promontory projecting eastward into the Pacific about 5 km (3 mi) east of Taizi. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-229; JCG-2884; Admiralty M6002; NGA 6716.
Katsuo Shima Light
Katsuo Shima Light, Taiji
Japanese Coast Guard Fifth District photo
* Uragami (Urakami) Kō Approach
1986. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white or red light depending on direction, 3 s on, 3 s off. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower attached to a 1-story equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. The light guides vessels approaching the narrow fjord leading to Uragami harbor. Located on a steep promontory near Shimosato, about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of Taiji. Site open, tower closed. JCG-2885.5; Admiralty M6001.5.

Kushimoto Town Lighthouses
* Kozagawa (Kozakawa, Koza Kawaguchi)
Date unknown (station established 1932). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red light occulting once every 8 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a 1-story equipment building. Lighthouse painted red. Another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky point on the east side of the river entrance at Koza, just a few feet off the coastal highway. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1956; JCG-2888; Admiralty M6000; NGA 6732.
* Kushimoto Shinko (Kushimoto Northeast Breakwater)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a 1-story equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south breakwater of a small boat harbor, northeast of the main harbor of Kushimoto. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1957; JCG-2899; Admiralty M5996.2; NGA 6784.
Kushimoto Kō North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a small photo (right lighthouse in the 13th row), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the south end of the main breakwater of Kushimoto. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1957; JCG-2897; Admiralty M5996; NGA 6780.
Kushimoto Kō South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a small photo (middle lighthouse in the 13th row), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Kushimoto. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1958; JCG-2896; Admiralty M5996.2; NGA 6736.
Kushimoto North Breakwater Light
Kushimoto Kō North Breakwater Light, Kushimoto
Japanese Coast Guard Tanabe Office photo
* Tojiro (Toziro) Hana
1975. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous red light with two more intense flashes every 6 s. 6.5 m (21 ft) post centered on a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Lighthouse covered with red tile. Another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the west end of Kii Oshima, under the bridge connecting the island to the mainland. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1960; JCG-2893; Admiralty M5996.4; NGA 6748.
* Kii Oshima Kō South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red light, 6 s on, 2 s off. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a small photo (middle photo in 11th row), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a breakwater at the small boat harbor on the northwest side of Kii Oshima, an island about 6 km (3.5 mi) long lying to the east northeast of Shiono Misaki (Cape Shiono). The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-2892; Admiralty M5997; NGA 6744.
* Kii Oshima Kō East Breakwater
1983. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Lighthouse covered with white tile. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of a breakwater at the small boat harbor of Kii Oshima. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-2898; Admiralty M5997.2.
Toshima (Tojima) Saki
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Kato's Blog has a page for the light, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the northernmost point of Kii Oshima, marking the channel between the island and the mainland. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1980; JCG-2891; Admiralty M5997.3; NGA 6752.
* Kashino Saki (Kasino Saki, Kii Oshima)
1870 (substantially rebuilt in 1954). Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); two white flashes every 20 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete and stone tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Lamsus Crusoe's photo is at right, the Fifth Coast Guard District has a good closeup, the Tanabe Office has a page of photos, Lighthouse-Japan.com has excellent photos, Wakayama Prefecture has a page with numerous photos, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse, designed by Richard Henry Brunton, has the original stone foundation and the original cast iron first order lantern, but a modern concrete section was inserted between the two. Access to the lantern is now by an external spiral stairway. A semicircular 1-story keeper's house surrounds the original base. Despite these alterations, this is a historic light station, one of the oldest Western-style lighthouses in Japan. The lighthouse stands at the eastern tip of Kii Oshima; it is the landfall light for the cape for westbound ships. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-239; JCG-2889; Admiralty M5998; NGA 6756.
Kashino Saki Light
Kashino Saki Light, Kii Oshima, October 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Lamsus Crusoe
Myoga Shima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) slender round cylindrical white concrete tower with an expanded upper section below the light. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a good photo, the Coast Guard has photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky promontory on the southeast side of Kii Oshima. Access across the rocky shore may be difficult. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-810; JCG-2895; Admiralty M5995.6; NGA 6772.
Uno Shima (U Shima)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) slender round cylindrical white concrete tower. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a photo, the Coast Guard has photos, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a skerry off the eastern point of the Cape Shiono peninsula. Accessible only by boat, but there is a distant view from the mainland. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-835; JCG-2901; Admiralty M5995; NGA 6768.
**** Shiono (Siono) Misaki (2)
1878 (station established 1873) (Richard Henry Brunton). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white flash every 15 s; in addition a continuous white spotlight (JCG-2902.1) illuminates a nearby reef. 23 m (75 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Lamsus Crusoe's photo is at right, the Fifth Coast Guard District has a photo, Lighthouse-Japan.com has lovely photos, a nice closeup photo and a good 2007 photo are available, Wikimedia has several photos, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. This beautiful and historic lighthouse marks the southernmost point of the island of Honshū. A modern 1-story building houses a lighthouse museum displaying the original first-order Fresnel lens and other artifacts of area lighthouses. The first lighthouse here was a small wood tower. Located at the extreme southern tip of the Kii Peninsula, about 5 km (3 mi) south of Kushimoto. Site open, tower open daily. ARLHS JPN-573; JCG-2902; Admiralty M5994; NGA 6776.
Arita Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Lighthouse covered with red tiles. The Coast Guard has a tiny photo (middle lighthouse in 9th row) and Google has a satellite view. Located on a detached breakwater in the entrance to Arita harbor, in the lee of Shiono Misaki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1933; JCG-2906.3; Admiralty M5990; NGA 6802.
Shiono Misaki Light
Shiono Misaki Light, Kushimoto, October 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Lamsus Crusoe

Susami Town Lighthouses
* Esu Saki
1961. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, Kiso has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island off the tip of a sharp promontory about 4 km (2.5 mi) southeast of Susami. At low tide it may be possible to walk over a rocky ledge to the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-062; JCG-2907; Admiralty M5989; NGA 6804.
* Wabuka Saki (Susami Kō Approach)
1979. Active; focal plane 89 m (292 ft); continuous white spotlight. 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. A photo and a second photo sre available, and Google has a satellite view. The light illuminates a rocky reef off the point of the cape. Located atop a steep bluff at Wabuka, about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Susami. JCG-2908; Admiralty M5988.7.
Susami
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No closeup photo available; the Coast Guard has a small photo (middle photo in 8th row), there's another distant view and Google has a satellite view. Located on an island that partly shelters the harbor of Susami, about 2 km (1.2 mi) south of the town. A breakwater causeway connects the island to the mainland. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-603; JCG-2909; Admiralty M5988; NGA 6808.
* Susami Ko
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); continuous light, white, red or green depending on direction. 7 m (23 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery; the light is shown through a square window in the front of the lantern room. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has photos, another photo is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a bluff behind the waterfront in Susami. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1973; JCG-2910; Admiralty M5988.4; NGA 6812.

Shirahama Town Lighthouses
* Ichie (Itie) Saki
1921. Active; focal plane 95 m (312 ft); two white flashes every 30 s. 11 m (36 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete keeper's house. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a page of photos including the one at right, Lighthouse-Japan.com has excellent photos, Kiso has a photo, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a prominent cape about 20 km (12.5 mi) south of Tanabe. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-185; JCG-2912; Admiralty M5986; NGA 6820.
Ichie Saki Light
Ichie Saki Light, Tanabe
Japanese Coast Guard Tanabe Office photo
* Bansho Hana
1955. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white light occulting once every 8 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, rising from a small 1-story equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan has photos, the Coast Guard has several photos, a closeup is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a sharp promontory in Shirahama, about 8 km (5 mi) south of Tanabe. Accessible by a short walk from the nearby Kyōto University Aquarium. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-042; JCG-2913; Admiralty M5984; NGA 6824.
Shiso (Siso) Shima
1976. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. A view from the mainland is available, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on a reef about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of the Bansho Hana lighthouse. Accessible only by boat, but there is a good view from the mainland. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-587; JCG-2914; Admiralty M5979; NGA 6828.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: Northeast: Southern Mie Prefecture | Northwest: Northern Wakayama

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Posted November 5, 2006. Checked and revised September 19, 2013. Lighthouses: 30. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.