Lighthouses of Japan: Northern Wakayama Prefecture

This page lists lighthouses of the northern 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 (Kii-hanto), which projects southward into the Pacific and is the southernmost coast of Honshū. The lighthouses of this page are on the west side of the peninsula, from Tanabe north to the border of Ōsaka Prefecture.

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 maintains lighthouses near that city, and the Wakayama office maintains the lighthouses from Hidaka northward.

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.
Form of a Lighthouse - Wakayama
Another site with many photos of Japanese lighthouses, cited below as FOAL.
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.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour - Wakayama
Photos and a few notes for lighthouses in all parts of the country.
Online List of Lights - Japan
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Wakayama Prefecture
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
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.

Saika Saki Light
Saika Saki Light, Wakayama, December 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by 663highland

Tanabe Coast Guard District Lighthouses

Tanabe City Lighthouses
* Mori West Breakwater
1966. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 6 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Lighthouse covered with white tiles. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of a short breakwater on the west side of the entrance to the sheltered Mori harbor, on the south side of Tanabe. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1964; JCG-2932; Admiralty M5981.6; NGA 6872.
Egawa East Breakwater
1968. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Lighthouse covered with red tiles. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of the Egawa harbor, on the west side of Tanabe. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1975; JCG-2925; Admiralty M5980.4; NGA 6852.
Tanabe Takashi Kansaki
Date unknown. Apparently inactive. Approx. 8 m (26 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. A view from the mainland is available, another photo (misidentified as #2918, halfway down the page) is also available, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is not listed by JCG or by the Admiralty. Located on an islet at the north side of the entrance to Tanabe harbor. It appears that one can cross to the island at low tide. Site open, tower closed. ex-JCG-2921(?).
Tanabe Kō (Tanabe Okinoshima) (2)
1962. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round tapered concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. FOAL has two photos (bottom of the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island in the entrance to Tanabe Bay, about 3 km (2 mi) northwest of the Bansho Hana lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1976; JCG-2918; Admiralty M5978; NGA 6832.
* Kii Sakai Kō
1984. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 8 m (26 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. A Coast Guard photo is at right, a distant photo is available, and Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. NGA lists this light as "Sima - Haya Wan." Located at the end of the south (main) breakwater of the Sakai fishing port at Haya, northwest of Tanabe. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1969; JCG-2916.5; Admiralty M5977.7; NGA 6836.
Kii Sakai Light
Kii Sakai Kō Light, Tanabe
Japanese Coast Guard Tanabe Office photo

Minabe Town Lighthouse
Metsu Saki (Metsusaki)
1998. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); six quick light flashes and one long white flash every 15 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower centered on a large square stone pier. Upper half of the lighthouse painted yellow, lower half black. A distant view (#2935.5, halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a reef extending from a promontory at Minabe. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-2935.5; Admiralty M5977.8.

Inami Town Lighthouse
* Inami Yokoshima Breakwater
1966. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Lighthouse covered with red tiles. Google has a satellite view and a distant street view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Inami. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1946; JCG-2937; Admiralty M5977; NGA 6884.

Gobō City Lighthouse
Gobō Katsuo Shima (Katuoshima)
1972. Active; focal plane 18 m (56 ft); white flash every 4 s. 15 m (49 ft) round white concrete tower. A photo (#2938, halfway down the page) and a distant view are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Gobō. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1940; JCG-2938; Admiralty M5974; NGA 6888.

Mihama Town Lighthouse
* Kii Hino Misaki (2)
1951 (station established 1895). Active; focal plane 140 m (459 ft); three white flashes every 40 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse painted white. 3rd order Fresnel lens. A Coast Guard photo is at right, Lighthouse-Japan.com has good photos, FOAL's page for the lighthouse also has photos, Kiso has a closeup, Misty's Tour has another photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. One of Japan's most important lighthouses, this light stands at the gateway to the Inland Sea (Seto Naikai). Its powerful light has a range of more than 50 km (32 mi). The original lighthouse was destroyed by a U.S. air raid in 1945. Located at the tip of a long promontory about 10 km (6 mi) west of Gobō. Accessible by road; parking available. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-255; JCG-3301; Admiralty M5970; NGA 6900.
Hino Misaki Light
Kii Hino Misaki Light, Mihama
Japanese Coast Guard Fifth District photo

Wakayama Coast Guard District Lighthouses

Hidaka Town Lighthouses
Ao Kō North Breakwater
1974. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the detached outer breakwater of Ao harbor, on the north side of the Hino Misaki peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1932; JCG-3302; Admiralty M5969.6; NGA 6904.
Naka Iso
1970. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) round concrete tower, painted black with a red horizontal band. A photo (#3304, halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef about 5 km (3 mi) north of Hino Misaki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3304; Admiralty M5969.4; NGA 6912.

Yura Town Lighthouse
Taka Shima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash every 15 s. 14 m (46 ft) round concrete tower, upper half painted yellow and lower half painted black. A photo (#3315, less than halfway down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef about 5 km (3 mi) southeast of Hirogawa. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3315; Admiralty M5968.3; NGA 6948.

Hirogawa Town Lighthouse
#Yuasa Hiro (Yuasahiro)
1998. Inactive since 2014. This was an 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story equipment room, covered in white ceramic tile. The light was deactivated in March 2014, and Google's satellite view confirms that it has been removed. Formerly located at the end of the north breakwater at Yuasa. Site open. ARLHS JPN-1988; ex-JCG-3317; ex-Admiralty M5967.9; ex-NGA 6954.

Arida Town Lighthouses
* Kii Myazakino Hana
1966. Active; focal plane 81 m (266 ft); white light occulting once every 8 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, covered with white ceramic tile. Lighthouse-Japan.com has closeup photos, another closeup is available, Kiso has a distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on the tip of a sharp, forested promontory projecting into the Kii Strait about 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Arida. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-256; JCG-3319; Admiralty M5967.8; NGA 6960.
Shimotsu (Shimotu, Okinoshima)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 94 m (308 ft); white flash every 4 s. 13 m (43 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story concrete equipment house. Entire lighthouse is white. Kiso has a photo, a distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. The company that installed the solar array for the lighthouse has a page with a closeup photo. Located on a small island about 4 km (2.5 mi) west southwest of the entrance to Shimotsu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-570; JCG-3320; Admiralty M5967.4; NGA 6968.
Shimotsu West (Nishino Ura) Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a breakwater on the southwest side of Shimotsu harbor. This breakwater is not walkable. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3332; Admiralty M5967.3; NGA 6996.
Shimotsu Kamanoshimo Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green light occulting once every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower attached to a 1-story concete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view and a distant street view showing the top of the light. Located on a short breakwater on the north side of the entrance to Shimotsu. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1971; JCG-3329; Admiralty M5967; NGA 6984.
Tsubune (Tubune) Hana
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off; also a continuous white spotlight (JCG-3328) illuminates a nearby reef. 9.5 m (31 ft) round white concrete tower. A very distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located atop a steep promontory on the north side of the entrance to Osaki Bay. Site and tower closed (the light is in an oil tank farm). ARLHS JPN-685; JCG-3327; Admiralty M5966.5; NGA 6980.

Kainan City Lighthouses
Kainan Kō South Breakwater
1969. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a satellite view. Located on the short south breakwater at the entrance to Kainan harbor. Site open but difficult to reach, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1951; JCG-3337; Admiralty M5966; NGA 7000.
Kainan Kō North Breakwater (?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A May 2011 distant view is available, but it appears from Google's satellite view that the light has been removed due to construction on the pier. Located on the north breakwater at the entrance to Kainan harbor. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1950; JCG-3338; Admiralty M5966.2; NGA 7004.

Wakayama City Lighthouses
* Wakaura Gyoko West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous green light with a more intense flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard's photo is at right, a distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view and a street view across the harbor. Located on the west breakwater of a small boat harbor at the southeastern corner of Wakayama city. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3340; Admiralty M5965.2; NGA 7008.
Kainan South Breakwater Light
Wakaura Gyoko West Breakwater Light, Wakayama, July 2010
Japanese Coast Guard Wakayama Office photo
* Saika (Saiga) Saki Kō (Wakayama Shimotsu Kō)
1983. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two green flashes every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story equipment room, covered in white ceramic tile. A distant view is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater at the harbor sheltered by Saika Saki, on the south side of Wakayama. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1967; JCG-3340.5; Admiralty M5965.05; NGA 7016.
** Saika (Saiga) Saki
1960. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); white flash every 8 s.14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. the tower is also surrounded by two large observation platforms accessed by stairways. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with photos, Kiso has a good photo, Misty's Tour has additional photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The observation platforms provide a wide view of the Kii Strait and the coast of Shikoku. Located on a high promontory about 7 km (4.5 mi) south of Wakayama. Parking is provided next to the lighthouse. Site open, observation platforms open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-525; JCG-3341; Admiralty M5965; NGA 7018.
Wakayama Kō South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two red flashes every 7 s. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Kazutaka Tsutsui has a photo, and Google has a satellite view and a very distant street view. The pier no longer serves as a breakwater; satellite photos show a newer south outer breakwater that encloses it. Located at the end of short pier on the south side of the traditional harbor of Wakayama. This pier does not appear to be walkable, but there should be a good view from ferries crossing the Kii Strait to Tokushima, Shikoku. Site and tower closed. JCG-3344; Admiralty M5963; NGA 7028.
Wakayama Kō North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two green flashes every 7 s. 13 m (43 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Thomas Prinz has the photo at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater of the traditional harbor of Wakayama. This pier does not appear to be walkable, but there should be a good view from ferries crossing the Kii Strait to Tokushima, Shikoku. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1987; JCG-3345; Admiralty M5964; NGA 7032.
Wakayama Kita Kō West Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Land has been filled south of this pier for a new industrial area, so the "breakwater" is now only a few tens of meters long. Located on the south side of the entrance to Wakayama's newer harbor; possibly accessible. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1955; JCG-3353; Admiralty M5961.6; NGA 7036.
Wakayama North Breakwater Light
North Breakwater Light, Wakayama, October 2009
Panoramio photo copyright Thomas Prinz; permission requested
Wakayama Kita Kō North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the north side of the entrance to Wakayama's newer harbor. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1954; JCG-3352; Admiralty M5961.8; NGA 7034.
* Takura Saki
1956. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off; in addition, a continuous white spotlight (JCG-3355) illuminates a reef 300 m (330 yd) northwest. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post with gallery, rising from a 1-story hexagonal concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with good photos, Kiso has a photo, Misty's Tour has another photo, a closeup and a second closeup are available, and Google has a satellite view. Takura Saki is a promontory at the north end of the Kii Strait and the south end of Ōsaka Wan; the entrance to the bay is only about 6 km (3.5 mi) wide. Located on the cape, about 7 km (4.5 mi) west of Wakayama. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-622; JCG-3354; Admiralty M5961; NGA 7040.
* Kada Kō Outer Breakwater
1989. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft), red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. A view along the breakwater is available, and Google has a satellite view and a very distant street view across the harbor. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Kada harbor, just north of Takura Saki. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1948; JCG-3502.8; Admiralty M5960.5; NGA 7206.
* Tomoga (Tomo Ga) Shima
1872 (Richard Henry Brunton). Active; focal plane 60 m (197 ft); flash every 5 s, alternately red and white. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a semicircular 1-story equipment house. Entire lighthouse painted white. Detached 1-story keeper's house. A Coast Guard photo is at right, Lighthouse-Japan.com has photos, Kiso has a photo, and Google has a closeup street view and a satellite view. Military engineers moved the lighthouse 25 m (82 ft) east in 1890 to make way for a coastal defense battery. Tomoga Shima is a general name for a group of four islands in the entrance to Ōsaka Wan from the Kii Strait (Kii Suido). This historic lighthouse is built on Okino Shima, the largest and highest of the four. The island is a historic site and nature preserve, with hiking trails and the remains of military installations from World War II and earlier. Passenger ferry transportation is available from Kada, a small port just north of Takura Saki. Located at the western end of the island, about 6 km (3.5 mi) northwest of Takura Saki. Accessible by hiking trail. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-669; JCG-3501; Admiralty M5960; NGA 7200.
Zino (Jino) Shima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) octagonal white concrete tower. No closeup photo available; Google has a satellite view. Zino Shima is the easternmost island of the Tomoga Shima group, and his lighthouse guides ships through the narrow channel, only 800 m (1/2 mi) wide, between the island and the mainland. The island is owned by the military and closed to civilians. Located on a hill at the eastern end of Zino Shima, about 5 km (3 mi) north of Takura Saki. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1990; JCG-3502; Admiralty M5959; NGA 7204.
Tomoga Shima
Tomoga Shima Light, Wakayama
Japanese Coast Guard Fifth District photo

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Ōsaka | South: Southern Wakayama

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Posted November 5, 2006. Checked and revised January 26, 2017. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.