Lighthouses of Japan: Ōsaka Area

This page includes lighthouses of the Japanese prefecture of Ōsaka, including the greater Ōsaka metropolitan area.

Ōsaka Prefecture faces west on the eastern end of the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai), which separates Honshū from Shikoku. It is a coast crowded with port facilities. These industrialized facilities continue westward through the city of Kōbe, which is in Hyōgo 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 ko is a harbor. Lighthouses in Japan are operated and maintained by the Japanese Coast Guard's Maritime Safety Agency, and specifically the Ōsaka Coast Guard Office.

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 (Ōsaka Prefecture)
A comprehensive site for photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Lighthouses in Japan - Ōsaka
Another comprehensive site, but it has only a single Ōsaka light.
Lighthouse-Japan.com - Ōsaka
A page from a large site; unfortunately only a few Ōsaka lights are included.
Form of a Lighthouse - Ōsaka
Another large web site, but with only a few Ōsaka lights.
Kiso's Lighthouses
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Lighthouses of Region 5 - Ōsaka
Photos posted by the Fifth Coast Guard Region.
Lighthouses in Osaka Prefecture
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Richard Henry Brunton
Wikipedia article on the Scottish engineer who built most of Japan's oldest lighthouses.
Japan: Modern Lighthouses
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.

Gaiko North Breakwater Light
Gaiko North Breakwater Light, Ōsaka, July 2009
Panoramio photo copyright aoriika; permission requested

Sennan District and City Lighthouses
* Fuke Kō West Breakwater
1969. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped red concrete tower. The Coast Guard has a photo, a photo of the harbor shows both lights, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Fuke Kō, a small harbor at the southern end of Ōsaka Bay. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1907; JCG-3506; Admiralty M5958; NGA 7212.
* Fuke Kō East Breakwater
1966. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped white concrete tower. A photo of the harbor shows both lights, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Fuke Kō. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1906; JCG-3509; Admiralty M5958.2; NGA 7224.
* Tannowa Kō (2)
1997 (station established 1963). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) square tapered concrete tower, surrounded by a "skirt designed to resemble the sail of a yacht. Entire lighthouse is red. A Coast Guard photo is at right, a view from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. Tannowa is a well known sailing center, and the "sail" was added to the light in 1997 to create a symbol for the town. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Tannowa harbor in Sennan. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1930; JCG-3510; Admiralty M5957.7; NGA 7228.
Ozaki (Isomisaki) Kō Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red flash every 3 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post with gallery, rising from a square 1-story equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the outer breakwater of Ozaki, a small port at the southern end of Ōsaka Bay. Site and tower closed. JCG-3510.71; Admiralty M5957.7; NGA 7230.6.
Tannowa Ko Light
Tannowa Kō Light, Sennan
Japanese Coast Guard photo

Izumisano City Lighthouses
Kanku (Kansai International Airport) North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 13 m (43 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete block tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. The tower is floodlit at night. A photo (also seen at right), a 2012 photo, and a photo showing both breakwater lighthouses are available, the lighthouse is at the right edge of a view across the harbor, it is barely visible in an aerial photo (2/3 of the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Ōsaka's airport, Kansai International, is built on an artificial island in Ōsaka Bay about 40 km (25 mi) south of the city. Most travelers arrive at the airport by monorail or express trains, but there is also a high speed ferry service that brings travelers across the bay from Kōbe (on the north) and from Sumoto on Awaji island to the west. This lighthouse marks the entrance to the small ferry harbor, at the north end of the artificial island. Located at the end of the curved breakwater on the north side of the ferry harbor. Site and tower closed, but there must be excellent views from the ferries. ARLHS JPN-1913; JCG-3512.71; Admiralty M5957.65; NGA 7238.
Kanku (Kansai International Airport) South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete block tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. The tower is floodlit at night. A photo showing both breakwater lighthouses is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the short south breakwater of the airport's ferry harbor. Site and tower closed, but there must be excellent views from the ferries. ARLHS JPN-1912; JCG-3512.7; Admiralty M5957.6; NGA 7239.
Kansai International Airport Light
Kansai International Airport Light, Izumisano
Creative Commons photo by OpenCage.info
* Sano Gyoko
1961. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 4 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Located at the end of the north breakwater of a yacht harbor just north of the bridge to the airport. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3518; Admiralty M5957.4; NGA 7236.
* Izumisano (Hannan) Kō Outer Breakwater
2010. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two red flashes every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post with gallery, rising from a square 1-story equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This light and the next one are listed as "Hannan Ko" lights by NGA, but Hannan Kō is farther north in Kishiwada. Located at the end of the outer breakwater of Izumisano, which is just east of Kansai International Airport. Accessible by walking the pier (which is very popular with fishermen). Site open, tower closed. JCG-3518.5; Admiralty M5957.52; NGA 7235.
Izumisano (Hannan) Kō Detached (Offing) Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two red flashes every 7 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A distant view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the detached outer breakwater of Izumisano. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1911; JCG-3519; Admiralty M5957.2; NGA 7240.

Kishiwada City Lighthouses
Hannan Kō North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9 m (29 ft) concrete post attached to a rectangular 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater sheltering Hannan harbor. Site status unknown. JCG-3521.55; Admiralty M5955.3; NGA 7242.
* Hannan Kō Offing Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. Google has a satellite view. Located on a short inner breakwater of an industrial harbor at the southern edge of Kishiwada. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1908; JCG-3520; Admiralty M5956.2; NGA 7244.
Hannan Kō Outer (Detached) Breakwater South End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower. A photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. This breakwater was formerly detached, but expansion of the port has brought it in contact with the shore. Site status unknown. JCG-3521; Admiralty M5955.5; NGA 7248.
Kishiwada West Breakwater South End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower, probably with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The breakwater is about 1.5 km (1 mi) long, protecting the Kishiwada waterfront. Located at the south end of the breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-3524; Admiralty M5955.04; NGA 7264.
Kishiwada (West Breakwater North End)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); three red flashes every 13 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. The lighthouse is visible in a sunset photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the north end of the detached west breakwater of Kishiwada, an industrial city about 20 km (13 mi) south of Ōsaka. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1914; JCG-3525; Admiralty M5955; NGA 7260.
Kishiwada East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); three green flashes every 13 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower, probably with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located on the short east breakwater, which projects from a major quay at Kishiwada. Site status unknown. JCG-3526; Admiralty M5955.2; NGA 7268.
Hannan Outer Breakwater Light
Hannan Kō Outer Breakwater South End Light, Kishiwada
Japanese Coast Guard Region Five photo

Senboku District Lighthouses
Senboku Wharf Northeast Corner
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red flash every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. A 2010 photo is available, the lighthouse is at lower left in a distant view from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the northeast corner of a large new wharf area constructed on fill at Senboku, about 5 km (3 mi) north of Kishiwada. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1928; JCG-3529; Admiralty M5953.6; NGA 7272.
Senboku East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a square concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a good satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Senboku. Site status unknown. JCG-3532; Admiralty M5953; NGA 7280.

Sakai City Lighthouses
Sakai Hamadera South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the short south breakwater at the entrance to the south harbor of Sakai, on the south side of Ōsaka. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1927; JCG-3552; Admiralty M5951; NGA 7288.
Sakai Hamadera North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the short north breakwater at the entrance to the south harbor of Sakai, on the south side of Ōsaka. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1926; JCG-3551; Admiralty M5950; NGA 7284.
* Sakai
1877. Inactive since 1968. 11 m (36 ft) hexagonal wood tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Hiroaki Kaneko's photo is at right, Giles Thomas has a good closeup, Wikimedia has a photo, Motoharu Sumi has a 2009 photo, Trane DeVore has a photo, Forand has a historic postcard view, and Google has a satellite view. Sakai is justifiably proud of this lighthouse, which was built by the town government at a time when Japan had fewer than 30 Western-style lighthouses. Forand has a second postcard view that shows the lighthouse at the end of the city's long breakwater. In 2006, the historic lighthouse was restored and relocated to a new pier. The lighthouse reopened to the public in March 2007. Located on the southern seawall of Sakai.
Sakai Detached Breakwater South End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the south end of a detached breakwater on the south side of the entrance to the north harbor of Sakai. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1925; JCG-3554; Admiralty M5939.8; NGA 7292.
Sakai Detached Breakwater North End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 19 m (62 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted red. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the seaward end of a detached breakwater on the south side of the entrance to the north harbor of Sakai. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1924; JCG-3555; Admiralty M5939.7; NGA 7296.
Sakai Light
1877 Sakai Lighthouse, Sakai, September 2012
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Hiroaki Kaneko

Ōsaka City Lighthouses
Ōsaka South Harbor North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); green flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) round white concrete tower. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located at the end of a short breakwater at southern end of the harbor, across from the Sakai waterfront. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1922; JCG-3579; Admiralty M5940; NGA 7304.
Ōsaka South Harbor
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post attached to a 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. Located at the end of a short breakwater at the entrance to one of basins of Ōsaka's south harbor. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1919; JCG-3580; Admiralty M5945; NGA 7308.
Gaiko South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); two red flashes every 7 s. 19 m (62 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted red. A Coast Guard photo is at right, another photo, additional photos (fourth row right and next to last photo) are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the south side of the entrance to Ōsaka's south harbor. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1921; JCG-3582; Admiralty M5939.4; NGA 7316.
Gaiko North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); two green flashes every 7 s. 19 m (62 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at the top of this page, additional photos (fourth row left and last photo) are available, and Google has a good satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater on the north side of the entrance to Ōsaka's south harbor. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1920; JCG-3581; Admiralty M5939; NGA 7312.
Ōsaka Main South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted red. A photo and another photo (second row, right) are available, and Google has a satellite view. The Coast Guard has a photo that probably shows an earlier South Breakwater Light. In 2010 the lighthouse was under restoration to correct a lean apparently caused by a failure in the underlying breakwater. Located on a short breakwater on the south side of the entrance to Ōsaka's traditional harbor. Site and tower closed. JCG-3589.
Ōsaka Main North Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 17 m (56 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo and another photo (second row, left) are available, and Google has a satellite view. The Coast Guard has a photo that apparently shows an earlier North Breakwater Light. Located on a short breakwater on the north side of the entrance to Ōsaka's traditional harbor. Site and tower closed. JCG-3588.
Ōsaka (Radar Tower)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 5 s. 50 m (164 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with a round skeletal tower and two galleries supporting various equipment at the top. The equipment presumably includes harbor control radar. Entire lighthouse is unpainted gray concrete. The Coast Guard has a photo, Kiso has a good photo, a distant view is available, the tower is the background of another photo, and Google has an excellent satellite view. This tower probably replaced a historic lighthouse located on the original shoreline of the area. Located at the southeast corner of a large artificial island being created between the north and south harbors of Ōsaka. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-814; JCG-3602; Admiralty M5932; NGA 7348.
Gaiko South Breakwater Light
Gaiko South Breakwater Light, Ōsaka
Japanese Coast Guard Region Five photo
Ōsaka North Harbor Entrance
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (33 ft); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 9 m (29 ft) concrete post centered on a round 1-story concrete equipment shelter, mounted on a square concrete pier. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at a channel junction within the North Harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1917; JCG-3600; Admiralty M5920; NGA 7344.
Ōsaka North Harbor North Head
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); three red flashes every 12 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post centered on a round 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the north point of Hokukō Island, on the south side of the North Harbor. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1918; JCG-3596; Admiralty M5906; NGA 7332.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: South: Northern Wakayama | West: Kōbe Area

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Posted December 22, 2006. Checked and revised October 5, 2013. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.