Lighthouses of Japan: Awaji Shima

Awaji is a large island, about 105 km (66 mi) long, stretching across the eastern end of the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai) south of Kōbe. About 160,000 people live on the island. The northeastern end of Awaji is separated from Honshū by the narrow Akashi Strait, while the southwestern end is separated from Shikoku by the even more narrow Naruto Strait. The Kōbe-Awaji-Naruto Expressway crosses the island lengthwise and provides a high-speed link between Shikoku and Honshū. The expressway crosses the Akashi Strait by the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge, which currently has the world's longest suspension span (1991 m or 6532 ft).

Ōsaka Bay is the portion of the Seto Inland Sea to the east of Awaji, and Harima Bay is on the west of Awaji.

Awaji Shima is administered along with the Kōbe metropolitan area as part of 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 is a harbor. Lighthouses in Japan are operated and maintained by the Japanese Coast Guard's Maritime Safety Agency. On Honshū there is at least one Coast Guard Section Office in each prefecture, often two.

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 - Hyōgo
A comprehensive site, almost entirely in Japanese.
Lighthouse-Japan.com - Hyōgo
A page from a large site; photos and notes from recent visits.
Lighthouses (Hyōgo Prefecture)
A comprehensive site for photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Kiso's Lighthouses
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Misty's Japanese Lighthouse Tour
Photos and a few notes for lighthouses in all parts of the country.
Lighthouses of Region 5 - Hyōgo
Photos posted by the Fifth Coast Guard Region.
Lighthouses in Hyōgo 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.

Numa Shima Light
Numa Shima Light, Minamiawaji
Japanese Coast Guard Fifth Region photo

Awaji City Lighthouses
* Gunge (Gunke) Kō
Date unknown (station established 1929). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Gunge, a small port on the northwestern coast of Awaji Shima. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1776; JCG-3958; Admiralty M5800; NGA 7952.
* Ozaki Kō
1979. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the west (outer) breakwater of Ozaki. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1787; JCG-3959; Admiralty M5799.5; NGA 7956.
* Awaji (Murotsu) Kō
1965. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 7 s. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of the Morotsu harbor of Awaji. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1774; JCG-3957; Admiralty M5799; NGA 7948.
Ikuha Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a photo, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the east end of the detached breakwater of the Ikuha harbor of Awaji. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3956; Admiralty M5798.6; NGA 7944.
* Toshima (Tosima) Kō
1956. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of the Toshima harbor of Awaji. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1796; JCG-3954; Admiralty M5797; NGA 7936.
* E Saki
1871 (Richard Henry Brunton). Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); flash every 5 s, alternately red and white. 8 m (26 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, surrounded on one side by a semicircular 1-story keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. A 2nd order Fresnel lens is in use. A photo is at right, the Coast Guard has several photos (all three on the top row), Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with several photos, Kiso has a photo taken from the sea, Misty's Tour has a nighttime photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Although it isn't very tall, this is one of Japan's oldest active lighthouses and an important historic site. The lighthouse was carefully repaired after being damaged by the great earthquake of 17 January 1995, which caused heavy damage throughout Awaji and the Kōbe area. The smaller lighthouse at the foot of the bluff, seen in Kiso's photo, may be faux or might be a former passing light. Located on a bluff above the northernmost point of Awaji, a short distance west of the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-056; JCG-3801; Admiralty M5796; NGA 7648.
Iwaya Kō Inner Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 4 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. The light is at the left in a view of the harbor, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the east end of the inner breakwater of Iwaya, opposite the Outer Breakwater light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1777; JCG-3714; Admiralty M5834; NGA 7640.
Iwaya Kō Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. The Coast Guard has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the detached west breakwater of Iwaya, a small boats port about 1.5 km (1 mi) southeast of the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1778; JCG-3715; Admiralty M5834.2; NGA 7644.
E Saki Light
E Saki Light, Awaji, January 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Pinqui
* Ura Kō South Breakwater
1963. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 8 m (26 ft) round hourglass-shaped white concrete tower. Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Ura Kō, a small harbor about 13 km (8 mi) south of the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1799; JCG-3711; Admiralty M5828; NGA 7628.
Kariya Kō East Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 3 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) square concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a photo, a view from the shore is available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the detached east breakwater at Kariya. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1779; JCG-3701; Admiralty M5822.8; NGA 7624.
* Kariya Kō South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 8.5 m (28 ft) square concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is white. No photo available, but Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater at Kariya. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1780; JCG-3700; Admiralty M5822.6; NGA 7620.
* Sano Minami (Sanoniijima)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); green light occulting once every 4 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of a short breakwater extending from the north end of Sanoniijima, a mostly-artificial island on the north side of Tsuno. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1788; JCG-3699; Admiralty M5822.4; NGA 7616.
Tsuno (Tuno) Kō Shizuki South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two green flashes every 7 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Tsuno Kō is a port district that extends for almost 8 km (5 mi) along the east coast of Awaji. Located at the end of the south breakwater of the Shizuki basin of Tsuno Kō. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1789; JCG-3695; Admiralty M5822.16; NGA 7604.
Tsuno (Tuno) Kō Shiota South Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous green light with three more intense flashes every 13 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of the Shiota basin of Tsuno Kō. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1790; JCG-3694; Admiralty M5822.12; NGA 7600.

Sumoto City (Taka Saki Area) Lighthouses
Awaji Yura Kō
Date unknown. 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 rising from a square 1-story concrete service building. Entire lighthouse is white. A distant view (second photo on the page) are available, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on a short breakwater protecting the east side of Yura harbor. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1800; JCG-3685; Admiralty M5816; NGA 7528.
Naruyama (Naruga) Shima
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower mounted on an octagonal concrete pier. Lighthouse painted black with a broad yellow horizontal band. The Coast Guard's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the water off Naruyama Shima, on the east side of Awaji about 1.6 km (1 mi) due north of Taka Saki. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-3684; Admiralty M5815.5; NGA 7524.
Naruga Shima Light
Nuraga Shima Light, Sumoto
Japanese Coast Guard Fifth Region photo
* Taka Saki
Date unknown (1970s?). Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower, painted white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with a photo, Misty's Tour has photos taken from the sea, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse and the Tomoga Shima lighthouse (see the Wakayama page) frame the westernmost entrance to Ōsaka Bay from the Kii Strait. Located at the southern tip of a small island just off the southeasternmost point of Awaji. Site status unknown, but probably accessible; tower closed. ARLHS JPN-610; JCG-3683; Admiralty M5815; NGA 7520.
* Oishino (Oisino) Hana
1974. Active; focal plane 118 m (387 ft); white flash every 5 s. 10 m (33 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower, painted white. The tower also carries a spotlight (JCG-3682) that illuminates a nearby reef. A photo is at right, Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with a photo, Wikimedia has a photo, Misty's Tour has additional photos, another photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This light and the Taka Saki light seem to be a pair. Located on the heights above and about 1.2 km (3/4 mi) to the southwest of Taka Saki. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-476; JCG-3681; Admiralty M5814.6; NGA 7516.

Minamiawaji City (Naruto Strait) Lighthouses
* Nu (Numa) Shima (Nushima)
1961. Active; focal plane 133 m (436 ft); white flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The Coast Guard's photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouse Japan.com has a page with several photos, Kazunori Seki has a good photo, Misty's Tour has additional photos, and Google has a satellite view. Nu Shima is a small island in the Kii Strait about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Awaji's southern coast. The island is inhabited and boat transportation is available. Located on the highest point of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-438; JCG-3461; Admiralty M5570; NGA 7184.
Fukura (Hukura) Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); green flash every 3 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo and a distant view are available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on the east side of Kemuri Shima, a small island in the entrance to Fukura harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3460; Admiralty M5814; NGA 7180.
* Tarushima (Tsurishima) Hana
1955. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower rising from a round 1-story equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with several photos, Misty's Tour has additional photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory marking the north side of the entrance to the harbor of Nandan from the Naruto Strait, at the southwestern end of Awaji. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3459; Admiralty M5812; NGA 7176.
Oishino Hana Light
Oishino Hana Light, Sumoto
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Pinqui
** To Saki
1964. Active; focal plane 59 m (194 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 12 m (39 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with double gallery, attached to a large 1-story building that appears to be a store or a museum. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with several photos, a 2013 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. We need more information on this site; what is the nature of the building? Located near the tip of a very sharp promontory overlooking the northern end of the Ōnaruto Bridge, which crosses the Naruto Strait and joins Awaji to Shikoku. Accessible by a scenic drive that winds to the tip of the promontory. Site open, tower status unknown. ARLHS JPN-650; JCG-3458; Admiralty M5811.4; NGA 7172.
* Minato Kō West Breakwater
1976. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); two red flashes every 7 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the west breakwater of Minato, a small port on the southwest coast of Awaji Shima. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1782; JCG-3966; Admiralty M5809; NGA 7980.
* Minato Kō East Breakwater (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1930). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two green flashes every 7 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Minato. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1781; JCG-3965; Admiralty M5809.2; NGA 7976.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Kōbe Area | South: Tokushima

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Posted December 22, 2006. Checked and revised October 21, 2013. Lighthouses: 24. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.