Lighthouses of Japan: Okayama

This page lists lighthouses of the Japanese prefecture of Okayama, located near the southwestern end of the main island of Honshū. Okayama faces south on the Seto Inland Sea (Seto Naikai), which is not a single body of water but a network of sounds and channels separating Honshū from Shikoku.

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 or more. Okayama has two offices, at Tamano and Mizushima.

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 - Okayama
A comprehensive site, although almost entirely in Japanese.
Lighthouse-Japan.com - Okayama
A large site with photos and notes from recent visits.
Kiso's Lighthouses
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses. Link #4 leads to lighthouses of Okayama and Kagawa Prefectures.
Lighthouse Photo Gallery
Unlabeled photos from the web site of the Sixth Coast Guard Region.
Tamano Coast Guard Office - Beacon Introduction
Lighthouse information for the Tamano area.
Lighthouses in Okayama Prefecture
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Japan: Modern Lighthouses
Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.


Mu Shima Light, Kasaoka
Japanese Coast Guard photo

Bizen City Lighthouses
Unoisi Hana
1964. Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); three white flashes every 14 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round cylindrical concrete white tower. A photo is available, also a sea kayaker's view (1/3 the way down the page), and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory at the southeastern tip of Kakui Shima, an island just off the coast south of Bizen. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-716; JCG-3899; Admiralty M5755.3; NGA 7816.
Hinase Kō
1961. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 3 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post light rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located at the end of a detached breakwater protecting the entrance to Hinase harbor in Bizen. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1883; JCG-3900; Admiralty M5755; NGA 7820.
Ōtsabu (Ōtabu) Shima
1994. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) white concrete tower with gallery. The tower also has a spotlight (JCG-3902.2) illuminating a nearby shoal. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse including the photo at right, Lighthouse-Japan.com has good photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island in the northwest corner of Harima Bay about 10 km (6 mi) southwest of Ako. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-467; JCG-3901.1; Admiralty M5754.85; NGA 7826.
Takagono Sho (Syo)
1960. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two white flashes every 5 s. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post light rising from one end of an elliptical 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Lighthouse painted black with one red horizontal band. Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a dangerous rock in Bizen harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3913; Admiralty M5754; NGA 7828.

Setouchi City Lighthouses
Kamiikada (Kami Ikada)
1950. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); one short and one long green flash every 8 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower mounted on a large concrete pier. Entire lighthouse is green. Google has a satellite view. Located on the seaward side of a reef about 4 km (2.5 mi) northeast of Ushimado. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-3916; Admiralty M5752.4; NGA 7840.
Ōtsabu Shima Light
Ōtsabu Shima Light, Bizen
Japanese Coast Guard Tamano Office photo
Ki Shima (Bizen Ki Shima, Kishima)
1971. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical white concrete tower, rising through a square platform. Kiso has a distant view, but the light is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view of the area. Located on a small island about 3 km (2 mi) southeast of Ushimado. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1886; JCG-3917; Admiralty M5752.2; NGA 7844.
* Ushimado Kō
1971. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous white light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round white concrete tower with a small gallery. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Adam Stuart has a fuzzy photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky point on the northwest side of Maejima, the island sheltering the harbor of Ushimado, about 1 km (0.6 mi) east of the town's waterfront. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1903; JCG-3918; Admiralty M5751.8; NGA 7848.
* Ushimado Kō Breakwater
1950. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) white concrete post light rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Yuko Honda's sunset photo is at right, a photo is available in which the light is seen in the upper left corner, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view of the location. Located at the end of a detached breakwater at Ushimado, a small and very scenic port about 25 km (15 mi) east southeast of Okayama. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1904; JCG-3819; Admiralty M5752; NGA 7852.
Yomogi Saki (Yomogisaki)
1962. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with double gallery, mounted on a square concrete pier. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, and Kiso has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the foot of a promontory about 4 km (2.5 mi) southwest of Ushimado. The author of Lighthouse-Japan.com reached the lighthouse on foot, but found the going difficult. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1905; JCG-3921; Admiralty M5751.6; NGA 7856.
Ushimado Breakwater Light
Ushimado Kō Breakwater Light, Ushimado, April 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Yuko Honda

Okayama City Lighthouses
Inu Shima Shiraishi (Inujima Siroisi)
1964. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); three quick white flashes every 10 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower mounted on a concrete pier. Lighthouse painted black with one yellow horizontal band. The Coast Guard's photo is at right, and Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Inu Shima is a small, inhabited island about 6 km (4 mi) southeast of the entrance to Okayama harbor. Located on a reef off the east coast of Inu Shima. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-4008; Admiralty M5751.4; NGA 8036.
* Saidaiji (Saidaizi) Kō
1943. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is red. Another photo is available (third photo on the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of a small boat harbor in Okayama. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-4011; Admiralty M5749; NGA 8048.
Tsubushisho (Tubusi Syo)
1958. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); two red flashes, one short and one long, every 8 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, mounted on a round concrete pier. Tower painted red. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, another page with a photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a shoal in Okayama harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-4012; Admiralty M5751; NGA 8052.
Kome Saki (Komesaki)
1966. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 10 m (30 ft) round white concrete tower. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the promontory on the west side of the entrance to the well-protected harbor of Okayama. Site status unknown. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-284; JCG-4009; Admiralty M5748.6; NGA 8040.

Tamano City Lighthouses
Ohiru Shima
1938. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) 2-stage round concrete tower with gallery. The lower stage appears to be a 5 m (16 ft) round concrete lighthouse; the lantern was removed and replaced with a 9 m (30 ft) round cylindrical stage. Entire lighthouse is white. Kiso has a photo, a portfolio of views from the sea is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a small island in a narrow passage about 16 km (10 mi) south of Okayama. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-4026; Admiralty M5748; NGA 8070.
Inujima Shima Light
Inu Shima Shiraishi Light, Okayama
Japanese Coast Guard Tamano Office photo
Uno Kō
1911. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) round strongly conical tower, painted white and mounted on a rectangular concrete pier. There is an equipment closet in the base, but access to the light is by an external ladder. Another page for the lighthouse has two photos, and Google has a satellite view. This small lighthouse is rare example of an early Japanese harbor light. Located on a shoal in Uno harbor in Tamano, off the northeast coast of Naoshima. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2481; JCG-4037; Admiralty M5740; NGA 8082.
Inumodori Hana (2?)
Date unknown (station established 1927). Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); one long and two short green flashes every 13 s. 13 m (43 ft) concrete post light centered on a square 1-story equipment shelter, all mounted on a round stone pier. A portfolio of photos is available; in another photo the Shimotsui-Seto Bridge is seen in the background, and Google has a satellite view. It seems likely that the stone pier originally carried a smaller light. Located about 30 m (100 ft) off a promontory between the Uno and Hibi harbors of Tamano. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-4045; Admiralty M5738; NGA 8098.
* Hibi Kō East Breakwater
1971. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post light rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Hibi harbor in Tamano. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1881; JCG-4047; Admiralty M5737.7; NGA 8102.

Kurashiki City Lighthouses
* Kotoura Kō East Breakwater
1954. Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); red light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 9 m (30 ft) concrete post light rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. Kato's Blog has a page with a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Kotoura harbor in Kurashiki. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1889; JCG-4053; Admiralty M5737.5; NGA 8110.
Kusumi (Kusume) Hana
1942. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); one short and one long green flash every 11 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, with gallery. Entire lighthouse painted green. Additional photos are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Seen in the background of the linked photo is the Shimotsui-Seto Bridge, the northernmost in a chain of six bridges connecting Honshū and Shikoku. The lighthouse is located just off the end of a sharp promonotory about 1.6 km (1 mi) east of the north end of the bridge. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-317; JCG-4056; Admiralty M5737; NGA 8114.
Shimotsui Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); continuous red light with two more intense flashes every 8 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, attached to a square 1-story equipment room. Lighthouse painted red. Yoshizumi Endo's photo is at right, a small photo is available (about 1/3 of the way down the page), and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater mole at Shimotsui, a short distance west of the north end of the Shimotsui-Seto Bridge. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1899; JCG-4058; Admiralty M5735; NGA 8118.
Shimotsui Breakwater Light
Shimotsui Kō Light, Kurashiki, January 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Yoshizumi Endo
Tamashima (Tamasima) Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); green flash every 3 s. 9 m (30 ft) round concrete tower, flared at the top, attached to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A sunset photo is available (3/4 the way down the page), and Bing has a distant satellite view. Located at the southeast end of a detached breakwater at Mizushima. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-1901; JCG-4288; Admiralty M5732.3; NGA 8280.

Kasaoka City Lighthouses
Note: The city of Kasaoka includes a chain of islands, known as the Kasaoka Islands, stretching south southeast across the Inland Sea.
Shiraishi (Okinosiraisi)
1938. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) tower, consisting of an 8 m (26 ft) round tower with gallery topped by a 7 m (23 ft) post light. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo (2/3 the way down the page) is available, but Bing has an indistinct satellite view. This is one of several lights guiding ships through a particularly difficult and narrow passage between the islands of Taka Shima and Shiraishi Shima. The post was probably added to raise the height of the light. Located on a skerry obstructing the narrow channel, about 8 km (5 mi) south of Kasaoka. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1896; JCG-4292; Admiralty M5732; NGA 8300.
Hyaken (Hyakken)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13m (43 ft); one short and one long green flash every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower with gallery, mounted on a round concrete pier. Entire lighthouse painted green. A Coast Guard photo is at right, and Bing has a distant satellite view. Not to be confused with the Hyaken Shima Light in Hiroshima Prefecture, this is one of several lights guiding ships through a particularly difficult and narrow passage in the Inland Sea. Located about 400 m (1/4 mi) northwest of the Shiraisi light. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-4293; Admiralty M5731.9; NGA 8304.
* Shiraisishima Kō
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 5 s. 8.5 m (28 ft) concrete post light rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Shiraisi Shima. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1900; JCG-4291; Admiralty M5732.02; NGA 8296.

Hyaken Light, Kasaoka
Japanese Coast Guard photo
* Manabeshima Kō
1982. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 6 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) concrete post light rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is red. A photo (a little over halfway down the page) is available, and Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Manabe Shima. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-1890; JCG-4289; Admiralty M5732.15; NGA 8284.
Mu Shima (Mushima)
1922. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story concrete keeper's house. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard's photo appears at the top of this page, Lighthouse-Japan.com has a page with good photos, a 2012 closeup photo is available, Kiso has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse stands at the eastern entrance to Hiiuchi Bay, one of the wider sections of the Inland Sea. Located on an island about 6 km (3.5 mi) northwest of Hako Saki on Shikoku. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-375; JCG-4401; Admiralty M5500; NGA 8380.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Himeji Area | South: Kagawa | West: Hiroshima

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Posted January 25, 2007. Checked and revised October 29, 2013. Lighthouses: 26. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.