Lighthouses of Japan: Okinawa Islands

Okinawa Prefecture includes the southern half of the Nansei (or Ryūkyū) Islands (Nansei-shotō or "southwest islands" in Japanese), which form an archipelago extending southwestward from Kyūshū towards Taiwan. There are two main groups of islands: the Okinawa Islands, including the principal island of Okinawa itself, and the Sakishima Islands to the southwest. This page includes lighthouses of the Okinawa Islands, and there is a separate page for the lighthouses of the Sakishima Islands.

Historically the Ryūkyū Islands were a more-or-less independent kingdom paying tribute as needed to either China or Japan or both. Japan annexed the islands in 1879 over Chinese protests; U.S. President Ulysses Grant, called in as arbitrator, ruled in favor of Japan. Following the Second World War, the islands were administered by the U.S. as the Trust Territory of the Ryūkyū Islands. In 1972, the U.S. ceded sovereignty over all of the islands back to Japan, which organized them as Okinawa 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, andis a harbor. Lighthouses in Japan are operated and maintained by the Japanese Coast Guard's Maritime Safety Agency.

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 - Okinawa
A comprehensive site, although almost entirely in Japanese.
Kiso's Lighthouses
This site has many excellent photos of Japanese lighthouses.
Lighthouse of Japan - Okinawa
This large and expanding site currently has photos and accounts for lighthouses of the Sakishima Islands.
Lighthouses of Okinawa Prefecture
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Milestones of the Sea
Posted by the Eleventh Coast Guard Region office, which is responsible for Okinawa Prefecture, this page has photos of seven Okinawa lighthouses. The office also has interactive maps that link to data pages with smaller photos of all the lights in the region: there are maps for Okinawa, Miyako, and Ishigaki.


Zanpa Saki Light, Kadena, Okinawa, June 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Tim Bocek

Southwestern Okinawa Lighthouses

Naha City Lighthouses
Naha Kō Breakwater
2009. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) robust post attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. The lighthouse is red with a yellow checkerboard-type design on the sides of the equipment building. The Coast Guard has a larger photo, a view from the sea is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. NGA lists a smaller light; this may refer to an older breakwater. Located at the end of the detached south breakwater protecting Naha's traditional harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-7065.8; Admiralty M4744.8; NGA 13382.
* Naha Kō Entrance Starboard
1972. Active; focal plane 6.5 m (21 ft); red flash every 3 s. 4.5 m (15 ft) light centered on a square 1-story pierhead building. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a distant satellite view. Located on the south side of the entrance to Naha's inner harbor. Site open, tower closed. JCG-7074; Admiralty M4743; NGA 13392.
Naha Sinkō Breakwater South End
1979. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); green flash every 4 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Tim Bocek's photo is at right, John Rayong Undau has a 2008 photo, a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a good satellite view. Naha Sinkō (Naha Sin Kō) is a new harbor that has been developed on the north side of Naha, the capital of Okinawa. Located at the south end of the detached main breakwater of Naha Sinkō. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2614; JCG-7066; Admiralty M4740.85; NGA 13380.
Naha Sinkō Breakwater North End (2)
1984. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 19 m (62 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a previous lighthouse having a focal plane of only 11 m (36 ft). Located at the south end of the detached main breakwater of Naha Sinkō. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. JCG-7078.5; Admiralty M4740.8; NGA 13376.
Kamiyama Shima
1972. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower attached to a small 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, but Google has only a blurry satellite view of the island. Located on a small, uninhabited island about 9 km (5.5 mi) west northwest of the entrance to Naha harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-218; JCG-7092; Admiralty M4740; NGA 13412.
Naha Sinko Breakwater South End Light
Naha Sinkō Breakwater South End Light, Naha, June 2008
Flickr Creative Commons photo
by Tim Bocek

Nakagami District (Kadena Area) Lighthouse
* Zanpa Saki (Zampa Saki)
1974. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 30.5 m (100 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. Tim Bocek's photo is at the top of this page, Lighthouses of Japan has a page for the lighthouse, David Hasenick has a great photo, Kiso also has a good photo (first lighthouse on the page), and Google has a satellite view. This soaring tower is a popular tourist attraction and by far the best known lighthouse of Okinawa and of the Nansei Islands. Located on a sharp promontory on the west coast of Okinawa, about 30 km (19 mi) north of Naha. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-767; JCG-7101; Admiralty M4740.3; NGA 13420.

Kunigami District (Northern Okinawa) Lighthouses

Motobu Town Lighthouses
#Sesoku (Sesoko) Shima
1976. Apparently demolished. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with double gallery. Entire lighthouse was white. Kiso has a view from the sea (1/3 the way down the page), but no tower is seen in Google's satellite view. Sesoku Shima is an island about 3 km (2 mi) long off the west coast of Okinawa; a bridge connects the island to the mainland. The light has been dropped from the 2011 NGA List and does not appear on the Coast Guard's interactive map. Located on the western tip of the island. Accessible by road, with parking provided, but conditions are crowded in the summer. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-552; ex-JCG-7118; ex-Admiralty M4763.62; ex-NGA 13456.
Minna Shima
1972. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, attached to a small 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. A closeup photo is available, the Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Kiso has a somewhat closer view (1/3 the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Minna Shima is a small island about 4 km (2.5 mi) due west of Sesoku Shima. Located on the eastern end of the island. The island is accessible by ferry, and there's also a distant view from Sesoku Shima. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-356; JCG-7140; Admiralty M4763.64; NGA 13452.
* Toguchi Kō South Breakwater
1972. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); red flash every 3 s. 8 m (28 ft) concrete post centered on a square 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the south breakwater of the Toguchi small boat harbor, on the north side of Motubu. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2624; JCG-7116; Admiralty M4763.5; NGA 13424.
* Bise Saki
1953. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) concrete post supporting a large lantern and gallery, attached to a small 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Kiso has a good closeup photo (1/4 the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view. Located on a rocky reef at the end of a peninsula projecting from the west coast of Okinawa, about 20 km (13 mi) northwest of Nago. Accessible by wading at low tide. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-045; JCG-7119; Admiralty M4763.4; NGA 13440.

Ie Shima (Iejima) Town Lighthouses
Note: Ie Shima is an island about 8 km (5 mi) long and about 6 km (3.5 mi) west of Bise Saki. It was the scene of furious fighting during World War II, and the famous U.S. cartoonist Ernie Pyle was killed here in April 1945. The island is readily accessible by ferry from Motobu.
Ie Kō
1989. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green flash every 3 s. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view. Located at the east end of the detached main breakwater of Ie Shima's harbor, on the southeast side of the island. Accessible only by boat, but there's a good view from ferries arriving at the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2600; JCG-7138.5; Admiralty M4763.57; NGA 13449.
* Ie Shima (2)
1954 (station established 1897). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. John Hagensieker's photo is at right, Kiso has a photo (1/3 the way down the page), and Google has a satellite view. A recent photo shows the upper portion of the tower painted blue. The original lighthouse was destroyed during the fighting in April 1945. The present lighthouse was built by U.S. occupation authorities. Located at the western end of the island, on a U.S. military reservation. Site and tower closed (fenced), but there's a good view from outside the fence. ARLHS JPN-2600; JCG-7139; Admiralty M4763.6; NGA 13448.

Nakijin Town Lighthouse
* Kouri Shima (Toshima)
1975. Active; focal plane 53 m (174 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view. Kouri Shima is a round island off the north side of the Bise Saki peninsula. The island is connected to the mainland of Okinawa by a bridge about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) in length. Located on a wooded bluff on the northwestern side of the island; accessible from the road by a short trail. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-293; JCG-7120; Admiralty M4763.44; NGA 13444.

Kunigami Town Lighthouses
* Hedo Misaki
1961. Active; focal plane 71 m (233 ft); white flash every 6 s. 11 m (36 ft) concrete post centered on a 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Kiso also has a photo (third lighthouse on the page, photo taken on a rainy day), the Coast Guard has a page with two small photos, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the west side of the northern tip of Okinawa. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-100; JCG-6983; Admiralty M4763; NGA 13264.

Ie Shima Light, April 2010
photo copyright John Hagensieker; used by permission
* Sedaka (Setake) Saki
1968. Active; focal plane 87 m (285 ft); white flash every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. A good closeup is available, the Coast Guard page has a small photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the village of Ada and the northeastern tip of Okinawa. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-548; JCG-6984; Admiralty M4762.9; NGA 13268.

Southeastern Okinawa Lighthouses

Nago City Lighthouses
Takabaka Saki
1972. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post attached to a small 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A page for the light has a good photo, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the east coast of Okinawa about 10 km (6 mi) southeast of Nago, marking the north side of the entrance to Oura Bay. Probably accessible by a hiking trail, although a 2008 visitor reports it wasn't easy to find the light. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-612; JCG-6985; Admiralty M4762.2; NGA 13272.
Naga Shima
1972. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) concrete post with an unusual square gallery, rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. A 2008 aerial photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on an islet about 2 km (1.25 mi) southwest of the Takabaka Saki lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-2612; JCG-6987; Admiralty M4762.4; NGA 13280.

Uruma City Lighthouses
#Kin Wan
Date unknown. Inactive since 2008; probably demolished. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical white concrete tower. A 2006 photo is available (near the bottom of the page, #7016), but the lighthouse has not been found in Google's satellite view. This tower carried a directional light guiding vessels across Kin Bay to the harbor of Ishikawa. Located on a hill on the south side of Ishikawa. Site status unknown. ex-JCG-7016; ex-Admiralty F2761; ex-NGA 13288.
Menguisho (Mengui Syo)
1972. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); quick-flashing white light. 12 m (39 ft) post supporting a vase-shaped gallery. Lower half of the lighthouse painted yellow, upper half black. The light has a total length of 43 m (140 ft); it is attached by a flexible coupling to a concrete pad on the bottom, so it can sway with the current, but a bouyant tank just below the surface prevents it from disappearing under the waves. (This unusual design makes the light intermediate between a buoy and a lighthouse.) Located about 4 km (2.5 mi) east of the Ikei Shima lighthouse (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-6996; Admiralty M4758; NGA 13284.
* Ikei (Ike) Shima
1977. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white or red light depending on direction, 3 s on, 3 s off. 14 m (46 ft) round hourglass-shaped concrete tower with lantern and gallery, a particularly graceful design. Entire lighthouse is white. Yobito Kayanuma's photo is at right, the Coast Guard has a page for the light, and Google has a satellite view. Ikei Shima is a small island about 5 km (3 mi) northeast of Urama on the southeast coast of Okinawa. The northernmost of three islands, Ikei Shima is accessible by a series of bridges. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible by road and a short walk. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-157; JCG-7017; Admiralty M4759; NGA 13296.
Katsuren (Katuren) Saki
1972. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white flash every 6 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is on the grounds of Camp Courtney, a major U.S. Marine Corps base. Located on a sharp promontory on the east side of Okinawa. Site and tower closed. ARLHS JPN-244; JCG-7024; Admiralty M4754; NGA 13308.
Nakagusuku Kō West Breakwater
1991. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); green flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attched to a small equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Bing has a satellite view. Located at the east end of a detached breakwater off the harbor of Suzaki in Nakagusuku Bay, south of the Katsuren Saki peninsula. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-7030.3; Admiralty M4754.8; NGA 13310.
Ikei Shima Light
Ikei Shima Light, Urama, December 2004
Panoramio Creative Commons photo
by Yobito Kayanuma
Tsuken (Tuken) Shima
1976. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); white flash every 4 s. 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Tsuken Shima is a small island off the tip of the Katsuren Saki peninsula on the southeast coast of Okinawa. Google has a satellite view. Located on the highest point of the island, near the southwest end. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-687; JCG-7028; Admiralty M4752; NGA 13316.
Taira Sone (Hira Sone)
1972. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); white flash every 4 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view. Located on a reef about 5 km (3 mi) south southwest of Katsuren Saki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. JCG-7030; Admiralty M4753; NGA 13324.

Nanjō City Lighthouses
Baten Kō
1976. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous red light with a more intense flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) post attached to a square 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is red. Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the north breakwater of Baten harbor, at the southwestern corner of Nakagusuku Bay. Possibly accessible by walking the pier. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-2595; JCG-7049; Admiralty M4750.4; NGA 13356.
* China (Tina) Saki
1972. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower with flared top, attached to a small 1-story concrete equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. The red statue on the roof of the equipment room is a shiisa, or "lion dog," a figure from Okinawan legend and the traditional protector of Okinawa from evils of all kinds. The Coast Guard has the photo at right and another page for the lighthouse, Kiso also has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the southeast coast of Okinawa, about 10 km (6 mi) east of Naha. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2596; JCG-7050; Admiralty M4750; NGA 13352.
China Saki Light
China Saki Light, Nanjō, 2011
City of Nanjō photo
Kudaka Shima
1972. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 11 m (36 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower connected to a small 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A view from the sea is available, and Google has a satellite view. Kudaka Shima is an island about 8 km (5 mi) east southeast of China Saki. Located on the highest point of the island, adjacent to a playground. The island is accessible by ferry and it's a short walk to the lighthouse from the harbor. Site status uncertain, but the lighthouse is easy to see from nearby. ARLHS JPN-2608; JCG-7051; Admiralty M4749; NGA 13360.

Itoman (Ichuman) City Lighthouses
*
Kiyan (Kyan) Saki
1972. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); white flash every 5 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. Ippei Suzuki's photo is at right, Coast Guard has a page for the lighthouse, Kiso also has a photo, another good photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. This was a "last-stand" area for Japanese forces during the Battle of Okinawa, and there is a war memorial at the entrance to the lighthouse. Accessible by road, the lighthouse is a well-known attraction. Located at the southern tip of Okinawa. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-264; JCG-7054; Admiralty M4748; NGA 13364.
Rukan Syo (Rukan Sho)
1972. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with a large gallery, attached to a small 1-story equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. Google's satellite view has only a blur at this location. Located on a reef about 8 km (5 mi) west northwest of Kiyan Saki. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2618; JCG-7062; Admiralty M4746; NGA 13368.
Kiyan Saki Light
Kiyan Saki Light, Itoman, July 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Ippei Suzuki

Outlying Okinawa Islands (Shimajiri District) Lighthouses

Note: Under this heading are small, sparsely populated islands lying to the northwest or southwest of the island of Okinawa. All these islands are administered as parts of Shimajiri District in southern Okinawa.

Iheya and Izena Lighthouses
Note: Iheya Shima, the northernmost island of Okinawa Prefecture, is about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of the northern end of Okinawa. The island has a population of about 1500. Izena Shima, located south of Oheya, has a population of about 1750. Both islands are accessible by ferry from Okinawa.
* Dana Misaki (Iheya Shima)
1972. Active; focal plane 115 m (377 ft); white flash every 12 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story crew building. Entire lighthouse is white. A good closeup photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse is accessible by road; parking provided. Located on the northeastern tip of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2559; JCG-6973; Admiralty M4765; NGA 13260.
Maedomari Kō
1994. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); green flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available (third photo on the page), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Maedomari, the ferry port on the east coast of Iheya Shima. Accessible only by boat (a gap prevents access via the breakwater). Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2572; JCG-6974.5; Admiralty M4765.05; NGA 13261.
Nakada Kō (Izena Shima)
1994. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); red flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a square 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is red. Bing has a satellite view. Located on the detached north breakwater of Nakada harbor, the harbor of Izena (the breakwater has been extended, and the light is no longer at the end). Accessible only by boat, but there's a good view from ferries arriving from Okinawa. Site open, tower closed. JCG-6976.2; Admiralty M4764.5; NGA 13263.

Tokashiki Town (Kerama Islands) Lighthouses
Note: The Kerama Islands include some 22 small islands about 32 km (20 mi) west of Naha. Four of the islands are inhabited.
Hate Shima (Hashima)
1980. Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a distant satellite view. Hate Shima is a small island about 25 km (15 mi) west of Naha. Located on the east side of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-2598; JCG-7093; Admiralty M4739.9; NGA 13408.
* Aware (Aharen) Saki
1972. Active; focal plane 97 m (318 ft); white flash every 8 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, attached to a small 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard also has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. This lighthouse is on Tokashiki Shima, the largest of the Kerama Islands, a group about 30 km (18 mi) west of Naha, Okinawa. These islands were the first Okinawan islands taken by U.S. forces in March 1945. Today they are a popular national park, readily accessible by ferry from Naha. Located at the southern tip of Tokashiki Shima. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-031; JCG-7142; Admiralty M4739.8; NGA 13460.
* Tokashiki Kō
1989. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); green flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower with a flared top, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment shelter. A closeup video of the lighthouse is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of Tokashiki harbor. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. JCG-7142.5; Admiralty M4739.85; NGA 13462.
Kitabirasi
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 97 m (318 ft); white flash every 8 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, attached to a small 1-story equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. Google has a satellite view. Located on a small island off the eastern tip of Zamami Shima. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. JCG-7143; Admiralty M4739.5; NGA 13464.
Kahi Shima
1972. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 4 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, rising from a square 1-story concrete equipment building. Google has a satellite view. Located on an islet between the larger islands of Aka Shima and Zamami Shima, at the western end of the Kerama Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2604; JCG-7144; Admiralty M4739.6; NGA 13468.
Aware Saki Light
Aware Saki Light, Tokashiki
Japanese Coast Guard photo

Aguni and Tonaki Lighthouses
* Aguni Shima
1978. Active; focal plane 108 m (354 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 16 m (52 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. Kiso has a good closeup photo (1/4 the way down the page), and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Aguni Shima is a small island about 50 km (30 mi) west northwest of Zanpa Saki, Okinawa. The island's population is about 1000. Located at the southwestern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-004; JCG-7141; Admiralty M4739.48; NGA 13472.
* Tonaki Shima
1978. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light, 4 s on, 4 s off. 10.5 m (34 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard also has a page for the lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. Tonaki Shima is about 50 km (30 mi) west northwest of Naha and 25 km (15 mi) south of Aguni Shima. The island has a population of about 500 and is accessible by ferry from Naha. Located on the waterfront of Tonaki, on the northwestern side of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-670(=2625); JCG-7145; Admiralty M4739.47; NGA 13476.

Kumejima Town Lighthouses
Note: Kume Shima (Kumejima) is the largest of a group of islands about 100 km (60 mi) west of Naha. The island is about 12 km (7.5 mi) long and 8 km (5 mi) wide; it has a population of about 9000 and is accessible by air or ferry from Naha.
Ogan Misaki (Ugan Saki) (2?)
1972. Active; focal plane 9.5 m (31 ft); white flash every 10 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, attached to a small 1-story equipment shelter and mounted on a square concrete pier. Entire lighthouse is white. Lighthouses of Japan has a very distant view, and Google has a satellite view that also shows the helipad used to service the light. NGA describes the lighthouse as an 11 m (36 ft) square tower; this may be a mistake or it may refer to an older tower. Located at the northeastern tip of the coral reef off the east coast of Kume Shima. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS JPN-2617; JCG-7149; Admiralty M4739.4; NGA 13480.
* Nakazato Kō
1990. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); red flash every 3 s. 9.5 m (31 ft) round concrete tower with flared top, attached to a small equipment shelter and mounted on a large square concrete pier. Tower painted red. Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the harbor. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Nakazato, the principal harbor of Kume Shima. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-2616; JCG-7149.8; Admiralty M4739.42; NGA 13482.
* Kume Shima
1958. Active; focal plane 54 m (177 ft); white light, 3 s on, 3 s off. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. The Coast Guard has the photo at right as well as a page for the lighthouse, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view. Kume Shima is an island about 12 km (7.5 mi) long and 8 km (5 mi) wide, about 55 km (35 mi) west of Naha. The island is accessible by ferry from Naha. Located at the western end of the island. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-300; JCG-7158; Admiralty M4739.2; NGA 13492.
Kume Shima Light
Kume Shima Light; Japanese Coast Guard photo

Daitō Islands Lighthouse
Note: The three islands of the Daitō group are located in the northern Philippine Sea about 350 km (220 mi) east of Okinawa. Although these islands are not part of the Nansei Islands geographically, they are administered within the Shimajiri District of Okinawa Prefecture. The islands were uninhabited until the late 1800s, when the imperial government sent out settlers to occupy the islands for Japan. The modern population is about 2000. The islands are not often visited, but there is air service from Naha.
Kita Daitō (Kitadaitō) Shima
1972. Active; focal plane 90 m (295 ft); white flash every 15 s. 22 m (72 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story concrete equipment building. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on heights near the northwestern tip of Kita-Daitō, the northernmost of the three islands. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS JPN-262; JCG-7159; Admiralty M4801; NGA 13496.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Ōsumi and Amami Islands | Southwest: Sakishima Islands

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Posted August 27, 2007. Checked and revised March 31, 2013. Lighthouses: 43. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.