Aids to Navigation in Japan


The wood block print shows the front square of the Yokohama Station of the early Meiji era(the Present front square of JR Sakuragicho Station).
In the front is the Ohe Bridge,and the Benten Bridge is seen in the rear.
The traffic of boats,rikishas,and coaches show the active daily life in Yokohama at the time.
The lighthouse shown in the upper center of the
picture is the experimental lighthouse of the Lighthouse Department.
The lighthouse attracted the attention of people in the days when tall structures were still a rare sight.



Aids to navigation are guideposts of the sea ,including lighthouses,buoys(lighted buoys),Loran C stations,and Differential GPS.
The facilities serve to assure the safe and efficient navigation of vessels on the sea.
In Japan,the operation of aids to navigation has a long history of 130 years,beginning with the construction of a lighthouse in the early days of the Meiji era with the introduction of western architecture.
During the years,aids to navigation have been improved,equipped with up-to-date facilities,contributing to the safety of navigation and efficiency of operation.
Thus,Japan has reached the stage to Play a leading role in the field of aids to navigation in the world.
However, as activities of aids to navigation do not have the chance to obtain the wide interest and recognition of the general public,aids to navigation have not played an outstanding role in maritime activities.
Today,besides lighthouses and buoys,facilities of up-to-date type and system have been developed.Particularly,outstanding development has been achieved in the field of radio aids with the progress of the electronic industry.
Here,we have presented a brief outline of the process of development of aids to navigation in Japan.
We hope the booklet will promote further understanding and interest among
people in regard to aids to navigation.