Historical Lighthouses of Japan


The history of Japanese lighthouses, guideposts of the ocean, goes back 1200 years. It is said that their beginnings lie in the signal fires (‘Noroshi’) lit in the daytime and the bonfires (‘Kagaribi’) burnt at night as a signal to ships in the capes and islands of Kyushu.
Throughout the country there are 67 lighthouses still functioning and in active use that were built in the Meiji era (1868-1912), the time of the founding of modern Japan. These lighthouses have both historic and cultural value, and are firmly established as symbols of the area in which they stand. Many are cultural assets.
The Japanese Maritime Safety Agency established a committee consisting of experts who have assessed the value of each of these 67 lighthouses. It is feared that, because of their long history, the lighthouses may not have the strength to survive. We are striving to preserve them in suitable ways based on the evaluations of the committee.
Here we introduce the 23 lighthouses which have been ranked ‘A’, lighthouses assessed to be of especially high value.




No. Lighthouse Year Material Rank
1 Mikomoto Shima 1870 Stone A
2 Esaki 1871 Stone A
3 Tomoga Shima 1872 Stone A
4 Nabe Shima 1872 Stone A
5 Hesaki 1872 Stone A
6 Suga Shima 1873 Brick A
7 Tsuru Shima 1873 Stone A
8 Inubo Saki 1874 Brick A
9 Omae Saki 1874 Brick A
10 Kinka San 1876 Stone A
11 Shiriya Saki 1876 Brick A
12 Tsuno Shima 1876 Stone A
13 Shiono Misaki 1878 Stone A
14 Rokko Saki 1883 Stone A
15 Kura Saki 1884 Concrete A
16 Ogi Shima 1895 Stone A
17 Hime Saki 1896 Iron A
18 Mihono Seki 1898 Stone A
19 Kyoga Misaki 1898 Stone A
20 Muroto Misaki 1899 Iron A
21 Izumo Hino Misaki 1903 Stone A
22 Mizunoko Shima 1904 Stone A
23 Shimizu 1912 R.Concrete A