Mihonoseki Lighthouse never forgets tragedy

Mihonoseki – Maritime transport has brought prosperity to Japan, a country consisting of many islands. Since the Meiji era, lighthouses have played a crucial role in saving the lives of seamen.


Mihonoseki Lighthouse has illuminated coastal waters, extending 23.5 nautical miles (44 kilometres) from Cape Jizo in the northeastern part of the Shimane Peninsula, for over 130 years. It has significantly contributed to maritime safety.



However, the lighthouse has never forgotten the tragedy about a hundred ago.


On 24th August 1927, the Imperial Japanese Navy conducted a massive military exercise off the cape to achieve Pacific hegemony despite adverse weather conditions. Without radar, sailors relied solely on their eyesight to navigate. Japan’s rigorous naval drills were captured in the military song: ‘There were no holidays and flags flutter, bugles sound every day’.



‘Hard a port and stop two(sides) and then a full astern’, yelled the captain of IJNS Jintsu (5,595 tons) in an attempt to avoid a collision with IJNS Warabi (850 tons) upon spotting the consort destroyer ahead. Unfortunately, the cruiser’s evasive manoeuvring was mistimed, causing the Warabi to sink off the lighthouse with her 92 crew members.



A minute later, another cruiser, IJNS Naka (5,595 tons), following Jintsu, collided with the destroyer IJNS Ashi (850 tons), losing 27 crew members. This incident remains one of the most tragic maritime accidents near the lighthouse.



Since the accident, Mihonoseki Lighthouse has continued to cast its light over the sea with a sorrowful memory.



Now operated by the Japan Coast Guard, Mihonoseki Lighthouse is said to have been built in 1898 by a French architect. It is the oldest lighthouse in the San’in area (Shimane and Tottori) and has been selected by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities as one of the ‘Hundred Lighthouses of the World’.


Its beautiful architecture and the breathtaking scenery from its location attract many visitors despite its remote, rural setting.

(Words by Takashi Saito)



How to get to Mihonoseki Light House 
By Aeroplaeroplane
  1. From Tokyo to Yonago Kitaro Airport
    Take a direct flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Yonago Kitaro Airport. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  2. From Yonago Kitaro Airport to Mihonoseki Lighthouse
    From Yonago Kitaro Airport, it’s about a 1-hour drive to Mihonoseki Lighthouse. The most convenient way to get there is by taxi or rental car.
By Shinkansen
  1. From Tokyo to Okayama
    Take the Nozomi Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Okayama Station. The trip takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.
  2. From Okayama to Matsue
    Transfer to the Limited Express “Yakumo” at Okayama Station and travel to Matsue Station. The trip takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
  3. From Matsue Station to Mihonoseki Lighthouse
    From Matsue Station, it’s about a 1-hour drive to Mihonoseki Lighthouse. The most convenient way to get there is by taxi or rental car.

With these directions, you should be able to reach Mihonoseki Lighthouse and enjoy its beautiful scenery and historical significance.


Link( About Mihonoseki lighthouse by JNTO)


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