Witness how the ocean waves meet the shore and follow the light towards the land. Discover the wonders of the Inubosaki Lighthouse (犬吠埼灯台) in Choshi (銚子市), Chiba (千葉県).
First lit on November 15th, 1874, the Inubosaki Lighthouse is among the oldest lighthouses in Japan. It is the 24th western-style lighthouse in the country and one of the 28 designed and constructed by British engineer Richard Henry Brunton, who came to be known as the “Father of Lighthouses” in Japan.
A 32-meter lighthouse standing on top of Cape Inubo (犬吠埼), Inubosaki Lighthouse is registered with the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) as one of the “one hundred most important lighthouses in the world”.
The lighthouse is a sight to behold, painted entirely in white together with its foghorn station building and even the post box right outside the lighthouse! Inubosaki Lighthouse is also a popular spot for local and foreign tourists alike to view the first sunrise of the year due to its location at the easternmost part of the Kanto (関東) region. The brick lighthouse is a representative of its kind in Japan made with a total of 193,000 bricks for the lighthouse and its surrounding facilities.
At night, the lighthouse continues its role in providing navigation for seafarers. Its bright white light flashes every 15 seconds.
Legend surrounds Cape Inubo, where Inubosaki Lighthouse is located. It is said that commander Yoshitsune Minamoto (源義経) left his dog, Wakamaru (若丸), when he realized that it was being haunted by a ghost of his enemy. Wakamaru sought his owner, and barked for seven days, but eventually turned into stone on the eighth day. The dog’s howls led to the name Inubo or “howling dog” Cape. A rock formation called “Inuiwa” (犬岩) can be found along the cape which is named after Wakamaru from the legend.
At times when Cape Inubo was engulfed by dense fog, the Inubosaki foghorn served as a warning system with its siren blasting every 35 seconds. The foghorn station, however, ceased operations in 2008 when modern technology became available.
The lighthouse is open to visitors. Take a 99-step corkscrew staircase to the top of the tower, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Chōshi and the Pacific Ocean. There is also a walking path surrounding the lighthouse and going down the cape where you can see the various rock formations along the coast.
The Inubosaki Lighthouse is also among the lighthouses in Japan with a high light intensity of 1,100,000 candelas, or luminous intensity. Its light reaches the distance of 19.5 nautical miles. Its original fresnel lens is on display at the Inubosaki Lighthouse Museum. The museum is located at the base of the lighthouse where you can learn more about the history of the lighthouse.
Inubosaki Lighthouse is a 10-minute walk from Inubo Station (犬吠駅) on the Chōshi Electric Railway Line (銚子電鉄). It is open from 8:30am to 4:00pm all year round with an admission fee of 200 yen.
If you’re interested in old landmarks, why not pay a visit to this historical lighthouse in Cape Inubo? Whether in daylight or under the moonlight, Inubosaki Lighthouse offers spectacular views.
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