Tsunoshima Lighthouse

IALA Heritage Lighthouse of the Year 2020 Nominee

Location: JAPAN - Yamaguchi prefecture. Shimonoseki-shi.

Lighthouse Operator: Japan Coast Guard

Source: (photos as submitted to accompany nomination form by Japan Coast Guard in 2020

Lighthouse Description and History

(Text extracted from nomination form submitted by Japan Coast Guard in 2020)
・ This lighthouse was constructed and first lighted on 1st March,1876 as a stone lighthouse.
・ Kuzuse projector light which projects the shallows (Kuzuse) was constructed at the top of the lighthouse in 1972
※ Relocated next to the lighthouse in 2011
・ Automated in 1986
・ The lighthouse was Designated as a Shimonoseki important cultural asset in 2005
※The mercury bath rotating machine windlass which is exhibited in the museum was also designated in 2019.
・ It was designated as a lighthouse for lovers in 2016【Feature】
・ It is rated highly as a precious modern heritage which was all made of granite, and there are only 3 lighthouses made of granite.
・ Old lighthouse keepers’ house is used as a museum
・ The first lighthouse along the Sea of Japan
・ The first class big with regular octagon Fresnel lens (2.59 m height) and the luminous intensity is 670,000candelas

Reason For Nomination

(Text extracted from nomination form submitted by Japan Coast Guard in 2020)
Intrinsic Heritage Interest of the Lighthouse

・ The construction of Tsunoshima lighthouse was started in 1874, led by British engineer, R. H. Brunton and first lit in 1876 as the first lighthouse along the Sea of Japan.
・ The beautiful tower is about 30 m high from the ground. It is all made of roughly polished granite to 24 m high, and above, it is decorative arrangement with hewn stones.
・ The structure of inside of the lighthouse is firm but sensitive with a spiral 105 granite staircase combined with a wall.
・ A wall is not painted, which is really rare and there are only three existing non-painting lighthouses in Japan.
・ The cost of construction was 450,000,000 yen (about € 3,754,000) if we convert it to the present value.
・ The lens of Tsunoshima lighthouse is the first class regular octagon Fresnel lens and made at “ D & T Stevens ” in Edinburgh UK. It is still used now. The lens is 2.58 meters high, 9 tons in weight and with a diameter of 1.84 meters.
・ The lens of Tsunoshima lighthouse is valuable as an existing foreign-made lens.
・ You can see a panoramic view after you climb to the top.
・ Rank A historical lighthouse of Meiji era(Existing lighthouse which is made in Meiji era (1868-1912) with high historical and cultural value, which was chosen by Japan Coast Guard, and which was given a conservative treatment.
・ Heritage of Industrial Modernization(designated by the Ministry of Economy and Industry)
・ Top 50 Japanese lighthouses(selected by Japan Coast Guard according to a popular vote in 1998)
・ Public Works Heritage designated by the Japan Society of Civil Engineers
・ Shimonoseki important cultural asset

Public Access and Education

・ Illumination of the tower in cooperation with a local government (11th October 2019 to 22nd March 2020)
・ The opening to the public to celebrate 151st lighthouse anniversary(including night opening(2nd November 2019 :1,162 visitors

・ Lighthouse which is open to the public and there is a lighthouse museum next to the lighthouse
・ About 98,000 visitors in 2019