[Tosashimizu City, Kochi Prefecture] A guidepost for the ocean, a lighthouse you can see up close Part 2

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Lighthouses have served as "guideposts to the sea" and have continued to ensure the safety of voyages. Tosashimizu City, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean, is home to numerous lighthouses. Among these, we will introduce some large lighthouses that can be seen up close.

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Lighthouses, also known as "signposts of the sea," may not be all that unusual in Japan, a country surrounded by sea on all sides.
However, surprisingly, there may not be that many opportunities to see a lighthouse up close...
When I went there to cover the story, I found its history and unique shape to be quite interesting.
So, we decided to introduce four lighthouses in Tosashimizu City, which is home to Cape Ashizuri, which juts out into the Pacific Ocean.
I will introduce it in two articles.

Usubaesaki Lighthouse stands amidst a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean and Usube.

The two lighthouses introduced earlier, Cape Ashizuri Lighthouse and Kanaezaki Lighthouse, have a very long history and Cape Ashizuri Lighthouse is a very impressive lighthouse, but Usubaezaki Lighthouse surpasses the previous two in terms of its location.

It was first lit in 1961, making it newer than the previous two lighthouses, but it still has a history of over 60 years.
This lighthouse also has a facility called a shining light, which is used to illuminate reefs and other objects close to the shipping route, and it also features a slightly unusual shape.

It is said that the light here illuminates the reef called "Okiusu," which can be seen on the left center of the photo above.

From the lighthouse you can also get a panoramic view of the scenic spot Usubae and Ryugu Shrine (although it may be a little difficult to see with the naked eye).

Overview of Usubaezaki Lighthouse

There is no entrance gate to Usubaezaki Lighthouse, and it is generally accessible 24 hours a day.
However, you will need to go along an old road where there are sections where it is difficult for vehicles to pass each other, and you will also need to walk about 5 minutes to the lighthouse along a footpath that has no streetlights, so we recommend visiting while it is still light out.

The trail is generally flat, well maintained and easy to walk on, however the stairs leading down to the lighthouse are steep so please be careful if you are planning to go down to the lighthouse.


There is no dedicated parking lot at Usubaezaki Lighthouse.
However, there is a slightly larger space near the entrance where several cars can be parked.

Please note that this parking space is frequently used by anglers, so if it is full, please use Usube Parking Lot (approximately 130m, 2-minute walk).

About the toilets

There are no toilets near Usubezaki Lighthouse.
It takes about 10 minutes round trip, but if you are unsure, please use the public toilets at the Usubae parking lot beforehand (about 150m, about 3 minutes on foot).


Google Maps

Access by car

It takes about 20 minutes by car from Tosashimizu city center.
As the section includes the old Prefectural Route 27, there are places where vehicles cannot pass each other.
Also, please be aware that this is on a bus route. From Tosashimizu City, take Prefectural Route 27, go through the Matsuo Tunnel and turn right at the first intersection. (Signboard: Towards Usube and Matsuo, take the old road.)
From there it is about 2km to Usubae Parking Lot.

There is also a route that takes you onto the old road from the Shimizu city side of the Matsuo Tunnel (approximately 2km long, one lane in all).
Here too, a blue sign about 100m before the tunnel marks the entrance.

Access by public transport

Take the Kochi Southwest Bus and get off at Usubae (2-minute walk to the entrance)

Access is only available on the westbound route to Cape Ashizuri (via Nakahama and Ohama).
Please note that the eastbound route (via Kubotsu) does not pass through this bus stop.

The ride takes about 25 minutes from Plaza Pal, the terminal in Tosashimizu City.

Kochi Southwest Bus Route Bus

Related article

Is this the lighthouse you imagined? Kubotsuzaki Lighthouse

Tosashimizu City was once one of the leading fishing towns in western Japan, and Kubotsu is one of the areas with a particularly active fishing industry.
The Kubotsusaki Lighthouse, located a short jut out from Kubotsu, continues to protect the safety of the sea around Kubotsu.

Although it does not have the unique shape of Cape Ashizuri Lighthouse, nor the spectacular views offered by Usubake Lighthouse, its shape is probably closest to what people imagine when they hear the word "lighthouse."

It was first lit in 1962, around the same time as the Usubaezaki Lighthouse, introduced earlier.
The building makes extensive use of curved lines, such as arched entrances and round windows, giving it a very soft impression.

Overview of Kubotsuzaki Lighthouse

There is no entrance gate to Kubotsuzaki Lighthouse and it is accessible 24 hours a day.
However, there are no streetlights or well-maintained walking paths in the area, so be sure to bring a light with you.

You can see the ocean from near the lighthouse, but the surrounding area is not well maintained so to be honest you can't expect much of a view.
This is a spot for those who want to see the lighthouse up close.


There is no dedicated parking lot for Kubotsuzaki Lighthouse.
However, there is space for several cars to park in front of the entrance to the lighthouse from the prefectural road, so you can use the parking lot as long as it does not obstruct traffic.

About the toilets

There are no toilets around Kubotsuzaki Lighthouse.

The nearest public toilets are at Kubotsu Fishing Port, about 3 minutes by car (approximately 650m) from the entrance.

There are also public toilets in Kashima Park, about a 10-minute drive towards Tosashimizu city center.


Google Maps

Access by private car or rental car

From Tosashimizu city, take Prefectural Route 27 eastbound and drive for about 10 minutes (approximately 6km)
Coming from the city center, it is about one minute past the bridge over Kubotsu Fishing Port.
From Cape Ashizuri, take Prefectural Route 27 eastbound route. About 15 minutes by car (approximately 8km)
Coming from the direction of Cape Ashizuri, there are few landmarks, but it is about a minute's walk past the former Kubotsu Elementary School (you can see the school building on your left).

Access by public transport

About 10 minutes walk (about 600m) from Kochi Southwest Bus "Kubotsu" stop
Or, take the Kochi Southwest Bus to the "Kubotsu Chikamichi" bus stop and walk for about 10 minutes (about 600m).

Access is only available from the eastbound direction (via Kubotsu) towards Cape Ashizuri.

Kochi Southwest Bus Route Bus

It's hard to see, but this road is the access to the lighthouse.
It looks like you can drive a car, but it's a 2-3 minute walk from here, so please park your car in the space on the side of the road mentioned above and walk to the site.

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The Hata region of Kochi Prefecture is located at the southwestern tip of Shikoku, and is a peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean, facing Tosa Bay to the east and Bungo Channel to the west. It is made up of three cities, two towns, and one village: Hara Village. It is a natural powerhouse rich in blessings, including the nationally famous Shimanto River and Cape Ashizuri, the blessings of the Kuroshio Current that flows along the coast, and the blessings of mountains that boast the largest area of ​​forests in the country.

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