Last week I was away and unable to post anything. Next week, I will be gone a again, so I guess November is becoming the month where I get very behind on this blog. So, apologies for not keeping up with everything. I will do my best to keep posting when I go away next week as I think I will have fairly regular internet access, so assuming I have time, I can update the blog. Now, on to business!
Continuing my posts about my trip to Yamaguchi prefecture, I give you this post about Tsunoshima island(角島). The island is technically part of Shimonoseki city(下関市), the westernmost city on Honshu, Japan’s main island. But before 2005 Tsunoshima was just part of a small town about 30 minutes North of Shimonoseki city by car. In 2005, that town, along with several others was gobbled up to become part of the city of Shimonoseki. But this little island is nowhere near downtown.
The bridge to Tsunoshima, called Tsunoshima Ohashi (角島大橋 lit. Tsunoshima Big Bridge).
Another view of the bridge that gives a better idea of the size of the island.
Doesn't the beach look nice? Too bad it was too cold to swim...
It seems that Tsunoshima is really famous for only one thing: it’s lighthouse. It was built on Yume-ga-saki (夢ヶ崎), the cape of dreams, and looks at over the Sea of Japan towards South Korea. In fact, in addition to the swarms of Japanese tourists crowding the lighthouse, we saw a group of Korean tourists riding bicycles around the island. It isn’t too difficult to get to Shimonoseki from Pusan (sometimes written as Busan), South Korea. There’s a boat that goes direct everyday.
The Tsunoshima lighthouse was completed in 1876. It is made of stone and is one of only 2 painted lighthouses in Japan.
The man responsible for the lighthouse is one Richard Henry Brunton, born in Scotland. After working in the lighthouse business on the British isles, he was employed by the Japanese government to help them get their western style lighthouse building off the ground. He is sometimes referred to as “The Father of Japanese Lighthouses,” or in Japanese as “The Father of Lighthouses” (灯台の父).
A likeness of Mr. Brunton, who is alleged to have helped build a whopping 26 lighthouses in Japan! Judging from this statue, he also had good posture.
A view looking out from the top of the lighthouse. The lighthouse is one of the top 50 lighthouses in Japan, which were selected through a campaign run by the Japan Coast Guard, but it does not fall into the top 100 lighthouses in the world, selected by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities. 😦
Tourists. There were a lot of them. Japan is a wee bit crowded.