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Honshu’s Southernmost Place ”Shiono Cape”

Honshu’s Southernmost Place
”Shiono Cape”

One of the first western style lighthouses in Japan

The Shiono Cape is at the south most point of the Kii Peninsula. The Pacific Ocean spreads beyond this cape which is located at the southernmost location of Honshu. At Shiono Cape, there is a lighthouse which shines brightly under the warm Kii sun. ”Shiono Cape Lighthouse” is beautiful and white, made of stone, and is considered to be one of the 50 most beautiful lighthouses in Japan. In 1866, at the end of the Bakufu era, Japan committed to building 8 lighthouses all over Japan under the ”Tax revision treaty” (Edo Treaty) which they signed with the US, England, France and Holland. ”Shiono Cape Lighthouse” was one of these. It is one of the first western style lighthouses built in Japan.

The lighthouse was completed in 1870, 4 years after the treaty was signed, but it took a while longer for it to be properly lit up. This is because the British ship that was carrying the machine for the lighthouse sank in the East China Sea. The area has been a strategic point within the marine transportation route since the old days, and is a difficult area for ships to cross because of turbulent winds and rapid currents. However, lighting could not be delayed just because the carrier ship sank. They quickly imported a head lamp of a steam locomotive from the US, and used that instead for 3 years. It has been 140 years since it’s completion. Shiono Cape is shining a guiding light for ships and boats which cross the ocean even today.
It was late afternoon before the sunset when Nakata arrived at the cape.
”From Okinawa, we have finally reached the south most area of Honshu.”
It was a moment for Nakata and his entourage to revel in the journey that brought them to Wakayama.

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Shiono Cape
Shionomisaki, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama Prefecture