Friday, July 20, 2012

Inubosaki Lighthouse Of Choshi

"This lighthouse is the symbol of Choshi"

Inubosaki Lighthouse,
built in 1874


The entrance to Inubosaki Lighthouse.

Our tour in Choshi continued with a visit to one of Choshi's most popular tourist attraction - Inubosaki Lighthouse on Cape Inubo, in the city of Choshi. This lighthouse is well-known across the country and receives the most visitors among all the lighthouses in Japan. It is registered with the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities as one of the "One Hundred Most Important Lighthouses in the World".

Designed and constructed by British architect-cum-engineer Richard Henry Brunton, who had constructed another 25 lighthouses from far northern Hokkaido to southern Kyushu during his career in Japan, this lighthouse was first lit on November 15, 1874. The structure consisted of a cylindrical tower made from the first domestically produced red bricks in Japan. As Brunton was uncertain of the mechanical strength of the Japanese bricks, he constructed the tower using a double thickness for the walls.


Our volunteer guides giving us a brief introduction about the lighthouse.


Got our entrance ticket and it's time to climb up the tower.


At the entrance to the tower.

Repairs for historical preservation and improvements in earthquake safety were made in 1977. This lighthouse miraculously survive a few major earthquakes that hit this area, including the M9.0 Tohoku earthquake that occured on March 11, 2011.

Standing proudly at the height of 31.57 meters, it emits a light strength of 1.1 million candelas and can be sighted from a distance of 35 kilometers away from the lighthouse. By the way, just in case you wonder what does candela mean, it's the SI base unit for luminous intensity and one candela is approximately the brightness emitted by a candle.


This is the first of several signs on the staircase. This one tells you that there are 99 steps to go until you reach the summit.


"I guess you are beginning to tire by now. Do not give up! A bit more to go!" says the sign. Sometimes, they can be encouraging but after a while, 
you may find them torturing haha!


Despite struggling to catch our breathe, Emily and Mi still managed to carve a sweet smile for the camera lol!


Nearly half of the sign has faded away, but this is the sign that congratulates you upon reaching the 99th and final step!

After we worked hard climbing up the 99-step corkscrew staircase within the tower, we were treated to a spectacular panoramic view of Choshi. And if the weather is good, you might be lucky to see more beyond the city itself. We were lucky that the weather was clear on that day and we managed to see places separated quite some distance away, and that includes Malaysia.

And I'm sure you should know that I just tried to make a cold lie lol!


The blue sea facing the Pacific Ocean.


With such fantastic view, you wouldn't feel like going down but to spend the rest of the time here, right at the top of the tower.


The tip of the tower of Inubosaki Lighthouse.


Emily and Laura, at the observatory deck of the tower.


Kimigahama beach (君ケ浜海岸), which attracts tens of thousands of visitors on New Year's day.

With the exception of remote islands and mountain summits, this area is well-known across the country as the first place in the whole Japan to welcome the first sunrise of the New Year. That explains why this place is always crowded with visitors on New Year's Day as it is believed to be very auspicious to witness the first sunrise of the year, which can be seen only once a year.

There is a small museum at the base of the lighthouse. However, I somehow lost my way after coming down from the tower and missed out going into this interesting museum. Now I know why everyone went missing when I came down as I tried to look around for them. Rupa-rupanya they were inside the museum lol!


This is the first lense that was used for the lighthouse, now being well-kept in the museum (photo credit: Kase Fumihiko).


Mr Richard Henry Burton, the person behind this marvelous lighthouse.


A sun clock at the base of the tower.


This is the first and only white postbox in Japan. Normally, the postboxes in Japan are bright red.


This unique postbox was installed early this year in March, to coincide with White Day on March 14. There was a special stamp 
for all letters and postcards posted on that day.


Some of the Chiba Kun Ambassadors got some postcards to be sent home from Inubosaki Lighthouse.


One shot with the bright white lighthouse at the background.


Hopefully one day, I will be able to watch the first sunrise of the year at this beach.

Inobusaki Lighthouse (犬吠埼灯台)
Access: 7-minute walk from Inubo Station (犬吠駅) on Choshi Electric Railway Line (Choshi Dentetsu-sen, 銚子電鉄線)
Address: Chiba-ken, Choshi-shi, Araoi-cho 2-297 (〒288-0056 銚子市新生町2-297)
Tel: 0479-22-0316; Fax: 0479-25-2865

Our last stop of the day was an interesting place called the "Chikyu-no Maruku Mieru Oka Tenbokan" (地球の丸く見える丘展望館). Literally, it means an "observatory building where you get to see the Earth is round". It is a large observatory deck of a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area, which has not tall building around and provide a great view. Besides enjoying a breathtaking view during the day time, visitors will also get a rare treat of a wonderful sunset view at dawn.


Here we are, at the last destination of the day!


The light hike to the top of the hill, with beautiful hydrangea welcoming the visitors.


This deck is the highest point of the building, as you can see the round-ish horizon from here.


My favorite shot of the day. Sixteen Chiba Kun Ambassadors, from ten different countries, with one common mission!


These plates are placed to indicate important and famous landmarks in each direction. Tokyo (東京) is far in the background. 
By the way, can you spot Mount Fuji (富士山)?


Wind power is actively being developed off the rugged coast of Chōshi for use in the city and the greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area.


 Here is a closer shot of the windmills (photo credit: Laura Jacob).


The Earth may not look so round here, but with the lovely weather, it is still gorgeous nevertheless.


From what we were told, if you are a good kid, you might be able to see Hawaii from this direction? Can you see it? I just saw it haha!


Our lovely Miss Laura being bullied by the five guys haha! (photo credit: Kase Fumihiko)


Locally produced melons were made into fresh juice. They were super sweet and delicious!


We were each given a souvenir magnet from the tour guides. How lovely! (photo credit: Ishizaki Masataka)


Bidding farewell to our guides. Thanks a lot!

Chikyu-no Maruku Mieru Oka Tenbokan (地球の丸く見える丘展望館) 
Access: 15-minute walk from Inubo Station (犬吠駅) on Choshi Electric Railway Line (Choshi Dentetsu-sen, 銚子電鉄線)
Tel: 0479-25-0930 

This was my first time in Choshi and I can say it is really a lovely place. It was even more fun with great company of the other Chiba Kun Ambassadors and the staffs from the International Division Office. Our next tour will come at the end of the summer and we just can't wait for it to come!

Lastly, thanks for reading!

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