I visited Sun Port Takamatsu in the Takamatsu port area one evening, which is the location of the world’s first glass lighthouse!
A flower shaped sign welcomes you when you arrive at the harbor area. It’s a work of art that was made by a Portuguese artist for the Setouchi Triennale (José de Guimarães “Happy Snake”)!
The sun begins to set in the western sky… On this day, it set at 5.05 PM.
I found a signboard for the red lighthouse. Further along on the right is Yajima Island, which is famous for the Genpei War. From here, it’s a little less than a 10-minute walk by the wharf.
The red glass lighthouse was created along with the 1998 redevelopment of Takamatsu port. Actually, to be precise, it was not ‘created’, but rather ‘recreated’.
Back in the days when boats were the main means of transport between Shikoku and Honshu, there was an ‘old red concrete lighthouse’ in Takamatsu port – it was known as a symbol for the port.
Eventually, The Great Seto Bridge was completed in 1988, soon after which Takamatsu airport opened in 1989. With this, the role of Takamatsu port changed and it was decided that it should be renewed and made into a modern waterfront. As part of that, a unique design suitable for the new port was needed for the red lighthouse, as well. And this is how the lighthouse was reborn as the world’s first glass lighthouse.
And then at the end of the wharf, a lighthouse shining with red light appears.
We have arrived at the foot of the lighthouse. There are as many as 1,600 square 19-centimeter glass blocks at the sides. The lamp on top of the lighthouse flashes slowly. It’s almost like a pulse.
Before I even noticed, the surroundings had become pitch black… A collaboration between the red lighthouse and the crescent moon.
When I returned to the wharf area from the lighthouse, I could see that some ships had arrived at the port.
The red lighthouse, also called “Setoshirube”, is just as its name suggests, a guidepost (in Japanese, ‘shirube’) for the ocean lighting the Seto Inland Sea. Ships come and go depending on this light, and people gather at the wharf to search for a moment of rest.
It is a symbol for Takamatsu port loved both in the olden times and now.
When in Kagawa prefecture, come by for a visit.
Location: Sunport, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture (at the outer edge of Tamamo breakwater)
Homepage: http://www.sunport.or.jp/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Yoshikawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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