Towering over the southern corner of the Sea of Japan in its dazzling white glory is the Izumo Hinomisaki Lighthouse in Shimane Prefecture. It is Japan’s tallest lighthouse and the centerpiece of Cape Hino, a quaint fishing area, turned laid-back tourist hub.
At 43 meters high (or 63 meters above sea level), this coastal attraction has been in action since 1903. In addition to being the tallest lighthouse in the country, it also boasts one of the largest lenses, which is a whopping 2.5 meters in length, with the light reaching about 40 kilometers.
As well as being incredibly practical, it’s also an impressive piece of architecture. In fact, the lighthouse is one of the top 100 most beautiful lighthouses in the world.
For an admission fee, guests can climb the tower and see—on a clear day—the remote Oki Islands of Shimane, which are about 50 kilometers out to sea.
A short stroll from the lighthouse area, you’ll find the vivid vermillion Hinomisaki-jinja nestled in the lush tree-lined surrounds. Also, a little farther south down the coast of Cape Hino sits a small community of delightfully kitsch gift stores run by local grandmas grilling squid out on the street, like something out of a storybook.
Access: From Izumotaisha-Mae Station, catch the bus labeled 日御碕灯台（バス） Hinomisaki Lighthouse (bus). The journey takes around 30 minutes.