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Cape Irizaki

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Location  Japan
Elevation  50 m (160 ft)
Offshore water bodies  East China Sea
Area  .3 km (0.12 sq mi)
Cape Irizaki

Cape Irizaki (西崎, Irizaki) is the western tip of Yonaguni Island and the westernmost point in Japan. The cape is within the town of Yonaguni, Okinawa.

Contents

There is a lighthouse, an observation platform, and a monument titled "Monument of the Westernmost Point of Japan" (日本最西端の碑, Nihon Saiseitan no Ishibumi) on the cape. Being the westernmost point in the country, tourists gather at the cape daily to see the final sunset in Japan.

Geography

Cape Irizaki is 0.37 kilometres (0.23 mi) wide, 0.7 kilometres (0.43 mi) long, and juts into the East China Sea northwest from Yonaguni Island. The cape reaches a height of 50 metres (160 ft), and is surrounded by sea cliffs. Taiwan, which is about 110 kilometres (68 mi) to the west, is visible on a clear day. Kubara hill [191.5 metres (628 ft)] and its homonymous fishing port and settlement are visible to the east of the cape. The Black Current flows west of Cape Irizaki to the north, and is a rich fishing ground for marlin and skipjack tuna.

Cape Irizaki, like much of the Yaeyama Islands, is composed of sandstone and mudstone. The cape is devoid of trees due to constant strong winds. Unlike other areas of the Yaeyama Islands, Cape Irizaki is surrounded by very little coral reef.

History

Cape Irizaki is first mentioned in Shōhō Kuniezu, a kuniezu, or series of Japanese provincial land maps created during the Edo period (1603 – 1868). The Shōhō Kuniezu, which was compiled beginning in 1644, lists the cape as "Ire no Zaki". The cape became the westernmost point of Japan in 1879, when Japan annexed the Ryukyu Kingdom.

Transportation

Cape Irizaki is open to the public, and is easily accessible on foot from the settlement of Kubaradake. The cape is approximately one hour by car from Yonaguni Airport.

References

Cape Irizaki Wikipedia


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