Old Japanese Lighthouse – Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands - Atlas Obscura

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Old Japanese Lighthouse

An abandoned lighthouse off the beaten path, one of the few surviving pre-World War II Japanese structures, offers a beautiful view. 


An old Japanese Lighthouse overlooks the Saipan town of Garapan and West over the Pacific Ocean, ideal for sunsets. The lighthouse itself is covered with graffiti and as it is not advertised as a tourist destination in any way, inhabited only by those in the know.

The lighthouse was built in 1934 to assist ships navigating into Tanapag Harbor on the western coast of Saipan. It is one of the few surviving pre-World War II civilian structures built by the Japanese. Now abandoned, the lighthouse located atop of Navy Hill, Saipan. It was severely damaged during the battle of Saipan and then was temporarily repaired by the Seabees to be used as a communications center for the U.S. military.

The lighthouse was abandoned after the war until the early 1990s when it was converted to a restaurant. The lighthouse was abandoned again after going out of business in 1994. The graffiti-covered lighthouse was repainted in 2007. Today, covered in graffiti and overgrown grass, the great views from the top include not only the Harbor but the whole Garapan area, Managaha Island, and Mt. Tapochao to the rear.

Update as of March 2021: This location has been refurbished and is now an upscale coffee shop.

Know Before You Go

Located on Fuetsa Loop, Navy Hill. Use GPS coordinates as it's not marked. 15.211773,145.731887

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September 20, 2016

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