A Harbor Facility for Harsh Natural Conditions

Wakanai Port North Breakwater Dome

In Wakkanai Port, located in the northernmost part of Japan, there is a breakwater with an unusual shape. The huge reinforced concrete structure, measuring 427 meters in length, consists of 70 lined pillars supporting a semi-circular arched shelter. Built in 1936, the structure was ingeniously designed to deal with the intense winds and waves of the far north, which would be too much for a normal vertical breakwater. Despite a plan to demolish the structure, which had significantly deteriorated due to salt damage, the breakwater was faithfully restored in 1980 following a public outcry to preserve the structure.

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  • Wakkanai Port North Breakwater Dome

    Wakkanai, Hokkaido

    Minoru Tsuchiya

    1936, 1980

    Photo by Takuya Omura

  • Wakkanai Port North Breakwater Dome

    Wakkanai, Hokkaido

    Minoru Tsuchiya

    1936, 1980

    Photo by Takuya Omura