Friday, September 2, 2016

The Port of Kashima

Eureka tour boat at the Port of Kashima. Holly Harvey
The Port of Kashima, adjacent to Kamisu -- the Sister City of Eureka, California -- is one of the world’s largest artificially-excavated ports. Kamisu (神栖市 Kamisu-shi) is a port city located in Ibaraki Prefecture on the east coast of Japan. As of March 1, 2008, the city has an estimated population of 93,551 and a population density of 635 persons per km². The total area is 147.24 km2 (56.85 sq mi).

The depth of outer port channel is 24m (26yd), the center channel is 19m (20yd) and both south and north channels are 10m (10yd).

Kamisu and the Port of Kashima from the air. Wikipedia
The Port of Kashima and surrouding area Google Maps


The earliest development of the area's waterways date to 1654. Over the centuries, rivers and canals were dredged and deepened to accommodate the needs of the region, including a canal that extended to Edo (Tokyo) Bay. Silting and flooding presented constant difficulties.

In 1960 Ibaraki Prefecture conceived a plan for the development of the port. Construction began in 1962 and the harbor opened its port in 1969.  

Read more about the history and development of the port here:

The Port of Kashima

Cargo ship with spill containment boom. Holly Harvey
About 13,000 ships come in and out of the port per year. The amount of cargo handled at the Kashima Port is about 65 million tons per year. Imported cargos make up 60% of total cargo handled. Common items are iron, stone, crude oil, coal, and corn.

Cargo ship and tugs near harbor entrance. Holly Harvey
There are nine tugs at Kashima Port and they are operated about 7,000 times in a year.

Cranes and silos. Holly Harvey
There are 4 public wharfs and 20 company-owned wharfs in the Kashima Port. Each wharf has their own equipment such as cranes and loading docks. Cargo handling machines differ for the types of cargo.

Gantry cranes unload bulk items. Loading arms connect pipelines between ground and ship for liquid items such as crude oil. Company-owned wharfs handle their own products and materials. At the public wharf, many types of cargo are handled including containers, bulk grain and cargo over the size limit of containers.

Ship hangars Holly Harvey
Grain silos Holly Harvey
Cargo ship in the port, wind farm in the distance. Holly Harvey
Cranes in the port, wind farm in the distance Holly Harvey

Hasaki Wind Farm 

The 43 windmills at the wind farm generate 76,100 kW (Nov. 2015).

Hasaki Wind Farm skyseeker/Creative Commons
The windmills generate enough electric power for about 46,200 households. There are 38,879 households in Kamisu (July 2015). The amount of power generated by the windmills would cover the entire household electrical needs of Kamisu city, however it is actually sent to the Tokyo area.

Environmental assessments were required prior to construction to evaluate effects on wildlife.

Kamisu city officials cite that each windmill has an output of 2,000 kW and an estimated speed of 11.1-19.6 rotations per minute. Bird strikes are uncommon.

Kamisu was chosen because of its suitable location  for wind power generation. The windmills were constructed by private enterprise (Eco Power Corporation).

According to research by the Japan Wind Power Association, it costs $6 million USD to build an average windmill that generates 2,000 kW. Equipment costs make up 58.3% of the figure, and the rest is spent for engineering work, conveyance and assembling.

An offshore wind farm is in the planning stages:

Murals adorn the sea wall along this stretch of coastline.

Windmill and mural. Holly Harvey

Murals along the sea wall. Holly Harvey

Mural of Kashima Port's Observation Tower
and Kashima Shrine's Ichi no Torii. 
Holly Harvey

This mural attests to the popularity of surfing
along this stretch of coastline. 
Holly Harvey

Kamisu city has an interest in renewable energy to protect the environment and address the issue of global warming, however, they do not have an exact plan yet.


A double-deck touring boat, Eureka, takes passengers on a 45 minute trip around Kashima Port, passing enormous tankers and industrial facilities.

Eureka tour boat. Holly Harvey

Eureka tour boat. Holly Harvey
A 52-meter-high (171 feet) Observation Tower in Minato Park commands a breathtaking view of the Kashima coastal industrial area.
Minato Park Observation Tower Holly Harvey

Kashima Harbor Fishing Park is a facility built at the mouth of the harbor for recreational fishing. There are charter boats, equipment rentals and restroom facilities.
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