Maizuru Port (舞鶴港)

Maizuru Port, located in Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, is a key port. The port is managed by Kyoto Prefecture. The nickname of Kyoto Maizuru Port was given in 2004.

During the Meiji period, Maizuru Chinju-fu--the only navy base on the Japan Sea side of Japan--opened and flourished as a naval port. It is well known that most ships set sail from this port during the Russo-Japanese War, and many repatriation ships from Siberia returned home at this port.

It is largely divided into two ports--East Port and West Port; East Port is a navy port where the Maritime Self-Defense Force Maizuru District Headquarters is located; West Port has been developed as an international trade port having regular services heading to and from countries such as the People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, and Russian Federation. This section describes the Maizuru Fishing Port, which falls under Category Three for fishing ports.


Maizuru Port, which faces the Japan Sea and is located in the western part of the Wakasa Bay within Maizuru Bay, is known as a suitable port, due to its formation as an inlet off the open sea and is less subject to weather conditions. The harbor itself is largely divided into East Port and West Port.

For reference, it was selected as one of the 'Best Fifty Ports,' planned and compiled by Kyodo News and Federation of Local Newspaper Companies in 2005.

Maizuru Higashi Port (Maizuru East Port)

Since the East Port was designated as a naval port to house the Maizuru Chinju-fu in 1901, the former Japanese Imperial Navy not only developed it as the harbor but also reclaimed the land of Higashi Maizuru area--once merely an inlet. Today, it still provides bases for the Escort Flotilla 3 and Maizuru District Headquarters of the Maritime Self-Defense Force, acting as a key strongpoint to defend the Japan Sea side of Japan.
In recent years, its military importance is increasing due to incidences involving North Korean covert-operation boats; therefore the Maizuru Air Port was built to deploy the Maizuru Fleet Air Force and the Special Boarding Unit

Universal Shipbuilding Corporation, which has observed the traditions of the Old Imperial Navy Maizuru Navy Arsenal, is also located in the East Port, and its shipbuilding dock can be seen at the end of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's dock.

Maizuru Ferry Terminal
The terminal is at Maejima Wharf, 2.3 km ahead of Higashi-Maizuru Station. Usually it is not accessible by public transportation but a local bus service may be available from Higashi-Maizuru Station in response to the arrival and departure times on occasions when many visitors can be expected, for example in summer. The liaison bus from Shin-Osaka Station is convenient because the service is more often available even during times outside of busy seasons. It takes about five minutes by Taxi from the Higashi-Maizuru Station. It is about fifteen-minute drive from the Maizuru-higashi Interchange. The wharf of the ferry was once located near the Maizuru port joint government building of the West Port, and maritime safety officials were regularly stationed near the Maejima Wharf of the East Port.

Shin Nihonkai Ferry
Maizuru Port - Otaru Port (six times a week)
Maizuru Port -Tomakomai Port (irregular)

Sightseeing spots and historic sites

The East port, which has been developed as a naval port since the Meiji period, has many historic sites related to the former Imperial Japanese Navy. In particular, Maizuru Red-brick Warehouses has been recently used in shooting films. Other sightseeing spots include the Aka Renga Museum having a collection of bricks from all over the world and the Maizuru Municipal Administrative Museum exhibiting the history and customs of Maizuru City. The East Port will be designated as important cultural property in 2008. People in the city enjoy cherry blossoms at Repatriation Memorial Museum, Kyoraku Park, Maruyama Park, and Yushiodai Park every spring.

Maizuru Nishi Port (Maizuru West Port)

The West Port, located in and developed as a castle town of the Tanabe-jo Castle (Tango Province), and has been developed as a commercial port since the Edo period. However, it is attracting attention as a key logistic center, due to the opening of the Maizuru-nishi Interchange of the Maizuru Wakasa Expressway in 1989. Wada Wharf, a multi-purpose international terminal (tentative name) is under construction with aims to be completed early 2008; the wharf, when completed, will enable full-scale container ships in the 50,000 ton class to berth. In addition, 'Nishi-maizuru Road,' which is a bypass of the National Route 27 is also being planned, and thereby the port is enhancing its importance as an international logistic port. The Japan Coast Guard Eighth Regional Coast Guard Headquarters is in the Maizuru harbor joint government office located in this port.

The West Port, which physically includes the Maizuru Fishing Port governed under the Act on Development of Fishing Ports and Grounds (the fishing port area does not legally belong the Maizuru Port), provides bases for large scale vessels equipped with a stationary net. Maizuru City also built the Maizuru Port Toretore Center, a wholesale shop for marine products.

On September 30 2004, the Maizuru steam ship, which was dealt as a national route with roles as a community road, closed its seventy-year history due to a decline in passengers and deterioration of ships.

Regular service
Service for international freight
Regular service to China (Maizuru - Shanghai City, Dalian City, Qingdao) - once a week
Operated by Kanbara Kisen Company

Regular service to Republic of Korea (Maizuru - Busan) - twice a week
Operated by Heung-A Shipping Co., Ltd.

Regular service to Vladivostok (Maizuru - Vladivostok) - scheduled to open this autumn
Operated by Daewoo Logistics

Regular service to Nakhodka (Maizuru -Nakhodka) - once a month
Operated by Ino Kaiun Kaisha Ltd.

Japan-China Japan Sea regular service (Maizuru - Chongjin, Vostochny Sea Port) - once a month
Operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and FESCO

International passenger service
Service to Vladivostok (Maizuru - Vladivostok) - scheduled to open this autumn
Operated by Daewoo Logistics

Domestic service
Japan Sea ferry service (Maizuru - Otaru) - daily
Operated by Shin Nihonkai Ferry

Japan Sea ferry service (Maizuru - Tomakomai) - irregular
Operated by Shin Nihonkai Ferry

Agencies of marine affairs
Eighth Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
Maizuru Safety Department
Eighth Regional Info-communications Management Center (former Maizuru Info-communications Management Center)
Maizuru Coast Guard Air Support Center (Kitakinki Coast Guard Air Support Center)
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Maizuru Marine Transport Bureau
Osaka Customs, Maizuru custom branch office
Osaka Immigration Office, Maizuru Port Branch
Quarantine, Maizuru Branch Office
Maizuru Branch Office of the Plant Protection Station
Kinki Regional Development Bureau, Maizuru Ports Office
Maizuru Marine Observatory

Relationship with Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The total number of vessels entering the Maizuru Port from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was 252, the largest in Japan. Two Japanese companies were engaged in landing and loading businesses with such vessels but one of the companies stopped deals because of mounting criticism stemming from abduction issues. The rest, International Transport Department, Maizuru Marine Transport Office, Nippon Express Co., Ltd. stopped dealings with North Korean vessels after missile launches by North Korea; however, North Korean freights started to be seen unloading goods in Maizuru Port on July 28, 2006. With nuclear tests by North Korea in October 2006, North Korean vessels will be banned from entering Japanese ports.


1901: Maizuru Chinju-fu opened.

1922: The Ministry of Interior designated Maizuru West Port as a designated port.

1945: The Maizuru Repatriation Relief Bureau was established.

1951: It was designated as key harbor.

1952: The Coastal Safety Force was established in the Maizuru East Port.

1958: Regular service to Nakhodka started.

1970: Shin Nihonkai Ferry started ferry service between Maizuru and Otaru.

1985: Maizuru steam ship was abolished.

1986: Japan-China Japan Sea regular service started.

1990: Regular service to Busan, Korea started.

1995: The port was designated as FAZ (foreign access zone).

1997: Maizuru 21 opened as a facility for FAZ.

1999: Regular container service to Dalian, Qingdao was started.

2005: The direct service between Maizuru and Shanghai started with the restructuring of the service route.

2007: Kanbara Kisen Company started Japan-China regular container service.

Industrial Park

Kita Industrial Park
Kuratani Industrial Park (Kyoto Prefecture)
Taira Industrial Park

[Original Japanese]