Showa Station (Antarctica)

Shōwa Kichi
Aerial photograph of Showa Station, December 2018.
Aerial photograph of Showa Station, December 2018.
Location of Showa Station in Antarctica
Location of Showa Station in Antarctica
Location of Showa Station in Antarctica
Coordinates: 69°00′16″S 39°34′54″E / 69.004448°S 39.581713°E / -69.004448; 39.581713Coordinates: 69°00′16″S 39°34′54″E / 69.004448°S 39.581713°E / -69.004448; 39.581713
Country  Japan
Location in Antarctica East Ongul Island
Queen Maud Land
Administered by Japanese Antarctic Program
Established 1957 (1957)
29 m (95 ft)
 • Total
  • Up to 110
Time zone UTC+3 (SYOT)
Type All-year round
Period Annual
Status Operational
Facilities 60 separate buildings
Website National Institute of Polar Research

Showa Station (Japanese: 昭和基地, Hepburn: Shōwa Kichi), sometimes alternately spelled Syowa Station,[1] is a Japanese permanent research station on East Ongul Island in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. Built in 1957, Showa Station is named for the era in the Japanese calendar during which it was established, the Shōwa period.


Syowa Station sign in front of the main administration building, December 2018.

Showa Station serves as a research outpost for astronomy, meteorology, biology and earth sciences. It comprises over 60 separate buildings, large and small, including a 3-storey administration building, living quarters, power plant, sewage treatment facility, environmental science building, observatory, data processing facility, satellite building, ionospheric station, incinerator, earth science building, and radiosonde station. Also present are fuel tanks, water storage, solar panels, a heliport, water retention dam, and radio transmitter.

PANSY Incoherent Scatter Radar

Showa station is home to the Program of the Antarctic Syowa Mesosphere–Stratosphere–Troposphere/Incoherent Scatter (PANSY) incoherent scatter radar, which took its first measurements in 2017.[2]


1957 Expedition

The station was founded by the inaugural Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in 1957. This expedition was airlifted out after a storm made deploying the second team impossible in February 1958. In January 1959, the third team returned to the station and found that, of 15 sled dogs that had been left by the previous team, two, Taro and Jiro, had survived.

Historic monument

A cairn and plaque at the station commemorate Shin Fukushima, a member of the 4th Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, who died in October 1960 while carrying out his duties. The cairn, which contains some of his ashes, was erected on 11 January 1961 by his colleagues. It has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 2) following a proposal by Japan to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.[3]

In popular culture


The climate is classified as an Ice cap climate (Köppen: EF), since there are no months where the average temperature exceeds 0.0 °C (32.0 °F).

See also

Airport type Private
Serves Syowa
Location East Ongul Island
Time zone (+3)
Elevation AMSL 95 ft / 29 m
Coordinates 69°00′22″S 39°35′24″E / 69.006167°S 39.590000°E / -69.006167; 39.590000
Showa is located in Antarctica
Location of airfield in Antarctica
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17/35 3,274 998 Snow


  1. ^ "Showa Station (Syowa Station), East Ongul Island, Lützow-Holm Bay, Queen Maud Land (Dronning Maud Land), Eastern Antarctica, Antarctica". Retrieved June 29, 2007.
  2. ^ "PANSY Radar at Syowa Station, Antarctic". American Meteorological Society. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  3. ^ "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  4. ^ 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "Showa Skiway". Airport Nav Finder. Retrieved October 17, 2018.

External links