Five Spectacular Dams Boasting the "Best in Japan" that You Should Visit at Least Once.

Five Spectacular Dams Boasting the
Dams play an important role in Japan, being prone to flooding and other heavy rainfall disasters. There are about 3,000 dams in Japan, and they have recently become popular as tourist attractions.
Let us introduce you to the dams that earn the title of "the best in Japan" that you may want to see with your own eyes.

1. Honen Pond Dam|Kagawa【Japan's first stone masonry multiple arch dam】

Honen Pond Dam

|Majestic appearance like an old castle in medieval Europe

The Honen Pond Dam in Kanonji City, Kagawa Prefecture, was built in 1929 and was the first multiple-arch dam in Japan, and is currently one of only two such dams in Japan. The Honen Pond Dam has five small arches between its six walls.
It is a valuable structure that could not be built under the current river structure, and its appearance and the stone masonry remaining in the lower part of the river are reminiscent of an old medieval European castle.
  • Honen Pond Dam
  • Honen Pond Dam
The Honen Pond Dam is also popular for its close-up view. When you climb the fence of the pond in the water park, you can see the water releasing almost directly under the wall.
At 30.4 meters high and 145.5 meters long, the dam is more powerful than you can imagine! The texture of the masonry and the beauty of the arches, which have been carved over the past 90 years, is beautiful.
In summer, visitors can enjoy the "Yurunuki" water release, where 4 tons of water fall down every second with a roaring sound. It is a fascinating dam that must be seen at least once.

2. Kurobe Dam|Toyama【Japan's tallest dam】

Kurobe Dam
 Kurobe Dam

|As tall as a 50-story building! Japan's tallest and most well-known giant arch dam

Kurobe Dam is an arch dam located in the uppermost reaches of the Kurobe River in Toyama Prefecture. It took a total of 10 million people and 7 years to complete the dam, earning recognition as the "Greatest Project of the Century". At 186 meters, which is about the same height as a 50-story building, looking down from the embankment is a scary experience.
The most attractive feature of the festival is the water release. The largest water fall takes place from late June to mid-October each year, and the sight of more than 10 tons of water falling in a mist every second is truly spectacular! If you are lucky, you may even see a rainbow.
  •  Kurobe Dam
  •  Kurobe Dam (@kon.taro)
From April to June, it is recommended to enjoy it together with "Yuki no Otani: Snow Corridor," a huge wall of snow approaching 20 meters high along the Kurobe Alpine Route.
The "Dam Curry," also popular at Kurobe Dam, is served at nearly 20 restaurants. As long as the rice is shaped like a dam and the price is at least 700 yen, restaurants are free to arrange the rest of the menu as they wish. Take your time to have one here.

3. Hakusui Dam|Oita【The most beautiful dam in Japan】

Hakusui Dam
  • Hakusui Dam
  • Hakusui Dam

|Like a lace curtain! A dam to admire the sight of cascading water

Hakusui Dam is located in a mountainous village in Taketa City, Oita Prefecture. Despite its small size (14 m high and 87 m wide), it is very popular and is called "the most beautiful dam in Japan".
Due to the weakness of the surrounding ground, the water is designed to flow in gentle curves, creating a beautiful water flow that resembles a lace curtain. The sight of the water spreading out like a silk fabric is truly worthy of its title.
The views from the right and left banks of the dam are different, so we recommend checking them out from both sides, but be sure to have plenty of time to get to and from the other side of the dam, as the ups and downs along the way can make it difficult.

*As of February 2019, the facility is not open for tours due to construction. Click here (Japanese) for details on when the construction will be completed.
【Address】6225 Shigada, Ogimachi, Taketa City, Oita Prefecture (left bank) /
3732 Tsugikura, Taketa City, Oita Prefecture (right bank)
【WEB site (Japanese)】
【Access】11 km from Bungo Takeda Station, 25 minutes by car

4. Tokuyama Dam|Gifu【Japan's largest total water storage capacity and levee volume】

Tokuyama Dam
▲Panoramic view of the dam from the observation deck
Tokuyama Dam
▲Lake Tokuyama, a reservoir, is also famous for its autumn foliage

|A big scale dam that holds the title No. 1 in Japan twice

Tokuyama Dam, located in the uppermost reaches of the Ibi River in Gifu Prefecture, is a trapezoidal rock-fill dam constructed by piling up soil and rocks. The volume of the embankment is 13.7 million ㎥, equivalent to almost 3 million 10-ton trucks, and the total storage capacity is 660 million ㎥, about twice that of Lake Hamana.
Incidentally, the reservoir lake, Lake Tokuyama, has an area of about 13 k㎡, larger than Lake Suwa in Nagano Prefecture and 270 times larger than Nagoya Dome. Everything about this dam is on a big scale.
  • Tokuyama Dam
  • Tokuyama Dam (@my_dear_7colors)
In the adjacent dam side park, there is an observation deck where visitors can see the discharge of water several times a year up close, and there is also a display of dump truck tires used during construction that are large enough for a child to fit inside.
We also recommend the "dam curry" available at Tokuyama Kaikan, located about 1 km upstream from the dam. The curry is served in the shape of a levee, with rice served on both ends of the plate. while pouring the curry roux into the rice.
【Address】448 Kaiden, Ibigawa, Ibi District, Gifu 501-0815
【Operating Period】9:00 - 17:00
【Closed days】Open all year round
【WEB site (Japanese)】
【Access】80 minutes (about 60 km) from Meishin Expressway Ogaki IC via National Route 303 and National Route 417

5. Minamiaiki Dam|Nagano【The highest elevation dam in Japan】

Minamiaiki Dam
Minamiaiki Dam

|A chalk dam in the sky located at an elevation of 1532m

Minamiaiki Dam, located in Minamiaiki Village, Nagano Prefecture, is the highest of Japan's large dams at 1532 meters above sea level. It is a rock-fill dam made of white limestone, and the beauty of its vast white embankment attracts viewers and has been called the "dam in the sky".
  • Minamiaiki Dam
  • Minamiaiki Dam
The dam is 136 meters high and 444 meters long with a long waterway next to the dam. It is like a waterslide running through the mountains.
The area around the dam is lush with nature, so the contrast of the white dam with the fresh greenery in summer and the autumn leaves in fall is truly spectacular. The Yatsugatake Mountains can also be seen in the distance, providing an outstanding view.
【Address】Minamiaiki Village, Minamisaku District, Nagano Prefecture
【Closed days】No fixed holidays
【WEB site (Japanese)】
【Access】80 minutes by car from Saku IC or 90 minutes from Sudama IC
The beauty of the building's style and architectural design, the power of the dam's discharge, and its tourist attractions such as dam curry...these are just a few of the many reasons to visit the dam.
The world of dams is very deep and fascinating the more you learn about it. Please visit and enjoy the charm of the dams.

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