This really is happening! All killer and no-filler here as Tokyo Fox presents some truly original content. Over the last few years I’ve gradually seen more and more of these constructions. There really is very little, if nothing, on the internet (in English) about watergates in Japan. That is probably for good reason as surely no one else is interested in such things! Only one way to find out so lets see how this fares. Do NOT expect this to be featured in the ‘TF Top 20……Tokyo Fox Hits of 2020’ post which will appear on January 1st next year!
1. Tamatsukuri Sluice Gate @ 3768 Tamatsukuri, Kumagaya, Saitama – Built in 2001 to prevent the floods from flowing back into the Arakawa and Yoshino Rivers, this water gate is 23.5 metres wide and 11.3 metres high making it one of the largest in all of Japan. It’s dome shaped roof, with three metallic balls on top, is supposed to look like floating balls or dango (a Japanese dumpling and sweet) when seen from distance. More details here
2. Rokugō Watergate @ 2-35 Minamirokugo, Ota City, Tokyo – Completed in 1931, this sluice apparently possesses something of a German influence in it’s design. It’s an exit to the Tama River for irrigation, and the surrounding area is a pool where small boats hang out. People constantly pass over the embankment and, despite not blending in with the landscape, no one gives this watergate a second look!
3. View-O Water Gate @ Senbon-1905-27, Numazu, Shizuoka – This 30 metre high one was built to protect the community and ward off tsunami tidal waves resulting from big earthquakes. It also serves as an observation point and tourist attraction in it’s own right for visitors to the Numazu Port area. This fine structure is supposedly even more impressive at night when illuminated. More details here
4. Asaka-shi Suimon @ Dai, Asaka, Saitama – This permanently closed gate reminds me of a huge guillotine. It is 20 metres wide and 17 metres high but maybe doesn’t look so big as some of it is submerged. It was completed in 1995 and separates the connecting waterway between the Arakawa River and the Shingashi River that runs parallel to it.
Bonus: Ajigawao Bridge @ 6-3 Ajigawa, Nishikujo, Osaka-Shi – This arched tide water gate descends to protect the urban area of Osaka when there is a danger of a storm surge caused by typhoons for example. It closes up the river by falling to the upstream side and prevents back flow to the sea. I’ll admit that I still don’t really get how it all works so would maybe be quite interesting to see it when it’s tested once a month. More details here
Of course you’d be mad to visit just these watergates but combined with other nearby sights they make for an interesting and unique attraction.
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