Kurobe Dam begins water discharge event

by Jun 27, 2023Featured Article, News

Kurobe Dam, a tourist hotspot located in the Northern Alps in Toyama Prefecture, began its annual water discharge event on Monday.

The dam, Japan’s tallest, releases 10 to 15 tons of water per second from the middle of its 186-meter wall. The daily discharges will last until Oct 15.

The event first began in 1961 to maintain the landscape of the nearby Kurobe River during summer when the water level typically drops, according to its operator Kansai Electric Power Co.

“On a sunny morning, the possibility of seeing a rainbow in the sprayed water rises,” an official of the company said.

Such was the case for Yuta Maeda, 26, from Shizuoka Prefecture. “I got to see a rainbow, and I’m happy that I’ll have great pictures,” he said, calling the power of the water discharge “wonderful.”

“Kurobe Dam is on a completely different level. It is grand and it is really stunning that such a dam was made,” said first-time visitor Hiroyuki Takahara, a 62-year-old in the construction industry from Fukushima Prefecture.

Kurobe Dam’s total reservoir capacity is around 200 million tons. Its construction, which took seven years, began in 1956 in response to the increased demand for electricity during Japan’s post-war economic boom.