Kurobe Dam is Japan’s tallest dam at 186 meters high and 492 meters long. It’s located in Toyama Prefecture and supports a hydropower plant. Built between 1956 and 1963, the dam was a massive engineering feat at the time and cost 51.3 billion yen (142.5 million USD) to complete. Although many issues arose during construction, the dam now helps supply the Kansai region with electricity.
The 2020 dates for the water discharge period are:
June 26 to July 31 (6 am to 5:30 pm)
August 1 to September 10 (6:30 am to 5 pm)
September 11 to October 15 (7 am to 4:30 pm)
The discharge period may be canceled depending on the weather.
Featured in many kaiju (monster) movies in the past, Kurobe Dam is also a popular tourist spot and the most popular hydropower site in Japan. Between late June to mid-October, the spillway is opened at various times during the day for nearby onlookers to witness. The dam spits forth more than 10 tonnes of water every second. Crossing the dam takes about 15 minutes by foot—however, those who make the trek are rewarded with various vistas of the dam and Kurobe Lake.
Visit the eastern end of the dam and walk up the stairs there (220 steps and quite steep) to arrive at the observation deck and see some of the best angles of the dam. There is also a pleasure boat ride available on Lake Kurobe itself.
1.5 hours via buses from JR Shinano-Omachi Station.
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