The Former Japan National Railway Company had planned to build a rail line to run across the prefectural border, but while drilling a tunnel, as a part of the undertaking, hit an underground river where water came gushing out. In the end the plans for the construction of the railway had to be abandoned due to the amount of water they found and instead the “Takamori Yusui Tunnel Park” was created at the site.
A 1 kilometer stretch of the 2-kilometer tunnel was converted into a park. The volume of the water running beneath the wooden pathway is 32 tons per minute. The temperature at the end of the tunnel remains at 17 degrees Celsius throughout year, and it is possible to see the source of the river from where the excavation had originally taken place flowing like a waterfall. There is a special strobe light in front of the spring which combines with the flowing water to create a beautiful piece of artwork which is known as the “Water Pearl.”
Meanwhile outside the tunnel there is an open space where Japanese irises have been planted, utilizing the water from the spring, as well as a water-related reference museum called “Yusui-kan” where visitors can learn about the importance of water, issues relating to the global environment, as well as the history of Takamori Tunnel. Every July the “Takamori Tanabata Festival” is held.
(Taken from the "Kumamoto Prefecture tourism site, Nagomi Journey")
(Photo courtesy: Town Takamori)
Opening hours/Days off: 9:00-18:00 (April to October), 9:00-17:00 (November to March) (Reference Museum is closed every Monday)
Junior high school students and above: 300 yen
Elementary school students: 100 yen
Capacity: 200 vehicles
The "Tanabata Festival” is held at the beginning of July.