This blog has now 100 posts- many pictures and many details about my life in Japan. So let’s celebrate a little! This post is going to look at Nabari Dam in a bit more detail, a HOW2: for Place names and a product review as well. I hope you enjoy this 100th post and happy reading.
Additionally, on the homepage, there are 2 new sections:
- A pictures in Japan section
- A western calendar to Japanese era conversion page
Let’s start the post!
Full Review: 青蓮寺ダム Shorenji dam aka Nabari Dam
I have previously talked about Nabari lake and I have mentioned Nabari Dam in passing but now well look at it in a bit more detail.
Nabari Dam was constructed in response to the Ise typhoon disaster in 昭和34年 or 1959. Nabari experiences wide spread damage and thus the dams construction was finished in 昭和45年7月 or July 1970.
The Dam is 275 m long, 82 m tall which allowed the formation of lake with an area of 1.04 km 2 containing over 27 million m 3 of water- which is quite a bit.
Around the dam, there are signs which highlight the 5 main advantages of this dam:
- safety: the dam allows Nabari and other cities down stream (Osaka, Nara) to remain safe in extreme weather
- ecosystem: the dam provides a constant stream of water supporting life downstream
- household use: allows a water supply to Nabari and other areas (from drinking water to bath water)
- agricultural use: allows water to be used for rice farming within the Iga area comprising of 1,150 ha at 1.72m3/s
- electricity generation: green electricity is generated
The slight problem with the dam is the road that was constructed along its’ top.
There is a single carriage way which requires cars to move the the side to allow them to pass. There is a lovely video of on my social media pages.
Along the lake side there are many parks, tennis courts and picnic spots and just above the dam is the viewing spot which is also known as the famous sakura viewing point- somewhere to go in April.
The views are spectacular and are well worth a visit for those in the area. With the amount of thing available (from sports, to eateries, to hikes, photo opportunities etc) I would definitely recommend a visit. Think of this place as a trip to a national park or just a larger park: plenty to do (including an Italian restaurant that is always booked nearby), plenty to enjoy and plenty of places to relax.
Just remember: take only photos and leave only footprints.
HOW2: Japanese place name ~ヶ丘
One thing that you need to be aware of with place names is the ending ~ヶ丘 or ~gaoka meaning “one hill”. Examples of this around Nabari are 梅ヶ丘、つつじヶ丘、桔梗が丘 etc. There are many examples across Japan but with the ending, you should expect extremely steep hills, that even cars struggle to climb.
The kanji is quite strange. ” ヶ ” is an ichi-dan counter used as a suffix to count objects and ” 丘 ” means hill- in such combinations as 丘上-きゅうじょう meaning hill top or 丘疹-きゅうしん meaning pimple (there are other combinations out there).
This was a fantastic view of Tsutsuji-gaoka just before my arrival at the dam. What you cannot see in this picture is the extremely tall hill that it is built on. Additionally, each settlement that can be seen in the distance is an entire other area- either Nabari city or small settlements surrounding it. The name should definitively be it’s warning when cycling or walking. You could argue that it should be つつじ山 instead.
The reason that you must be aware of its name is simple put: google maps. Google maps do not show you how steep the hill you climb are when using the app (they do during the planning stages on desktop).
The last product made me smile when I found it and that was a simple salad. In Japan vege salads refer to salads being made up of more vegetables than normal- which is a weird phrase now that I think about it. But to the rest of the world, a veg salad is (or at least should be) a vegetarian salad. My favourite was a salad bowl with massive shrimp on it stating vege salad.
The salad was extremely good- all crispy fresh veg, a nice mix of oats and rice and a sort-of miso dressing (extremely Japanese) but went well never the less.
Strangely enough, there was no problem with this product- even with the Japenglish. Check them out in Aeon supermarkets.
Thank you for reading and here’s to many more blog posts to come.