Visit to World Heritage “Sekiyoshi Sluice Gate of Yoshino Leat”

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※地元・鹿児島県民の筆者がこの記事を書いています。

This post is also available in: 日本語

I visited world heritage Sekiyoshi Sluice Gate of Yoshino Leat. The place is registered as the world heritage on 2015.7.5. I decided to go to the place so that many people will know much about the world heritage in my hometown.

 

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Visit to Sekiyoshi Sluice Gate of Yoshino Leat

I visited the place with my wife (pregnant). 20 minutes drive from downtown of Kagoshima City. The paddy field stretches at Yoshino where the world heritage is located. Sky was crystal blue. It was December but it was mildly warm at that day.

Yoshino Kagoshima City Japan

There is a free parking lot near the heritage. We walked about 200m after we parked the car while enjoying the above beautiful scenery.

The road was made to reach the heritage place, but when we were there the road was drenched since it had rained the day before. So, I was really worried about whether my pregnant wife slipped. The road is not paved and I think that it is usually wet even if it weren’t for rain. When you visit the heritage, please wear sports shoes so as not to slip.

 

My Video of Sekiyoshi Water Sluice of Yoshino Leat

We made an explanation video of Sekiyoshi Sluice. I hope this video helps you understand the Yoshino Leat

 

When is it constructed?

Sekiyoshi Sluice was constructed in 1852, the end of Edo Period (1603-1868). Shimazu Nariakira ruled Satsuma Domain (old name of western Kagoshima) and lead this construction program.

 

Bries Explanation of Sekiyoshi Sluice

We came to the Yoshino Leat which is the starting point of Sekiyoshi Sluice. The sluice stretches about 7 km goes through 18 tunnels before it drains into Kagoshima (Kinko) Bay at Shuseikan, where water was utilized for industrialization.

Sekiyoshi Sluice of Yoshino Gate

 

 

Importance of Sekiyoshi Sluice no.1

Powerful flow of great amount of water impressed us. There was no river or water source near Shuseikan to provides it with water supply to operate water mill before Sekiyoshi Sluice is constructed. It took an enormous labor power to construct the sluice and take water to Shuseikan from Yoshino leat which is about 7 km away from Shuseikan. Without the water, Japan would never achieve industrialization and modernization.

 

Importance of Sekiyoshi Sluice no.2

The large parts of Kagoshima’s land consists of volcanic ash. The ash easily absorbs water and it is very difficult to make water sluice on it. The Sekiyoshi Sluice is constructed carefully so that it avoids ash soils and it runs on rocks. The construction technique is astonishing in thinking of the level of that period (more than 150 years ago!). 

 

Whole Picture of Yoshino Leat

There was a explanatory picture which illustrated Yoshino Leat which is the starting point of Sekiyoshi Sluice. However, but we found it difficult to understand it. So, I prepared the following picture. Red line is the position where a dam was existed. Blue line indicates the place where water was taken into Sekiyoshi Sluice.

関吉の疎水溝

 

Following picture illustrates the side view of Yoshino Leat.

sekiyoshi sluice yoshino leat kagoshima

 

End Point of Sekiyoshi Sluice

On the other day I discovered the ending point of Sekiyoshi Sluice near Senganen Park. The sluice is not found on the brochure of Senganden. It is located on the back side of Reverberatory and Tsurugane Shrine. There was no road to see the sluice and it was hard for me to walk on mountainous steep. If you go there by yourself, please watch your step! The sluice is completely dry and there was no water flowing, but I could imagine that water flew powerfully 150 years ago. Thick moss covers piled stones.

関吉の疎水溝

See Article of Tsurugane Shrine (Shimazu Clan’s Shrine)

 

Access to Sekiyoshi Sluice of Yoshino Leat

  • Access (Car) : Get off Hightway at Satsuma-Yoshida IC and drive 15 minutes. Or, drive from Kagoshima-Chuo Station about 30 minutes. There is a free parking lot.
  • Access (Bus) : Take bus of Midorigaoka・Ishikidanchi Line or Honjo Line at Kagoshima-Chuo Station and get off at a bus stop “Shimoda”. Walk 12 minutes.
  • Note: road to sluice can be muddy. Please wear sport shoes.

 

Map

 

Heritages of Japan’s Industrial Revolution during Meiji Period

Water of the sluice played crucial role as the power source of Shuseikan.

This heritage is also important for Shuseikan.

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