Why this HUGE WATER WEEL there?
In the town of Yamaoka, in Ena city, of Gifu prefecture, there is a famous region for pottery material that is called Gaerome. Gaerome means that the granite rock had weathered to clay, which is includes grain quartz, and it looks like a frog’s eye.
Around 1868 to 1926, community people used a water wheel to crush stones for pottery stones.
Toward 1926 to 1989, the Origawa dam had been constructed in this area. Before constructing the dam (now the town is under water), the town had lots of water wheels and after that they made the largest wooden water wheel, it was regarded as a symbol of industrial heritage.
The diameter of this wheel is 24 meters, and it is made from Western Red Cedar. This wooden water wheel is the largest one in Japan.
Also under the water wheel, there is the bridge which is called “Youn-hashi” in Japanese or called “Megane-hashi”, which means The Eyeglass Bridge.
Around 1920, there was the electric light office in Tajimi (Now called the Chubu electric company), and this bridge was made to cross to Origawa, which is the third water power plant.
The bridge has a span of 20.1 meters and 2.7 meters in width, and it was made from local material which are granite rocks and formed the three-span stone arch bridge.
Inside of this facility, there is the restaurant where you can have traditional foods and they sell homemade vegetables, local processed foods, specialty productions and folk crafts at the store. Also around the road station, you can walk in the vicinity and sight see around the surrounding Origawa dam.