Minami Aso Shirakawa Water Source
Shirakawa Suigen is located at 2052 Shirakawa, Minami Aso Village, Aso County, Kumamoto Prefecture.
It is a famous spring water spot that has been selected as one of Japan’s top 100 best water sources, and is popular as a representative water source for the Minamiaso Spring Group, attracting tourists from all over Japan.
From the road, follow the boardwalk that is maintained as shown below.
In the river below, children can play in the water, but it’s quite cold, so it’s not a place where you can bring your swimsuit to play.
Rain that falls on the Aso caldera seeps into the ground and gushes out of the water source. 60 tons of abundant spring water flows out every minute into a river about 5 meters wide.
Now, the Shirakawa water source is approaching.
This is where you pay your entrance fee.
The water temperature is around 14 degrees Celsius and pH 7.1 throughout the year, and because of the high degree of clarity, you can see a lot of water rising up the sand at the bottom of the pond and gushing out.
The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake seemed to have had little impact.
If you bring your own plastic bottle, you can drink the soft water, which is reputed to be the most delicious and famous water in western Japan.
However, if you are worried about your tummy, you may want to purchase heat-treated water.
You can see that the sand on the bottom of the water is soft and bulging, and that water is coming out of the spring.
Kirin Afternoon Tea – Ochitsuke Koishin" was shot on location in Shirakawa Suigen in the summer of 2017 and is now being aired nationwide as the second of the commercials to support the reconstruction of Minamiaso, which was hit by the Kumamoto earthquake.
The actress, Moka Kamishiraishi, appeared in the film.
The baseball boy in uniform is Kai Inowaki, and his love rival is Sei Shiraishi.
The admission fee to Shirakawa Suigen is 100 yen for high school students and older and free for junior high school students and younger.
Please prepare 100 balls because there is no change due to the unattended box.
Admission is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it is possible that the hours may vary depending on the season.
By train, it’s a 15-minute walk from Aso Shirakawa Station on the Minami Aso Railway/Takamori Line.
There are two parking lots for a total of 200 cars, but it’s a five-minute walk to the Shirakawa water source.
PET bottles for drinking water are also available at the concession stand.
Around Shirakawa Suigen, there are about 10 cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, and it has been turned into a tourist attraction.
It takes about 20 to 40 minutes from the parking lot to get there and back.
Yoshida Castle donation pumping yard
The Yoshida Castle donation pumping yard is also one of the water sources of the Minami-Aso Shirakawa system, and its address is 1213, Yoshida, Minami-Aso Village, Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture.
When Yoshida Castle was built nearby, the spring was surrounded by stones and turned into a water pumping place, and it is said that it is a spring where human hands have been added.
In some cases, it is explained that it is a venerable source of water that only a lord named Monndokami Yoshida, a vassal of the Aso family, could drink.
There are some people who say that the water from this Yoshida Castle’s Gokenjo-Kuubu-jo is tastier.
At a pH of 7.3, the reason it tastes so good is apparently that the ingredients contain a white substance called “halloysite".
It is close to the parking lot (10 cars) and is paved, so you can fetch water without worrying about the weather.
It’s about 1.3km from Aso Shirakawa Station on the Minami Aso Railway, about 20 minutes’ walk away.
Other water sources nearby include Koike Water Source, Takesaki Water Source, Ikenogawa Water Source, Shioysha Water Source, and Myojin Pond Meisui Park.
Takamori Spring Water Tunnel Park
Takamori Spring Water Tunnel Park is, as the name implies, a water spring related to the “tunnel" and is located at 1034-2 Takamori, Takamori-cho, Aso County.
The clean water flows along the wooden boardwalk and gushes out 32 tons per minute.
During the era of the National Railway, construction work on the Trans-Kyushu Railway, which is about 27 km long, connecting the Takamori Line and the Takachiho Line, began in December 1973.
However, in February 1977, during the construction of the Takamori Tunnel (planned extension of 6500m), which was being excavated, a large amount of water suddenly flowed out of the tunnel.
The construction of the tunnel was halted due to repeated water outflow accidents, but the construction budget was frozen when the National Railways Reconstruction Law was passed in 1980, and 550m of the 2km-long tunnel was turned into a park and the “Takamori Spring Tunnel Park" was built on the site.
The part of the park where the Takamori station was supposed to be relocated when it opened.
Only the inside of the tunnel is charged.
It is really a single-track tunnel for trains and railroads, but the inside of the tunnel seems to be rather strong, and it didn’t seem to be affected by the Kumamoto earthquake at all.
At the back of the tunnel, there is a fountain called “Water Pearl" where water beads move mysteriously with water flow and special strobe effect.
Admission is 300 yen for junior high school students and older, 100 yen for elementary school students, and free for preschoolers.
The park is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from April to October and until 5:00 pm in the winter from November to March.
Although the museum is closed on Mondays, visitors can learn about the importance of water, global environmental issues, and the history of the Takamori Tunnel.
It is a 10-minute walk from Takamori Station, the last stop on the Minamiaso Railway.
Parking is also available.
Sightseeing ownership time is about 30-50 minutes.