Can we see the ocean from Horobetsu Dam?


The image of a dam is that it rises in the mountains deep inland, but if the conditions are right, it can also be built close to the coast. The Japan Dam Association’s website “Dam Handbook” (ダム便覧, damu binran) lists such dams as “dams with a view of the ocean”. In Hokkaido, the Asari Dam (朝里ダム, asari damu), Omu Dam (雄武ダム, ōmu damu) and Horobetsu Dam (幌別ダム, horobetsu damu) are listed. Among them, there is a bit of information about Horobetsu Dam that concerns me. It’s the part that says, “But the top is off-limits and the ocean is said to be out of sight.” It seems to be on the list of dams with ocean views but not backed up.


A search did not turn up any photos of the evidence. No one in the public peaple, let alone the Japan Dam Association, seems to have ever seen such a scene. Then I’ll go and see. However, as I wrote above, the top is off-limits. I don’t know what to do. Good news for me, who is troubled with the festival is held once a year in the park in front of the dam, and there is an event to enter the top. That’s it!

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Do research before the festival. The distance from the dam to the ocean is 2.7 km in a straight line. The top of Horobetsu Dam is about 25m above sea level. At this time, the distance to the horizon is 17.850km, so we can see the ocean sufficiently by calculation. However, this completely ignore buildings, so I’m still not sure if this is an actual dam with the city of Horobetsu in front of it. That’s when I remembered Google Eeath. It’s a simple but easy way to show buildings, so we can see the ocean just in front of we as soon as we look at it! Expectations for the day!


This is the Horobetsu Dam (The photo taken in ). This is an earth dam constructed on the Iburi-Horobetsu River (胆振幌別川, iburi horobetsu gawa), which flows through Noboribetsu City (登別市, noboribetsu shi). It was built in to supply industrial water to Muroran City (室蘭市, muroran shi). Incidentally, I could of course see the ocean from the position where I took the picture. If I couldn’t see it from here, it’s over.


The festival is held every year at Kawakami Park (川上公園, kawakami kōen) in front of the dam as a summer festival in Noboribetsu City. This year , the festival will be held for two days, and . According to the weather forecast, it’s supposed to start raining in the afternoon of June 30, so I decided to take our chances on the morning of June 30. I booked the first one right after the start of the festival and got the right to attend the tour.


Aww! I forgot about the highway! There’s a highway viaduct in front of the dam! Depending on its height, it could be the biggest enemy blocking the ocean. I don’t know how high this is because I haven’t done my research. I have to actually climb the dam to see.


Now it’s time. The cold iron gate, which is usually closed, opens at and the chosen participants are welcomed inside. The weather was cloudy. Even in Hokkaido, where there is no rainy season, there is still no relief because sea fog tends to occur on the Pacific side at this time of year.


This is the Horobetsu Dam as seen from inside the fence. How many years did it take me to get here? As a matter of fact, I tried to take part in this tour and , but failed to do so.


Before entering the fence and climbing, we’ll be given precautions and a brief explanation of the dam. Well, the staff voice was so low that I couldn’t hear what he said. Why don’t they get him a loudspeaker?

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Then, we have started to climbing. Naturally I can’t see ocean yet.


I’m about halfway there.


About 2/3.


And top.


In front of us, the Muroran Industrial Water Pond (室蘭工業用水池, muroran kōgyō yōsui chi) (or named “Lake of Fujin” (不盡の湖, fujin no ike)) are spread out and Mt. Kamuinupuri (カムイヌプリ, kamuinupuri) rises in the distance. And can we see the ocean?





I can. I can see it. We can see the horizon far ahead, without the sea fog beyond the highway. Please delete the words “and the ocean is said to be out of sight” from the dam handbook. The ocean can definitely be seen from the top of the Horobetsu Dam. To be honest, I was very relieved when I went up to the top and saw the ocean right away. Because I only need one example to prove to see the ocean, but I have to go to every part of the dam to prove that we can’t see the ocean.


Q. Can we see the ocean from Horobetsu Dam?


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