A Cape Town Castle Military Museum tagged image from photographer – Okinawa Soba (Rob) as published on Flickr.
KANNA DAM in GINOZA, OKINAWA
Image by Okinawa Soba (Rob)
From an architectural point of view, KANNA DAM in Ginoza Township is my favorite one on Okinawa
It’s castle-like design in a picturesque setting should certainly win it a prize in a "Dam Competition".
It’s relatively small size and public accessibility from both top and bottom makes it a great spot to go with the kids to burn off their energy.
Eschewing the plain concrete facades (and the limestone boulders of the larger fill dams) that can be seen all over Okinawa, KANNA DAM offers a "castle-like" construction and exterior texture that lends itself more to romance and photography.
The preservation of Mangroves on both sides of the river immediately below the spillway, along with the many trees, flowers (in season) and the rustic red-tile roofs of the pump-houses give the whole place a much warmer feel than the straight-forward Dams found elsewhere.
You are also allowed to climb up and down BOTH sides of the dam via the "castle-like" steps on either side — a good climb for both kids and adults, broken into stages with various good angles for more pictures.
Above the dam itself, the reservoir is only to look at. Like many civilian dams on Okinawa, this one is also (unfortunately) bounded on most of its perimeter by a US Military Base — in this case, it is CAMP HANSEN.
The US Military has a KEEP OUT policy for all such Dams in Okinawa, because they don’t want any kids in kayaks (or Middle East terrorists) doing a lake-shore landing on any part of the US Military property.
However, not being all bad, and knowing that it is good policy to maintain happy relations with the local population who hosts their un-avoidable military presence, the US MARINES do allow a day of boating on the huge reservoir — ONCE A YEAR !!!
There is also a nice little museum with dioramas and displays about the area, and other "nature preserve" and park areas for family fun and exploration.
Also, just below the dam, and high on a hill, is a nice look-out tower that lets you look down over the dam and reservoir. However, if you go there, you are more likely to run into a local newspaper reporter (who is trying to keep an eye on the OSPREY movements over Camp Hansen), than you are a nature lover or a dam and mountain photographer ~ ! 😉
Only 3 miles north of the Camp Hansen Gate at Kin Ville, well worth a quick visit of you are driving north along Route 329.
(1) If you are looking for another great "Kids River" to play in like they have at KURASHIKI DAM outside of Kadena Airbase, this is NOT the Dam for you.
This is a climbing and exploring Dam, with nature for the kids taking the form of trees, flowers, plants, bugs, spiders, mud-skippers, and some nice views for the parents.
Due to the geology of the watershed, and "wetlands" purpose of the downstream area and upper nature park, the waters here are dark, and the river bottoms are naturally deep and muddy. It’s an estuary and mangrove thing ~ !
(2) If you only speak or read English, the helpful, bi-lingual national road sign directing you where to turn off 329 has been blown away by a recent Typhoon !
Further, the road to the park area below the dam is unmarked, and the signs for roads to the museum and upper dam are small, and sometimes faded.
Good luck ~ !
PS — Here’s KURASHIKI DAM outside of KADENA AIRBASE. This is the best bet for toddlers and little kids who want to play in a clear, clean, and shallow river while a parent or guardian keeps a watchful eye on them. : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/sets/72157630095850130/
かんなダム 漢那ダム 沖縄 沖縄県 宜野座村 宜野座 字漢那 漢那
DAM STATS : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanna_Dam
JAPANESE SITE with AERIAL PHOTOS : www.dc.ogb.go.jp/toukan/01dam/kanna.htm
RANDOM SOBA : www.flickriver.com/photos/24443965@N08/random/
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