You can take this clean, delicious water home with you!
Japan is a country that is greatly abundant with water.
There are clean water sources, such as springs, all throughout the country. Some of these have been designated by the nation as the 100 Best Water Sites of Japan.
We will introduce one of those, Shirakawa Spring in Kumamoto Prefecture.
Mount Aso is an active volcano that is a symbol of Kumamoto. Rainwater that falls on the caldera of Mount Aso seeps underground and wells up as spring water at the site known as Shirakawa Spring. It is said that rainwater that fell 50 years ago is now finally making its way up to the spring. From there, Shirakawa River flows through the center of Kumamoto City and into the Ariake Sea.
Shirakawa Spring is a 1.5-hour train ride from Kumamoto City Center. The pond where the spring water flows can be found within the grounds of Shirakawa Yoshimi Shrine, about five minutes from the train station. The god of water is enshrined here, and this spring has long been considered a sacred place. The water that wells up from the bottom of the pond is so remarkably beautiful that you could gaze at it for hours on end.
The water maintains a temperature of 14℃, and flows at a rate of 60 tons per minute. It feels cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. The locals come here seeking clean water to use in cooking or for coffee. You can even drink the water on-site.
If you would like to take some water with you, it would be best to bring a container, such as an empty plastic bottle. For those who want to take home a large amount of water, there is a stand nearby that sells plastic containers; please feel free to use these.
Access: Four-minute walk from Minamiaso Shirakawa Suigen Station, Minamiaso Railway
Fee: High school-aged and above, ¥100 (contribution towards environmental preservation)
Hours of Operation: 8:00 – 18:00 (subject to change depending on season)