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遠賀川水源地ポンプ室 九州山口の世界遺産

Water Supply Facility Still Operating After 100 Years



Role of the Pumping Station and Flow of Water

It stores Onga River water in a reservoir and feeds it to the Yawata Works, about 12 km away. The water is essential for cooling the molten steel.

An operating brick pumping station designated as a World Heritage Site.

This World Heritage Site is a water supply facility for the Yawata Works located about 12 km from the mouth of the Onga River. It started operation in Nakama City in 1910 to compensate for a shortage of industrial water following the completion of the first stage of the expansion of the Yawata Works. It is a classical Meiji Period brick structure. Its source of energy switched from steam to electricity and it continues to operate even to this day. In 2015, it was registered as a World Heritage Site and has attracted attention as one of the Sites of Japan´s Meiji Industrial Revolution.

* The facility is located inside the Yawata Works and not open to the public.
Address: 1-3-1 Dotenouchi, Nakama-shi, Fukuoka

Inquiries: World Heritage Sites Promotional Section, Nakama City Hall
TEL: 093-245-4665

Nearest Stations:
Approx. 10-min walk from Kibogaoka Kokomae Station, Chikuho Electric Railroad Line
Approx. 20-min walk from Chikuzen Habu Station on the JR Chikuho Honsen Line

People Involved in the Construction of the Onga River Pumping Station

The Onga River Pumping Station was completed in 1910 on the right bank of the Onga River in the then Sokoino Village, Onga County, to obtain water from the Onga River as a new water source. The construction was done in conjunction with the first stage of an expansion project to double the iron and steel production output at the Kanei Yawata Works. The design supervision was in the hands of Professor Nakajima Eiji at the Tokyo Imperial University, known as the father of Japan’s modern water services. Kamei Shigemaro, who oversaw water supply projects in Yokohama, Hakodate, Tokyo, and other areas, handled the surveying and construction at the time. The design of the pumping station building bears the signature of Funahashi Yoshikazu, who was involved in the construction of the Nara Imperial Museum (present day Nara National Museum) and the Akasaka Palace State Guest House.

Boilers and Pumps Imported from England


The boiler installed in the Onga River Pumping Station was fabricated by the Babcock & Wilcox Company, which had the majority of the market share during the Meiji Period. The Davey Company produced 3-stage expansion engine pumps for water service facilities. The Miike Coal Mine, one of the sites of the Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution, installed a Davey pump for pumping water in its mine shafs, which served to keep mining operations running smoothly. It is presumed that large pumps which earned a solid track record overseas were selected to be utilized in important facilities for feeding industrial water which is critical to iron and steel making.

Supplying Drinking Water to Kita-Kyushu Region


ndustrial water was not only fed to the Yawata Works, but was also supplied to waterworks in the then Wakamatsu-cho, Yahata City, and Tobata City, playing a large role in enhancing the urban sanitation infrastructure. Also, it is the largest Meiji Period brick water supply pump in Japan today.

There are guided tours of the Onga River Pumping Station World Heritage Site.

In addition to the pumping station, the tours also pass through Nakama City which has several modern industrial legacy sites, including spots from the Edo to Meiji Periods, such as the Onga-Hori River and the Onga River Iron Bridge. The tourist guides accompanying the tours utilize this cultural heritage to convey the wonderful aspects of Nakama City to visitors. For details on scheduled tour events and to apply for guided tours, please see below.

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