"The North Sea's Main Canal" - Sorachi Region. - Part 15 of our Hokkaido Heritage Series.
The North Sea's main canal stretches about 80 kilometers from the town of Nanporo to Akabira city. It is the longest agricultural supply canal in Hokkaido, bringing rich water to Akabira, Sunagawa, Bibai, Mikasa, and Iwamizawa Cities, as well as to the towns of Naie and Nanporo. This canal plays in important supporting role in the production of Hokkaido grain.
The canal's history stretches all the way back to the Meiji period.
Originally planned in 1909, construction was delayed due to impacts felt from the First World War. Soon after that the Great Kanto Earthquake pushed construction back even further, but in 1924 they were able to break ground.
The canal was eventually completed in 1929.
For portions of the canal which pass through cities or residential areas a lid was put over the water. Parks and plazas were developed for these areas to give locals a chance to enjoy the feature.
These areas are often crowded with families enjoying the cool water during the hot summer months.
In addition, the "North Sea Land Improvement Districts" (Net Hokkai) play an important role in promoting the canal and related events.
Some of these activities include tours of facilities, landscaping events along the canal in which locals can help plant trees, or even walking events.
Although the canal may not be well known to the public, it has been an indispensable part of Hokkaido's agriculture. In the region it is definitely important enough to justify being part of the Hokkaido Heritage landmarks.
On the "Net Hokkai" homepage below you can get a look at the main walks along the canal and even check out details about the main facilities. Feel free to take a look and learn more about this fascinating canal.
北海幹線用水路 (North Sea Canal) Website
(North Sea Land Improvement Districts)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - T・H)
Photographs courtesy of 北海土地改良区.