The "Takinoue Power Plant" was built in 1925 as a private power generation facility for the Hokkaido Coal Ship company. This building, with its red brick facade and classic feel, was inducted as a Hokkaido heritage site in 2001, marking the cultural aspect of "Sorachi coal mining life."
In 1994 the building was transferred to the Hokkaido Business Administration, which used it as a hydroelectric power plant until 2010. They reported that the plant generated enough electricity to power about 480 households per year. Currently the building is under renovation, and operation is scheduled to resume in 2015.
"Hydroelectric power, once created, can be used for an extremely long time with proper maintenance. This building is a great example of that practice in action," says Mr. Izumiyama, manager at the Hokkaido Business Administration Yubarigawa Generation Office.
For this article I was granted special permission to tour the inside of the plant, however regular visitors will only be able to tour the grounds around the building. Even so, the tour of the grounds provides a truly majestic view of the building and its more than 80 years of history.
The star mark you can see above the large window on the building's facade is Hokkaido's "North Coal" company logo. The red stained-glass in the logo inspired many workers at this factory with the knowledge that their work helped to power the Yubari area.
By the way, can you see the black marks colored bricks here and there on the exterior of the building? Where it kind of looks like the bricks used to be covered in ink or painted with charcoal?
Mr. Izumiyama told us that "during the second world war, these bricks were all painted black in order to camouflage the building."
▲ Can you see where the black on the bricks still remains?
Takinoue Power plant has stood throughout the years silently providing power as Yubari changed around it. The building is located inside "Takinoue Park" which is famous for its fall foliage, so during this fall season please stop by and enjoy the sight of the historical brick building surrounded by autumn colors.
滝の上発電所 (Takinoue Power Plant)
■ Location: Takinoue, Yubari
■ Contact Information:
北海道企業局 (Hokkaido Business Administration)
TEL : 011-231-4111 (Please ask the representative for extension: 32782)
■ Important information:
※ Tours which cover the grounds and facade of the building are possible.
※ Tours of the premises and facade require prior permission.
※ Due to renovations tours inside the building are not possible at this time.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
(Photographs by Hokkaido Likers Writer - Megane.)