The reservoir is located in Kawachi in Yahata-higashi Ward, upstream of the Itabitsu River which feeds into the ocean at Hiagari in Kokura-kita Ward. The cycling road is along the shore of the lake and bicycles can be rented at the Kawachi Cycling Center. Nearby is the Kawachi Hot Spring (Ajisai-no-Yu Baths), where you can chill out after perspiring all the way up to the reservoir. And when you are feeling refreshed, you can ride back down to where you started. This course comes with high recommendations.
When you ride up the long hill from Yahata-higashi Ward toward the Kawachi Reservoir, it stretches out in front of your eyes with its abundant water. The rows of cherry trees planted on the shore attract a lot of visitors who arrive to view the cherry blossoms in spring. In summer, visitors can also enjoy the wild birds playing among the fresh new leaves, while in autumn they can explore the mountainside while viewing the colorful autumn leaves which form a carpet on the ground. The cycling course allows cyclists to enjoy fully the natural beauty of the changing four seasons.
The Kawachi Dam was constructed of gravity-type aggregate concrete, reflecting the epitome of civil engineering technology as construction existed at that time. Its majestic, retro appearance evokes a feeling of warmth and nostalgia. Named the largest dam in the East, it was designated as a Heritage of Industrial Modernization in 2007. It has survived until today with no major leaks and is still in full operation. With its imposing figure towering up into the air, you cannot help but to stop and get off your bike to admire its presence.
There is a cycling road along the lakeshore which gives you an exhilarating feeling, as if you were biking on the water. Partway along is the bright red arched Minami Kawachi Bridge which extends to the Kawachi Reservoir and was built to secure industrial water for the Yawata Steelworks. It is a lenticular truss bridge constructed with a combination of iron materials. Due to its shape, it is called an arch bridge. There have been three bridges of this type constructed in Japan, but this is the only one to survive and was designated an Important Cultural Property (by the national government). It is a beautiful structure whose elegant “S” shape curves reflect in the surface of the lake water. Today only pedestrians and bicycles are allowed to cross over it.
After leisurely enjoying the nature-blessed cycling road, you should stop into the Kawachi Hot Spring Ajisai-no-Yu Baths to wash away the perspiration from pottering around all day. The Kawachi Hot Spring Ajisai-no-Yu Baths is a hot spring facility inside the Hobashira Nature Park. From its outdoor baths and their cavernous baths, you can enjoy a sweeping view of the surrounding mountains. These baths have earned high recommendations.