Less than a mile downstream of Sogi Falls lies the ruins of Sogi Power Plant, an important historical site related to Japan’s modernization. Built in 1907, the plant used the fast-flowing water to generate electricity. It was small in scale and low in voltage, limiting it to supply only local businesses, but it was an important step to Japan’s creation of dams and large-scale plants. The Shimotaki Power Plant which could supply the whole of Tokyo was built only five years later, in 1912. Sogi Power Plant was built in collaboration with German engineers who used European designs and technology. Water directed downstream powered four generators which operated until 1965 when Tsuruda Dam was built downstream and made the plant obsolete.
Today, the ruins of Sogi Power Plant are registered as part of Japan’s industrial heritage. Due to planned flooding behind Tsuruda Dam, they are submerged for much of the year but are monitored and maintained to ensure their preservation.
For the best views of the ruins, visit from May to September before the waters rise and cover them. During that period, the surrounding vegetation is also lush and green, providing a great backdrop to the red-brick ruins.
Isa Forest of Medicinal Herbs On the way from the car park to the ruins, check out the many varieties of medicinal herbs in the small garden area. Isa is well known for its wild medicinal herbs, which thrive because of the area’s radical temperature variation of cold winters and hot, humid summers. Local people therefore have historically used herbs to treat illness or injury and to maintain their everyday health.
15 minutes from Isa City center by car
0995-23-1311 ※Japan's International Country Code is 81