Ingenious Sprinkler System Turns Entire Japanese Hamlet into a Water Fountain

Kayabuki no Sato, a small hamlet in Kyoto famous for its traditional thatched roof houses, features a concealed sprinkler system that turns the whole place into a water fountain.

Known as Miyama’s Thatched Village, Kayabuki no Sato has a higher percentage of thatched roof farmhouses than any other place in Japan. This makes it very popular with tourists, who love walking among the over 40 traditional thatched roof abodes and even spending the night in one of them, but also very vulnerable to fire. Local officials realized this in the year 2000, when a fire burned down the archive center, so apart from asking people to be vigilant at all times, they decided to install a special sprinkler system to cover the whole hamlet. They test it twice a year, usually in May and December, and people from all over Japan and beyond come to see the powerful sprinklers in action.

Photo © Miyama Tourism Association

You would thing that dozens of automated sprinklers dotting a traditional Japanese hamlet would be an eyesore, and you would be right. Which is why local authorities decided to maintain the picturesque look of Kayabuki no Sato by concealing the 62 metal sprinklers in small wooden houses similar to the authentic ones. When the system is activated, the roofs of these houses open up like tiny transformers clearing the way for the sprinklers inside to shoot jets of water high into the sky.


The bi-yearly testing of the sprinkler system is such a spectacular event that it has become known as the Kayabuki no Sato water hose festival. Strong jets of water are shot into the air by all 62 strategically-placed sprinklers, at the same time, to cover all the thatched roof houses. As if that wasn’t an impressive enough sight, on sunny days, the sprinklers also create rainbows over the village.


So if you’re ever in Kyoto during the months of May and December and want to see something truly spectacular and unique, head over to Kayabuki no Sato, in the Miyama rural area, for the water hose festival. You won’t regret it!

Source: Spoon & Tamago via Neatorama