Watersheds of Gifu
Rivers of Hida
Our previous post was about the meeting of the Maze and Hida Rivers in Kanayama. The river systems of Hida are very interesting since they are in the central part of the island of Honshu. Thus there are rivers flowing to the north to the Sea of Japan, and south to the Pacific.
Hida River. The Hida River (飛騨川, Hida-gawa) begins in the mountains of Norikura (乗鞍岳 Norikura-ga-take) in Takayama, northern Gifu Prefecture. It flows southward through Gifu-ken and joins the Kiso River in Minokamo city. Photo below, right, is the Hida-gawa just north of its confluence with the Maze-gawa.
Maze River. The Maze River (馬瀬川, Maze-gawa) begins further south and west than the Hida. It flows through Gero-shi and into the Hida River at Kanayama. Photo below, left.
Map of Gifu (above)
The watershed areas of the Gifu river systems are shown in the map of Gifu-ken. Gifu’s neighbors on the west are Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, and Shiga, and Mie in the southwest. On the east, Gifu is bordered by Nagano with Aichi at the bottom right, the southeast.
Major Watersheds of Gifu
Watershed is written: 流域 ryuu-iki. The large watersheds systems are as follows. The upper left and right on the map:
神通川 Jinzu-gawa also called 宮川 Miya-gawa
These river systems drain into Toyama Bay. The three large systems in the middle, from the left:
木曽川 Kiso-gawa+飛騨川 Hida-gawa
Below them is
and two others. Since the Maze-gawa flows into the Hida-gawa and the Hida-gawa in turn into the Kiso-gawa, these rivers all drain into the Pacific Ocean at Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya.
Kiso River. The Kiso River (木曽川, Kiso-gawa) is 229 km long,
flowing through Nagano, Gifu, Aichi, and Mie prefectures. It is the main river of the Kiso Three Rivers together with the Ibi-gawa and Nagara-gawa. In our post at Yamanomiya, we showed the whirlpool in the Kiso-gawa at Kawakami Jinja in Yaotsu town in Minokamo (photo at left).
The Iwaya Dam, indicated in red
in the center of the map, is located very close to the Kanayama Megaliths. Note the Maze-gawa flowing south from the dam to the town of Kanayama where it joins with the Hida-gawa from the northeast.
Jinzu-Miya River. The Miya River (宮川 Miya-gawa) flows from Gifu-ken northward to Toyama-ken. When it reaches Toyama, it is called Jinzū River (神通川 Jinzū-gawa). It is 120 km (75 mi) in length and has a watershed of 2,720 km2 (1,050 sq mi). Both of these river names, the Miya (shrine) and the Jinzu (movement of kami), are respectful of the kami of rivers.
The Divide. A watershed divide is called bunsui rei 分水嶺. Where is the divide of central Honshu? Hint: logic tells us that it would be located at the intersection of the four large watersheds, to the northwest of the Iwaya Dam. We will have more in a later post.