Japanese Plumber Creates Handmade Waterfall of Ice in His Backyard

all photos sourced from Google Maps

For the past 7 years, Toru Matsui, a plumber who lives in the mountainous Inabucho town of Aichi prefecture, has taken on an ambitious annual art project. Each winter, as temperatures fall and tourists begin to dwindle, Matsui’s artwork becomes a beacon of light that encourages visitors to travel out to his neck of the woods to see his waterfall of ice.

Titled “hyoubaku,” which is the Japanese word for wateralls that have frozen over, Matsui created the structure with the help of his entire family. It’s made from a complex wooden latticed structure that was built on a sloping hill on Matsui’s property. Using his vocational training in plumbing, Matsui built an irrigation system that carries water from a nearby ravine, then branches out to spray the entire wooden structure with water, which freezes over to create large icicles. When completed, both its width and height measure about 20 m (65 ft) and it appears like a treacherous frozen waterfall.

Originally created in 2011, Matsui & sons improve on the structure each year, making it slightly bigger than the last. In 2012 they installed LED lights to illuminate the ice in the evening, which has proven popular for visitors. According to the local tourism association, the waterfall attracted 3500 people last year. If you want to visit, here is the location on Google Maps.

1 Comment

  1. Fantastic work. I’m loving the initiative. We need more art self-initiated art that gives to the community

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