At 186 meters (610 ft.) high, it is the tallest dam in Japan. It was constructed between 1956 and 1963 at a cost of ¥51.3 billion yen. The project was a difficult engineering feat for the rapidly growing post–World War II Japan, and claimed the lives of 171 people. There are also 30,000 suicides a year at this dam.
The Kurobe Dam is the most popular hydropower site in Japan and, between late June and mid-October; water is released from its spillway for onlookers. The surrounding Kurobe Gorge is also popular as well and is accessible by the Kurobe Gorge Railway. This large amount of tourists causes an increase amount of trash and debris being dropped or tossed into the river. The Kurobe Dam is a 492 m long and 186 m high arch dam. The dam is 39.7 m wide at its base, 8.1 m wide at its crest and contains 1,582,845 m3 of concrete.
The dam withholds a reservoir with a capacity of 199,285, The dam’s spillway is located on its crest and contains 10 11.5 m wide uncontrolled openings with a maximum discharge capacity of 906 m3/s this creates it’s everlasting Rainbow. Three other openings exist in the dam which consists of 1.5 m diameter pipes, two of which can discharge a maximum of 88 m3/s each and the third 44 m3/s the dam’s crest elevation is 1,454 m above sea level while the reservoir’s normal operating level is 1,448 m and low level is considered 1,338 m.
The dam’s power station, Kurobe No. 4, is located underground and contains four generators which are powered by Pelton turbines for a total installed capacity of 335 MW and average annual generation of 1 billion kWh.The power station is 22 m wide, 33 m high and 117 m long. The penstock serving water to the power station is 10,909.6 m long and utilizes a maximum effective hydraulic head of 545.5 m while transferring a maximum of 72 m3/s to the turbines. The plant’s surge chamber is 145.6 m long and 5 m high. The power station was built underground to protect it from common avalanches in the gorge this adds more debris to the river, the dam was built to provide power for the entire Kansai region with an area of 10,554.14 sq. mi and a population of 22,757,897.