The G-Cans Project
December 4, 2004 12:48 AM   Subscribe

The G-Cans Project is a massive project, begun 12 years ago, to build infrastructure for preventing overflow of the major rivers and waterways spidering the city (A serious problem for Tokyo during rainy-season and typhoon season). The underground waterway is the largest in the world and sports five 32m diameter, 65m deep concrete containment silos which are connected by 64 kilometers of tunnel sitting 50 meters beneath the surface. The whole system is powered by 14000 horsepower turbines which can pump 200 tons of water a second into the large outlying edogawa river.
posted by joelf (22 comments total)
Me thinks the search function on MeFi is a little buggered, as I know this has already been posted before, but it's not coming up on search.
posted by Plinko at 12:50 AM on December 4, 2004

Here's the Photographer's site.
Those images are from his books Japan Underground I and II

I found much more here and here

Short video clips (WMV files)

Good Lord, the more you look, the more surreal it becomes. This for example. or This? what the hell is that!
And here's a Japanese KEK lab with mutant tinker toys
And what's
this place?

Thanks to boingboing for the original link and thanks a lot to AJ for figuring out all the Japanese and finding the videos and extra fun stuff!
posted by joelf at 1:00 AM on December 4, 2004

Previously posted here, but still truly amazing.

awh nuts.
posted by joelf at 1:01 AM on December 4, 2004

No problem, joelf. This is one of those websites that is worth the second look. :)
posted by Plinko at 1:03 AM on December 4, 2004

[kore wa ii desu yo]
posted by greasepig at 1:05 AM on December 4, 2004

or This? what the hell is that!

That isn't part of any sewer, it is Kamiokande, a large Japanese antineutrino detector. As antineutrinos pass through the water inside the detector, some of them will annihilate and create flashes of light. What the guys in the boat are checking are the photo multiplier tubes.

There was an accident some years ago where a majority of those tubs were destroyed. I don't remember exactly, but I think one or two of them had a structural weakness. When they filled the tank with water, it collapsed, generating a shock wave that collapsed others, etc, etc.
posted by sbutler at 1:18 AM on December 4, 2004

s/tubs/tubes/; # and i could have used some semicolons in there too. ohh well
posted by sbutler at 1:21 AM on December 4, 2004

This was in fact posted about a week ago on MetaFilter, among other blogs. I'm living in Tokyo, and asked around about are available in one small section of the tunnels in Saitama, which is a bedroom community waaaay north of metro Tokyo. In other words, this thing is really long in addition to being cavernous. The tour is possible only at a very limited time during the week (probably only in Japanese, will hafta take my gf along for translation).

/rubs hands together and grins in anticipation!
posted by zardoz at 2:42 AM on December 4, 2004

Holy shit. joelf, you more than justified the double-post with those extra links (whether they're from G-CANS or particle colliders, it doesn't matter; they're radical).

As a photography dork, I would absolutely love to be able to wander that place for a week or so with a medium-format camera and maybe some remote flashes. That would be mega.
posted by neckro23 at 4:01 AM on December 4, 2004

Dude, Saitama is a whole prefecture! That's like calling New Jersey a bedroom community. There's a lot more here than just the portion that commutes into Tokyo every morning.

But, if you go on the tour, let me know so I can go with you.
posted by donkeymon at 4:14 AM on December 4, 2004

They may be pretty pictures, but throwing more concrete at a problem (flash floods) caused by building huge urban areas without proper green water runoff zones doesn't seem so smart ...
posted by scruss at 8:14 AM on December 4, 2004

What I can't believe is that in neither this nor the other thread has anyone given a nod to the end of Marathon Man. I mean, if you and a buddy were in a place like this, how hard would it be to resist the urge to say something like "You can keep as many diamonds as you can swallow."?
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:20 AM on December 4, 2004

In kobayashi's link, is that a man climbing one of the pillars on the lower left?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:56 AM on December 4, 2004

Hooray me! :) The anitneutiron detector is magnificent looking.
posted by riffola at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2004

antineutrino sheesh. I can't type on laptops.
posted by riffola at 10:17 AM on December 4, 2004

A friend of mine told me that there's a Fark Photoshop contest based on one of the images of the massive underground chambers...

Yes, a friend!

posted by greatgefilte at 10:20 AM on December 4, 2004

Oh, and caution, large images on that there page.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:20 AM on December 4, 2004

I believe this is the official page for the project. Some highlights: profiles of the workers (How can 7, 8, 9 and 10 work with those pants?). Interactive map (long loading time).
posted by zsazsa at 11:17 AM on December 4, 2004

the mefi search works fine given a useful search term.
posted by quonsar at 12:55 PM on December 4, 2004

Thanks for the additional research - I love this stuff!
posted by carter at 1:02 PM on December 4, 2004

thanks, i saw the photo on fark and it's been killing me what the hell that would be part of. I'm actually kind of surprised that if the water level is 50m below ground that they're not generating power instead of pumping water...such a loss of pot head (sorry, civil engineering humour)
posted by NGnerd at 7:18 PM on December 4, 2004

oh, wait, so we decided those are real now. Super Cool! I assumed they were just really awesome CGI.
posted by jmgorman at 7:09 AM on December 5, 2004

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