Unique Train Stations in Japan

Traveling is one of the most enjoyable things in one’s lifetime. What do you enjoy doing during your trip? Could it be sightseeing, food, an attraction, or simply meeting someone?

Public transportation is well developed in Japan, so it is easy to travel without a car. Today, I’ll introduce some unique train stations which may be of interest to some tourists.
Ok! Let’s depart!

Tokyo Station (東京駅)

First of all, I would like to introduce JR or “Japan Railway” Tokyo Station which is considered to be the entrance of Japan. For convenience, I’ll be referring to the Japan Railway as the JR from now on.

A lot of JR lines and Tokyo Metro lines are connected, and over one million passengers use Tokyo Station every day. The station first opened in 1914, and its brick building has been a symbol of Japanese modernization.

Marunouchi Central Entrance (丸の内中央口)

Yaesu Centrance Entrance (八重洲中央口)

Now, I would like to show you another interesting station. It’s on the JR Takasaki Line (高崎線) located at Fukaya (深谷) Station. As you can see from the picture below, this station was designed after Tokyo Station and is called “Mini Tokyo Station.” Isn’t it interesting?

Fukaya Station

Animal-themed stations

Next, here are some uniquely shaped stations.

Kishi (貴志) Station, operated by the Wakayama Electric Railway (和歌山電鐵), has a well known stationmaster, “Tama,” which happens to be a cat. The station building was designed after a cat and also has a Tama cafe, museum, and shrine within the station. A lot of tourists come to visit Tama whenever he is working.

Kishi station building / Tama shrine / Station master “Tama”

Situated on the JR Tsuyama (津山) Line at Kamenoko (亀甲) Station, the design was taken after the sightseeing spot in the area which roughly translates to “turtle stone” in English. You can see many turtle-related objects as well as real turtles in a tank at the station.

Kamenoko Station

Have you ever heard of an imaginary creature called the “Kappa”? The JR Kyushu Tanushimaru (田主丸) Station’s building is shaped like of the kappa because the area has been recognized as the origin of this legend. The station building was designed by a group of technical high school students as a restoration project for their area.

Kappa shaped Tanushimaru Station

JR Fukui (福井) Station was remodeled following the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (北陸新幹線). Fukui Prefecture is a greatly renowned area where the fossils of dinosaurs had been discovered. There are three dinosaur monuments which are situated in front of the station at the western exit. Also, dinosaurs are painted on the walls of the station building. They are extremely eye-catching decorations, so you should try to visit there at least once.

Dinosaur Monuments and Wall Paintings in JR Fukui Station

Sightseeing Inspired Stations

I’ll show you some beautiful stations which took after the sightseeing spots to symbolize the area.

JR Kanazawa (金沢) Station was renovated due to the creation of the Hokuriku Shinkansen. The gateway to the station was designed to be in the shape of a drum, hence where the name “Tsuzumi Mon” (鼓門) comes from. When people think of Kanazawa, the first thing that comes to mind is “Kenrokuen Gardens.” However, the design of this building could possibly be connected to the traditional arts, especially with  music and performances like Noh (能).

The station itself is domelike in appearance, and the more practical purpose of this circular design is to shelter guests from the unpredictable changes to the weather. Thus, the name “Omotenashi Dome” refers to the hospitality that the city provides to those without an umbrella.

The Gateway of Kanazawa Station

There’s no need to explain about a Izumo Yokota (出雲横田) Station. It’s located on a JR West Kisuki (木次) Line which is modeled after Izumo Taisha shrine. The station building was made of wood and with a shimenawa rope.

This area is famous for its Izumo myth and is known as the place of Kushi Inada princess (奇稲田姫). Why not visit the area and come in contact with the legendary stories?

Izumo Yokota Station

As you know, Kyoto is the leading sightseeing spot, and many tourists come to Kyoto everyday. On top of that, Arashiyama (嵐山) is an outstanding place to go around. The Arashiyama Station of the Keifuku Electric Railroad (京福電鉄) is a terminal and is considered to be a center of Sagano (嵯峨野) area.

The station has a shopping arcade, restaurants, a foot bath, and a kimono forest which are wrapped over the kimono gowns. They are really photogenic, so why not drop in for some rest during your trip?

Arashiyama Station of the Keifuku Electric Railroad

Stations located on the seaside

Japan is an island country, so you can easily enjoy the ocean view from the train. I’ll introduce some stations which have breathtaking landscapes. I’d like to briefly explain more about them with pictures.

Kamakura High School Station (鎌倉高校前駅) is operated by the Enoshima Electric Railway (江ノ島電鉄) and well known place as a location of animations or movies. A lot of fans visit to take photos from not only the country but also overseas.

Kamakura High School Station

JR Shimonada (下灘) Station is located on Ehime Prefecture and operated by the JR Yosan (予讃) Line. It’s just rural, but the ocean view attracts people. You will be obsessed with the superb landscape and forget the passing time.

JR Yosan Line Shimonada Station

Lastly, I’ll introduce a Todoroki (驫木) Station which is on the JR Gono Line (五能線). This railway runs along the sea of Japan. The landscapes change by the four seasons, so visitors will not get tired of looking at them.

JR Gono Line Todoroki Station

Final note 

How did you like the topic? I hope that this article inspires you into visiting these places. Japan has a lot of subtle connections that they use in their stations to reflect their areas. People with a keen eye can start to find these within major or minor stations. Thank you for reading to the end. I’ll talk to you again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *