5 seaside stations worth visiting in Japan (part 2)
Travel enthusiasts usually have their niche, and for Taku Muramatsu, he’s passionate about train stations--in particular, only those by the ocean. Over the course of 11 years he has visited over 300 of them, logging his most memorable locales on his Seaside Station website.
Here are his 5 most memorable stations in eastern Japan.
1. Kitahama Station
(JR Senmou line/Hokkaido prefecture)
Kitahama station is a rare train station where you can actually see drift ice. The platform is located just a step away from the Okhotsk Sea, and you most likely come across the breathtaking scenery at the end of every winter. There is a small observation deck near the station for a better-look, but be mindful to dress for the bitter cold of the Hokkaido winter. The station is unmanned but there’s a cozy, retro cafe by the station to enjoy the ocean view.
2. Todoroki Station
(Gonou line/Aomori prefecture)
Todoroki station is one of the most photogenic stations in eastern Japan. You may need to be patient because the quickest route from Tokyo will take six hours, and the train only takes five round-trips in a day. Located at the tip of Honshu island, it feels like you’ve been dropped in the middle of nowhere. But it’s worth stepping out of the shack-like station and take in the panoramic ocean view. Since the beach is on the west side, you can bask in the sunset in complete, wondrous solitude.
3. Hitachi Station
(JR Joban line/Ibaraki prefecture)
This dreamy station looks more like a modern art gallery. The station was refurbished in 2011, with full glass walls on the second floor facing the Pacific Ocean that allow you to soak in the fresh colors of the sunrise early in the morning. The city “Hitachi” is named after the famous Mito daimyo from the Edo period, Mitsukuni Tokugawa, or “Mito Komon,” who was fascinated with the beauty of the sunrise in that area.
4. Nefugawa Station
(JR Tokaido Main line/Kanagawa prefecture)
Nefugawa is one of the closest stations from central Tokyo for a casual visit to a picturesque scene. Hop on to the Tokaido Main line from Tokyo station and it’s just an hour-and-a-half ride away to forget the urban restlessness with a grand view of Sagami bay. It is also a popular spot to spend to see the first sunrise of the New Year, and for ohanami when the cherry trees are in full bloom in the spring.
5. Oumigawa Station
(JR Shinetsu Main line/Niigata prefecture)
Oumigawa station is the closest station to the Sea of Japan. The platform and the railways are hugging the coastline, and you can almost feel the ocean spray. The beach is but a step away from the platform so you can wait for the train by the beach as well. As you walk up the Yoneyama bridge, you will appreciate the splendid view of the train station and the Sea of Japan.
If you want to see more of Taku Muramatsu’s seaside station selections, stay-tuned for the western Japan edition.