Doai Station

Ghost Stations in Japan

Trains are an important means of commuter transport between major cities and urban areas in Japan. The Shinkansen network or bullet trains presently link most of Japan’s major cities on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu with the Hokkaido links. Visitors to the country are amazed by the trains’ maintenance and efficiency.

Ghost stations or hikyō station (秘境駅, hikyō eki), “secluded station”, can be found around Japan. They are often located in remote mountain areas and places that once had a thriving human population. They are railway stations that hardly see any passengers or are completely isolated and the areas have very few homes and inhabitants.  Because of the lack in passengers, the trains no longer make regular stops. Takanobu Ushiyama, a writer and a renowned railfan coined the term hikyō eki. He documented his train travels that resulted in the sudden attention for secluded stations.

Some popular hikyō stations:Amarube Station

Amarube Station

Amarube Station

Amarube Station in Hyogo Prefecture, is a 41- meter tall railway bridge along San’in Coast facing Sea of Japan on the west side of Amarube Viaduct. The red steel viaduct was replaced in 2010 by a concrete bridge. Part of the site remains as an observation deck called ‘Sora no Eki (空の駅, Station in Sky).Ikutora Station

Ikutora Station

Ikutora Station

Ikutora Station (幾寅駅, Ikutora-eki), on the Nemuro Main Line of JR Hokkaido in Manamifurano, opened on December 6, 1902. The station was made popular in the 1999 film Poppoya, and was the setting for the fictional Horomai Station in Yasuo Furuhata’s film. It garnered fame among fans and was renovated to give them a more authentic experience.Doai Station

Doai Station

Doai Station

Doai Station (土合駅, Doai-eki) in Minakami, Gunma is most notable for having two single side platforms. One is elevated while the other is located underground within the Shin-Shimizu Tunnel. The station runs unattended with the underground tunnel at about 230 feet below ground. The underground platform has no escalator or elevator and can only be accessed using stairs.

Koboro Station

Koboro Station in Hokkaido is said to be the most notable hikyō-eki. It runs 87 yards between two tunnels with three of its corners steep cliffs and lush forests while the other faces the Uchiura Bay. The area having no roads close by is practically inaccessible unless by ship or train.

Check out Koboro Station in this video: