Think of train stations in Japan and the mighty Shinjuku station is sure to come to mind for many people. That is the world’s busiest train station, and Japan monopolises the top 50 list with only five of them not in this country. However, at the other end of the scale are some tiny stations which are usually unstaffed and used by very few commuters.
Line(s): Kisei Main Line
Average No. of Daily Passengers: 3334
Just one stop south of Wakayama Station is Miyamae which has a setup reminiscent of many of the stations on the only “proper” tram line in Tokyo. By that I mean the Toden Arakawa Line which in recent years has been rebranded as the Tokyo Sakura Tram. The Setagaya Line doesn’t count in my mind as none of it operates on the streets of that area.
Compared to other unstaffed stations I’ve visited, this one is actually quite busy which makes me wonder why it has no staff! There’s even a ticket machine rather than the typical red box one which just dispenses a tiny paper ticket of sorts to be handed in at your destination in return for the fare payment.
It is 2.1 kilometres south of Wakayama and I walked there in about twenty minutes via a park featuring a very interesting playground structure which I wanted to see. The station is entered via slopes running parallel to the train tracks in opposite directions. It’s a fairly basic station with short sheltered seating areas on both sides.
The most interesting part of this station for me is that there are no actual ticket gates to pass through as such but there is still the slot for a ticket for those who don’t have an IC card to touch on the screen reader. It does feel a little strange to do this action when the gates aren’t even there to open as you insert a ticket!
I may not have arrived at this station by train but I did board one and take a very short two minute journey back to Wakayama Station to meet my friend Neil to eat what has been rated as Japan’s tastiest ramen on numerous occasions.
Click on the following links for previous ‘Unstaffed Stations of Japan’ posts…