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): Ōu Line
Average No. of Daily Passengers: 54
On the back of my epic journey to Takayama Inari-Jinja Shrine three years ago, I stopped at Nukazawa Station which is about one hour south of Hirosaki. There really is absolutely nothing anywhere near this station. No sign of any convenience stores, vending machines or even life!! Nothing!
One person got off the train when I did (at 18:27 if you must know!) and that was it. Not a single other person was spotted anywhere near the place until I boarded the next train back at 20:30 which gave me plenty of time to see how many different angles I could basically take the same photo from!
As you’ll have noticed this station consists of nothing much more than a traditional Japanese drum (there is a footbridge too!) which doubles up as a waiting room. The drum is just under four metres in length and similar in size to the grand drum of the district which is on display at the Museum of Big Drums near JR Takanosu Station which is the next station going south from Nukazawa.
It was just 16 minutes back north to Odate which was to be my base for the night. However, I had to wait a full two hours for that train to come to a station where you only really need one or two minutes to take a picture or two! Was it all worth it though? Absolutely!
Click on the following links for previous ‘Unstaffed Stations of Japan’ posts…
1. Kamiyagi #2. Funamachi #3. Inazusa #4. Yodo #5. Nebukawa #6. Miyamae #7. Arao #8. Higashi-Abiko
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