Monday, March 28, 2016



The train station that stayed open for a single girl in the school finally closes


last year Kyu-shirataki station made headlines around the world in order to remain open only to send a girl to school, but now that she’s graduated, is time to pack it in.

News delay closures along the “Shiraktaki Series” of stations to accommodate a single student began to make headlines in Japan last year and parties year-end had snowballed in international news.

These arrests, Kami-shirataki Kyu-shirataki and Shimo-shirataki, were usually on the outskirts of Japanese railfans radar. At least, that was until the story broke and armed enthusiasts flooded cameras to capture a piece of history.

However, that madness eventually died down and March 25, with the sole passenger Kyu-shirataki graduation, it was time to end it . So, our Hokkaido writer based K. direct Nagahashi to the station for a last look.


Nagahashi first visited the famous station Kyu-shirataki to see the last train to stop again. Many other people had come out as well, but it was far from the circus dog-cameras that hit the months before the platform.


There was solemn but warm atmosphere with a handful of members of the press and local residents around. The station has set up a tent offering free milk and sweet potatoes for those present.




before the train arrived, Nagahashi took a look at the station, which it was really just a wooden shack worn with a single, bare bulb to glow and a paper banner that read, “Kyu-shirataki station, 69 years, thank you.”


a bunch of flowers sitting on the worn bench and a calendar on the wall showed four times a day when a train stopped at the Kyu-shirataki station.



shortly after the 4:53 train bound for Ashikawa arrived on time. Although the train had a lot ‘of people on it, it seemed that even more had gathered from the surrounding area to pay homage to the last time this would never happen.

E ‘was a dignified procession and the warmth and respect that local people held for this station was clear. Beyond the girl on the front page, this station had meant something for everyone there, and now those memories would be all that was left of it.


With this chapter closed, Nagahashi also wanted to stop by the other two stations were closing. Although not so famous, that each had its own special qualities.


When the news of the school girlfriend broke up, many media exchanged Kyu-shirataki station Kami-shirataki station . It was understandable because this station has had the dubious honor of having only two trains stop here every day.


Although, Nagahashi could not confirm, this was probably a national record for the least number of trains arriving at a station. And if the record did not attack, Kami-shirataki certainly station would be a contender for the longest journey by train to the next station, clocking in at one hour and eight minutes.

Despite this, it had a much more spacious building and a banner that read, “Kami-shirataki station 84, well done!” a similar banner also hung outside next to hand-sign of the station.



Shimo-shirataki station had a similar decor, but boasted 87 years of operation and a few more passing trains.




had the distinction of being among the most remote railway stations in Japan. Beyond the neighboring ranch and handful of buildings in the vicinity, Nagahashi has had trouble distinguishing any other man-made structures as far as he could see.



Finally Nagahashi visited the Shirataki Station, the sole survivor of the bus stop Shirataki Series , and could see why he was sticking around! The station was very sumptuous than the other.


Complete with chairs, aluminum panels, a watch, official signs of JR, and 11 trains daily, was superior to the others in every way. Clearly this was to be the future of Shirataki railway transport needs.




Everywhere in Japan, spring brings changes like this. Students graduate and move on to new experiences, companies tired close their doors for good, while young venture hopeful them open for the first time. All are moving somewhere but during all this there will always be stops along the way of people’s memories and places that have touched and who have touched.


Original article by K. Nagahashi 
Photo: RocketNews24

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