Little-known gem has one of the crucial lovely views in Japan.
If you happen to’ve seen Studio Ghibli’s 2001 characteristic anime Spirited Away, you’ll possible keep in mind the prepare experience that takes protagonist Chihiro and her magical companions throughout the water, stopping off at stations that appear to be they’re floating in the course of the ocean.
There’s one thing splendidly magical in regards to the notion of a quiet seaside prepare station, and right here in Japan they don’t simply exist in animated films, they exist in actual life — for many who know the place to search out them.
Our reporter Udonko not too long ago heard whispers of considered one of these little-known prepare stations charming locals in Niigata Prefecture, so she made the journey on the market to test it out.
▼ The picturesque station known as Arimagawa.
Because the waves on the signal point out, this line, run by personal railway operator Echigo Tokimeki Railway, runs alongside the seaside in Joetsu Metropolis.
▼ The Nihonkai Hisui Line overlooks the Sea of Japan.
Aramigawa Station is likely one of the most beautiful locations to cease on this route — not solely does it boast superb views of the ocean, the agricultural station itself is completely unstaffed so once you step off the prepare right here, you’ll really feel such as you’re the one particular person in existence.
Gazing out in direction of the ocean from the platform on a sunny day like this one, you can be forgiven for pondering you have been in a tropical location like Okinawa, and the encircling surroundings is so picturesque you is perhaps tempted to pinch your self to examine you haven’t stepped into an anime movie.
▼ A surprisingly surreal setting.
Rail passengers can transfer between the 2 platforms by strolling over a small railroad crossing. After all, the platform proper beside the ocean is essentially the most interesting of the 2, so Udonko spent a while right here within the ready room.
The house was cosy and welcoming, and Udonko couldn’t consider she had all of it to herself. Fortunately, she’d deliberate forward so she was capable of sit for some time having fun with the sandwiches she’d introduced together with her.
▼ Like a picnic by the ocean.
Udonko couldn’t assist however really feel as if she have been the star of her personal anime film, and as she ate, she pictured her actions as in the event that they have been animated on display screen.
After sprucing off her stress-free lunch, Udonko spent a while exploring the remainder of the station, stopping to admire the country woodwork on the primary constructing…
▼ …and the quaint entrance, which appears to be like out in direction of the ocean.
Udonko was significantly charmed by the heat of the handwritten “Arimagawa Station” signal above the doorway.
There are not any public bogs or merchandising machines within the neighborhood, and the closest comfort retailer is about six kilometres (3.7 miles) away. With just one prepare arriving each hour at every platform, except for peak durations within the morning, afternoon and night, you’ll wish to plan forward earlier than you go to.
If you happen to’re eager to slide into the gradual life and don’t thoughts ready an hour or so for the subsequent prepare, you’ll love the tranquil serenity at this seaside station. The one factor that interrupts the quiet is the noise of freight trains, which typically move by the station.
Udonko totally loved her go to to Arimagawa Station, the place she was capable of really feel a rejuvenating sense of calm wash over her as she gazed out on the light waves throughout the way in which.
Regardless of residing in Japan all her life, Udonko had no thought a seaside sanctuary like this existed. It’s actually off the crushed monitor so it’s not a spot you’ll discover in journey guides, and that’s precisely how she likes it.
So let’s preserve this place a secret between us, we could? Identical to we did with the opposite beautiful seaside railway station over in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Arimagawa Eki / 有間川駅
Handle: Niigata-ken, Joetsu-shi, Oaza Arimagawa, Aza Hirahama 1075