Discover These 5 Secluded Train Stations Surrounded by Nature in Hokkaido

  • HOKKAIDO
  • VARIOUS AREAS
  • TRAVEL
  • When winter comes around in Japan, many people want to visit Hokkaido where many fun things happen during the colder months. If you are in Hokkaido, despite the rough weather, try to explore the hinterland on a train. There are some lonely, solitary, mind-blowing, and romantic train stations nestled perfectly amidst the beautiful nature of Hokkaido which will take your breath away. Check out five of them right here, where you can really escape from the crowds and go off the beaten track!

    1. Kitahama

    Did you know that exploring lonely and remote train stations is actually a thing for many explorers? These group of places has a name that goes by ‘hikyo eki’ (secluded station), and some of them are often featured in Japanese anime, movies, and novels.

    One such station situated right beside the magnificent Okhotsk Sea that is well known for drift ice viewing, and is a place called ‘Kitahama’. The station is very small but has amazing tourist potential. A train ride from here is probably the best journey you will ever have! It’s not just in the winter, but at any time of year you can travel through Kitahama and explore its wonderful seaside location.

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    2. Bakkai

    Wakkanai is a port city often regarded as the northernmost urban center of Japan, known for some winter wonders such as Bakkai Station, which has been a movie location for years because of its snowy beauty.

    On the Soya Main JR Hokkaido Line, you can reach this station which is unmanned, and made completely out of wood. This is the farthest you can go in the north by train in Japan. However, be prepared for dangerous blizzards sometimes, especially if you are planning to visit at the peak of the cold season!

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    3. Ikuno

    Monbestsu is a small district in the Okhotsk region, which is famous for its Ainu culture and wonderful landscapes. Imagine a small wooden station with a single track amidst hundreds of acres of tranquil rural beauty, and you will imagine Ikuno Station on the Sekihoku Line.

    Operational since the late 1940s, this station has been open ever since. This is one of the most minimalist and secluded stations you could ever find in rural Hokkaido.

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    4. Higashiyama

    Hokkaido has a mountainous terrain with captivating beauty that one must see at least once in their lifetime! If you are looking for a station surrounded by deep forests which can be only accessed by steep turns in the mountains, Higashiyama in Kayabe District on the Hakodate Main Line is your destination!

    This station is nestled perfectly amidst beautiful vegetation from where you can capture the views of the revered Komagatake mountain, which is also known as ‘Oshima Fuji’. The platform looks basic with rectangular blocks of wood that you can see are laid perpendicular to the rails, actually known as ‘ties’.

    The station used to serve as a center for operations and has been in use from 1949 until early 2017 when it was closed permanently. However, if you are interested, you can get off at nearby stations and with the help of a local, could hike up to this station!

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    5. Koboro

    Koboro Station is probably the most interesting one in Hokkaido which cannot be reached by any other means except by rail (you can’t even get there by foot!). It is situated in between two tunnels and is surrounded by a mountain on one side and the sea on the other, making it the most secret train station in the entire country! You can get to this station on a train going towards Iwamizawa on the Muroran Line.

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    These stations are not just some random little unknown spots, but actually great places to find untouched natural beauty. Just head to these stations and walk the surrounding areas to find hidden locations such as beaches, ponds, bridges, floral lands, snow marshes and other treasures!

    Hokkaido Official Tourism Website