Koi-Yamagata Station, nestled deep in Tottori Prefecture where few people reside, now has a bold new makeover. The once drab station, mostly devoid of staff or passengers, has been given a hot pink paint job and a heart-shaped monument for love.
After turning off Chizu Highway 373 and climbing a steep, narrow street, passengers used to be greeted to this:
But now, Koi-Yamagata Station is all made up in the spirit of love:
Reportedly only two people use this station a day and there is no staff to operate it. This means that a couple looking to spend some quality time together in private could get it here. However, trains do occasionally make routine stops at the platform, so don’t get too carried away with that special someone.
This renovation is a part of the “Love Station Project” involving four stations in various parts of Japan. Koi-Yamagata Station, Bokoi Station, Koishihama Station, and Koigakubo Station are the only ones in Japan that use the kanji character 恋 (koi) which means “love.”
Koi-Yamagata Station barely joined this group, however, originally being named Inaba-Yamagata Station. At the request of the few people who live in the area, the name was changed just before the station opened.
This project is undoubtedly influenced by the Aikoku (Love Country) Station fad that swept the nation decades ago. At the time, thousands of people traveled to the remote station of Aikoku in Hokkaido just to buy a ticket to Kofuku (Happiness) Station. Tickets with “From Love Country to Happiness” were something of a hot item.
So if you’re looking for a romantic holiday, why not pack a picnic basket and spend some quality time at Koi-Yamagata Station with the one you love. Oh, and there’s no restrooms in the station so make sure you “go” before you go.