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Traveling by train in Japan is a fun and scenic experience, and sometimes the journey can be even more enjoyable than the destination. Shinjuku Station in Tokyo might be famous as the busiest in the world, but once you get outside the capital you can find many unique and unpopulated stations in stunning settings. Read on to discover five of them.

Okuoikojo Station (Shizuoka Prefecture)

This station can be found in Umeji, Kawanehon in the rural Haibara District, which has a population of under 40,000. The station is located at the head of a spit of land that sticks out on the Nagashima Dam lake like a peninsula. Up through the trees behind the station is a log cabin with rest facilities on the ground floor and a viewing platform above where you can gaze out at the lake.

Shimonada Station (Ehime Prefecture)

Located in Futamicho Kaminada, Iyo, this is the closest station to the sea in all of Japan. It’s about one hour by train or car south from Ehime Prefecture’s capital city Matsuyama. Sitting on the station bench and looking out at the blue ocean stretching away in front of you can fill you with a real sense of peace and tranquil solitude.

▼ The lonely scenery of the station has even been featured in television commercials.

Koboro Station (Hokkaido)

Koboro Station can be found on the Muroran Main Line which runs along the coast of Iburi Subprefecture between Oshamambe and Iwamizawa. The station is famous as being the most hidden in all of Japan, as it’s enclosed by tunnels to the east and west and a mountain range to the north. The only path is to the south, but it ends at the sea. In other words, the only way to get to this station is by train!

▼ Here’s the hidden beach that’s about a 20-minute walk down the path from the station.

Doai Station (Gunma Prefecture)

Otherwise known as the “mole station,” at 70 metres (230 feet) beneath the earth Doai Station is the deepest underground station in Japan. From the ticket gates to the platform you’ll have to go down a 338-metre staircase of 462 steps.

▼ A snow-covered view of the station building

Tsutsuishi Station (Niigata Prefecture)

Tsutsuishi Station is another deep underground station, this one in Itoigawa City. The air in the tunnels 290 steps beneath the earth is always chilly, so you might be better off staying on the train.

As Japan’s birth rate declines and more and more people move to the cities, rural train lines have been closing down at an alarming rate. But visiting the beautiful hidden stations on little-known lines can be a wonderful past time not only for train geeks, but for anyone who loves to travel and discover more about the country they’re in. If you have the chance, why not take a random train line out into the countryside and see where you end up? You’ll be supporting local railways, and you might just discover somewhere amazing.

Header Image: @yosimasu713 on Twitter
Source: Naver Matome