Thursday, August 4, 2016

Retro Station in the Gateway City of Kyushu Island

EMU JR Kyushu 813 series stands at Mojiko Station on the Kagoshima Main Line

Mojiko (Moji Port) is a starting station of the Kagoshima Main Line in Kita-Kyushu City, about 1,100km west of Tokyo. It was opened in 1890 by ex-Kyushu Railway Company, and functioned as a gateway station of Kyushu Island from 1901 to 1964, while the Kanmon Train Ferry was operated. Currently, most of the passengers travelling between Honshu (the mainland of Japan) and Kyushu Island take the Sanyo Shinkansen or the Sanyo Main Line via Kanmon Submarine Tunnels, but this old station is still crowded with visitors. Why?

It is because Mojiko Station itself has become a popular sightseeing spot as a retro station. The current station building is the second generation one opened in 1914. It is similar to Hakodate Station in Hokkaido, because both of them have bay platforms (dead-end platforms) in front of the ex-train ferry ports. Although the trains seen in the station yard were contemporary commuter trains, the atmosphere of the station was sufficiently nostalgic.

After going out of the modern automatic ticket gate, I found an old wash basin, which has been equipped since 1914. It was called "Kaerimizu (homecoming water)" by travelers. Travelers of former days washed their faces and hands there, and had some breathing time during the long journey home. I thought of travelers, when the train ferry was operated. The journey of the former days was not easy at that time.

Mojiko, it is a nostalgic retro station in the Gateway City of Kyushu Island.

Kaerimizu in Mojiko station yard