Monday, May 1, 2017

Kochi: Gateway Station to the Historical City

DMU Tosa-Kuroshio Railway 2000 series stands at Kochi Station on the Dosan Line

Kochi Prefecture is situated in the southern part of Shikoku Island, about 600 to 800 km west of Tokyo. Its main city name is also Kochi. As of April this year, Kochi City has a population of 332,000. This city has grown as the castle city of the lords of Tosa Province, since the early 17th century. We can still see the beautiful castle tower in the center of the city as it was.

JR Shikoku's Kochi Station is the gateway to this historical main city. It was opened in 1924 by the ex-Japanese Government Railways. The current station was completed in 2008. It has four elevated non-electrified tracks of the Dosan Line with two platforms covered by a semi-cylindrical dome, called the Whale Dome. The station building was also opened in 2008 beneath the tracks and the platforms. Its interior is unified in white to be full of spaciousness.

When I visited Kochi Station one day in January of this year, I saw two kinds of trains standing at the tracks. They were the diesel rail-car 1000 series and the DMU 2000 series. The former was a local train; while the latter was a limited express Nampu (south wind). Nampu was for Okayama, the main city of Okayama Prefecture on the main island of Japan, via Seto-Ohashi Railway Bridge (13.1 km long suspension bridge on the Seto Inland Sea). The DMU 2000 series is owned by a local company, named Tosa-Kuroshio Railway. 

JR Shikoku Kochi Station