Release | nobu Kawashima
The remains of Kitami Aioi Station with nostalgic Showa atmosphere is the best spot to view autumn colors!
The old train left in between colorful woods, nostalgic platform and station building decorated with red and yellow fallen leaves. The place is the remains of Kitami Aioi Station, in Tsubetsu Town, located in eastern Hokkaido. It still leaves the autumn scenery as if the time stopped from a quarter century ago.
The station remains of Kitami Aioi Station leaves the nostalgic atmosphereKitami Aioi Station was the last stop of Japanese National Railways Aioi Line, which terminated the operation in 1985. This railway line connected from Bihoro Station, the station in the middle of Kitami Station and Abashiri Station, to Kitami Aioi Station via Tsubetsu Station. There was a plan to extend the line to Kushiro City, getting over the mountain, a long time ago.
You will reach to Akanko Onsen when you get over the mountain. When calculated simply by the distance, the closest station to Akanko Onsen was not Kushiro Station; it was Kitami Aioi Station.
▲The station signs left at the platform. There is also tourist information around Lake Akan.
▲The station signs are re-painted by volunteers now and became clean again. (Photo provided by Tsubetsu Town Office)
The remains of Kitami Aioi Station is at the back of the parking of “Michi no Eki Aioi”, which is located on the side of National Route 240 connected to Akanko Onsen. The remains are officially called “Aioi Tetsudo Koen” (Aioi Railway Park), and considered as a part of “Michi no Eki Aioi”.
▲“Michi no Eki Aioi” is famous for Kumayaki, A bear shaped pancake with red bean paste inside. (Photo provided by Tsubetsu Town Office)
▲On the left side is the building with shops of “Michi no Eki Aioi” and the parking.
There are old diesel trains, old passenger train cars, and goods train cars preserved on the railroad remains. Especially, inside of the blue passenger train car is renovated and used as a free accommodation for bike and motorcycle travelers, “Eki no Yado”.
▲The air conditioning fan is attached on the side of the car, but the shape and color remind the old times.
The remains of station building are used as a waiting room for buses, and a cafe is operated inside now.
▲The remains of station building from the front. The building has a nostalgic atmosphere of Showa era.
▲Let’s have a relaxing break and see the beautiful colors of trees around the remains! (Photo provided by Tsubetsu Town Office)
Visit here in early October if you want to see red and yellow colors!The remains of Kitami Aioi Station with a nostalgic atmosphere is fantastic anytime in the year, but the colorful autumn is the best! Light yellow trees surround the railroad remains, and the red tree becomes an accent. Every angle is photogenic.
▲It feels like as if the diesel train is still running.
▲The line of tree continues through the railroad remains. There is a parking of Michi no Eki on the right side.
▲The bright red tree adds a color to the scenery.
The colorful time is just a moment. I hope you can get to visit here at a perfect timing to see this beautiful colors. Why don’t you put this place on your list for an autumn drive?
Of course, the remains of station building with nostalgic atmosphere and beautiful lines of trees are a must-see for all seasons! I recommend stopping by this place to get a glance of remains, as you stop by Michi no Eki for a toilet break and shopping break on the way to Akanko Onsen.
* The photos in this article is taken on 10th October 2014, except the ones provided by Tsubetsu Town Office. Some parts of the facility look different now.
Text, photo / Hokkaido Likers Photo-Writer nobu Kawashima