November 29, 12 | Iwasaki
This year marks the 100th birthday of Muroran's third station building, and the oldest wooden station building in Hokkaido, the "Muroran Old Station Building." This building was used up until 1997, but was transferred to Muroran City management after the main station was changed.
The building, which was registered as "tangible cultural property" in 1999, has a beautiful interior, but the refined ceiling and quaint antiquated feeling of the building is truly moving. Currently the building is being used as a tourist information center, but is also available for use as a multi-purpose hall.
In honor of the building's 100th birthday, photographs of the station and surrounding scenery from 1912 are on display.
The costal railway still runs behind the station building, a remnant from a time when the iron industry help this town flourish. Trains carrying coal from Sorachi used to frequent this area, which acted as a transfer terminal to get coal shipments to Otaru. This station was crucial as a foundation fro Hokkaido industry.
The facade of the building was constructed with a western architectural feel, a mark of the Meiji Era, and it's easy to imagine the soot covered miners that used to come and go at this station.
旧室蘭駅舎 (Muroran Old Station Building)
Location: 5-1, 1-Chome Kaigan-cho, Muroran
TEL: 0143-23-0102 (Muroran Tourism Association)
WEB : http://www.city.muroran.lg.jp/main/org6400/kyuuekisha.html (Japanese)
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Iwasaki)