Katakana train stations of Japan カタカナの駅名

Ok, so I’m a little obsessive with lists. And Japanese train stations. And lists of Japanese train stations. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of every train station in Japan that has Katakana or English letters in the official station name (most train stations are in kanji, with many having hiragana or a combination of the two).

Why this list? It started with a long, slow ride on the Keisei Line, coming back from Narita Airport on a cheaper, local train. The train stopped at Yūkarigaoka Station ユーカリが丘駅 (map). It was the first time I’d seen a station name in katakana. What did it mean? And why was katakana used?

The word ユーカリが丘 Yūkarigaoka is made up of yuukari ユーカリ, meaning eucalyptus, and oka 丘, meaning hill. Ga が links them, and together it means eucalyptus hills. Like some katakana words, the meaning of ユーカリ is not obvious to a new Japanese learner; pronounced yuu-ka-ri, it equates to just the first three syllables of the English ‘eucalyptus’. The remainder of the word is dropped. Ga が is hiragana and oka 丘 is kanji.

The train station is named for the Yūkarigaoka ユーカリが丘 “new town” ニュータウン, a bedroom community built in an area that had formerly been farms and rice paddies. Yūkarigaoka is notable for having its own train, the Yamaman Yūkarigaoka Line 山万ユーカリが丘線. The train covers a distance of just 4.1 km (2.5 mi), one of the shortest in Japan. As a train fiend, this was enough reason to make a trip up to Yūkarigaoka to ride the rail. Both the train and the town have adopted the koala as their mascot, due to its congruence with the eucalyptus (though I don’t think there are any eucalyptus trees in the area).

I did a 3/4 loop on the train line, got off on the west side at Ino Station 井野駅, and walked back through the town and out into the nearby farmlands, and later, the shores of Lake Inba-Numa 印旛沼 (Inba Swamp). It was a transcended and completely unexpected experience.

That day got me hooked on katakana train stations. Learning the story behind train stations with katakana names is a fun and unusual way to learn about Japan’s 20th cultural history. Without further ado, here’s the list of katakana train stations in Japan, separated by some semi-arbitrary categories:

Seasonal & Special Events

 History and Culture

  • Norfolk Hiroba Station ノーフォーク広場駅:  KITAKYUSHU, named for its sister-city relationship with Norfolk, Virginia (USA)

Music

Domes

 Sports

Parks

Lavender-Farm Station:

Bus & Trains

Ports and Ferries

“Truck” Train (Kyoto)

The Sagano Scenic Railway 嵯峨野観光鉄道 in Kyoto, aka the Sagano Romantic Train 嵯峨野トロッコ列車, is sometimes called the “Truck Train” or the Torokko トロッコ, a word “derived from the English “truck” once used for mining cars hauling ore, but presently means rail carriages basic accommodation and open sides.”(source). There are at least four stations with the katakana トロッコ in their name.

Hospitals

Business & Industry

  • Tekuno-Sakaki Station テクノさかき駅: nearby is the Sakaki Techno Center 坂城テクノセンター. The official romanization of the word  テクノ is “Tekuno”; there is a note of caution on the company website that says “not techno

Streetcar stops

TOYAMA:

  • Intec-Honsha-Mae Station インテック本社前停留場: for INTEC, an IT company. In 2005, naming rights were sold . Note: instead of using 駅 eki, the typical word for ‘station’, this station uses the kanji 停留場, which translates to “stop, stopping place, retention spot”, as do other streetcar stops. 
  • Denkibirumae stop field 電気ビル前停留場
  • Kyukaniryou Center Mae Station 急患医療センター前停留場
  • Chitetsubiru-Mae Station 地鉄ビル前停留場
  • Toyama-toyopet-Honsha-Mae 富山トヨペット本社前: in front of a Toyota Toyopet car dealership

KOCHI:

Cablecars, ropeways, and other steep transportation

Large Urban Planning Areas – retail & entertainment

Large Urban Planning Areas – office

Housing Developments and Complexes / “New Towns”

Amusement and Theme Parks (outdoors and nature)

Amusement and Theme Parks (non-Disney)

Below, the park’s entrance today, and an old (pre-war) map and ticket (source)

Many may remember the spoof promotional video, produced by the mayor of Beppu, and filmed at Rakutenchi park:

DISNEY PARKS

This is a list of stations that are part of the Disney Resort Line ディズニーリゾートライン at Tokyo Disney:

Interesting words

  • Tomamu Station トマム駅: “Tomamu” 苫鵡 is an Ainu word that means ‘marsh’ 「湿地」.
  • Pippu Station 比布駅 ぴっぷ: this is NOT  a katakana word, but I mention it here because it’s fairly unique, being the only station name beginning with a “P” sound other than the word “Port” / “ポート”.

Reclaimed land in Osaka

Reclaimed Land in Kobe

Reclaimed land in Odaiba (Tokyo)

Shopping Centers & Malls

Skiing and Resorts

“JR” in the station name

Train stations served by JR East, JR West, etc. usually do not need to specify “JR” in their names, as they are the “primary” station with that name. For instance, Tokyo Station is referred to as Tokyo Station, not “JR Tokyo Station”. Stations served by other train companies often include that train company’s name in the station-name in order to distinguish it from the main “JR” station. For instance, in Kamata, Tokyo, the JR station ios named “Kamata Station 蒲田駅”, and the Keikyu Line station is officially named Keikyu-Kamata Station 京急蒲田駅. There are, however, some instances where another train company is the primary station, and the JR station officially has “JR” in the name. These include:

  • JR Fujinomori Station JR藤森駅: (KYOTO) the letters “JR” distinguish it from Fujinomori Station 藤森駅 of the Keihan Main Line 京阪本線. I believed the JR station opened in 1997, as opposed to the Keihan Line station, which opened prior to 1941. (photo source)

See also:

Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s