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
Balloon Saga Station バルーンさが駅: a seasonal station only operational during the Saga International Balloon Fiesta, around late October / beginning of November. 臨時駅 = rinji eki = temporary station. (For more on balloons in Japan, see: Ad Balloons on the Ginza)
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)
- Dome-mae Station ドーム前駅: in OSAKA
- Genbaku Dome-mae Station 原爆ドーム前停留場 / 広島電鉄本線: named for the the HIROSHIMA Atomic Bomb Dome
- Nagoya Dome-mae Yada Station ナゴヤドーム前矢田駅
- Sundome Nishi Station サンドーム西駅
- Amagasaki Center Pool-mae Station 尼崎センタープール前駅: Kyōtei 競艇 boat racing
- Ariake-Tennis-No-Mori Station 有明テニスの森駅: a tennis arena on the Yurikamome line, near Odaiba:
- Bayside Arena station ベイサイドアリーナ駅
- Kashima Soccer Stadium Station 鹿島サッカースタジアム駅
- Sports Center Station スポーツセンター駅: part of the Chiba Monorail
- Suzuka Circuit Inō Station 鈴鹿サーキット稲生駅: home of the F1 Japanese Grand Prix 日本グランプリ
- Family Kōen-mae Station ファミリー公園前駅: in the OSAKA outskirts, presumably named for the large parks next to the station
- Fruits Park Station フルーツパーク駅: near 浜松市フルーツパーク, a botanical garden
- Kure-Portopia Station 呉ポートピア駅: free park “Kure Portpia Park 呉ポートピアパーク” near HIROSHIMA
- Matsue English Garden Mae Station 松江イングリッシュガーデン前駅
- Matsue Vogel Park Station 松江フォーゲルパーク駅: an aviary, Matsue Vogel Park
- Nagareyama Central Park Station 流山セントラルパーク駅
- Sports Park / Sport Koen Station スポーツ公園駅
- Lavender Farm Station ラベンダー畑駅: lavender fields in the famous Tomita farm; passengers are mostly tourists; also a temporary / seasonal station (Hokkaido)
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:
- Torokko Hodukyo Station トロッコ保津峡駅
- Torokko Saga Station トロッコ嵯峨駅
- Truck / Torokko Arashiyama Station トロッコ嵐山駅
- Torokko Hozukyō Station トロッコ保津峡駅
- Torokko Kameoka Station トロッコ亀岡駅
Schools & Hospitals
- Kashiwanoha-Campus Station 柏の葉キャンパス駅, home to the Kashiwa campus of the University of Tokyo (東京大学 Todai), in Chiba., north of Tokyo
- Sōgō Rihabiri Center Station 総合リハビリセンター駅 a rehabilitation center in NAGOYA.
- JA Hiroshimabyouin-mae Station JA広島病院前駅: very unusual, as this station has the English letters “JA” in its name (HIROSHIMA)
Business & Industry
- Jatco -mae Station ジヤトコ前駅: (FUJI, SHIZUOKA) opened on November 18, 1949 as Nissan-mae Station 日産前駅, after a large Nissan Motors Fuji assembly plant. The plant was sold in June 1999 to the Nissan subsidiary Jatco, and the station was accordingly renamed on April 1, 2005.
- Socio Distribution Center Station ソシオ流通センター駅 (opened April 1, 2017)
- Sapporo Beer Teien Station サッポロビール庭園駅
- Sangyoshinko Center Station 産業振興センター駅, aka “Industry Promotion Center Station”, a business park in Yokohama, on the Seaside Line シーサイドライン
- Screen Station スクリーン駅: named for SCREEN Holdings Co. (photo)
- K Computer Mae Station 京コンピュータ前駅: named for the K computer, currently installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science campus in Kobe. The Japanese kanji ‘京’ (kei), means 10 quadrillion (1016).
- Fujitec-mae Station フジテック前駅: in front of Fujitec
- Fujifilm-mae Station 富士フイルム前駅: in front of Fuji Film in ODAWARA
- 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“
- Asumo-mae Station アスモ前駅, located in front of the headquarters and factory of ASMO Co. Ltd., an automobile components manufacturer
- YRP Nobi Station YRP野比駅 ワイアールピーのび: with the opening of the nearby Yokosuka Research Park, the station was renamed on April 1, 1998. It is the fourth station in Japan (and the first non-JR station) to have letters of the alphabet in its name.
- 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
- Grand Dori Station グランド通停留場: this station opened in 1904
- Dentetsu-Tāminarubiru-mae Station デンテツターミナルビル前
Cablecars, ropeways, and other steep transportation
- Abt Ichishiro / Aputo-ichishiro Station アプトいちしろ駅: the word アプト (aputo) refers to a specific type of ‘Rack Railway‘ ラック式鉄道, a type of steep-grade railway. One type of track is the Abt system アプト式 (aputo skiki) (photos)
- Mount Hiei Sakamoto cable 比叡山坂本ケーブル: near KYOTO, includes
Cable Enryakuji Station ケーブル延暦寺駅 and Cable Sakamoto Station ケーブル坂本駅
- Eizan Cable 叡山ケーブル, officially the Cable Line 鋼索線near KYOTO, includes Cable Hiei Station ケーブル比叡駅 and Cable Yase Station ケーブル八瀬駅
- Rokkō Cable Line 六甲ケーブル線KOBE) includes Rokko Cable Shita Station 六甲ケーブル下 and Rokko Sanjo Station 六甲ケーブル
- Myoken Cable 妙見ケーブル: HYOGO, near Kobe
- Cable Sanjō Station ケーブル山上駅
- Maya Cablecar / Maya Cable Line 摩耶ケーブル線: Maya cable station 摩耶ケーブル駅 (KOBE)
- Mt. Oyama (Kanagawa, Tokyo-area): Ōyama Cable Station 大山ケーブル駅
- Streetcar stop for nearby ropeway: Ropeway Iriguchi Station/ Stop ロープウェイ入口駅/停留場 (Sapporo)
Large Urban Planning Areas – retail & entertainment
- Tokyo Sky Tree Station とうきょうスカイツリー駅
- Harborland Station ハーバーランド駅 ; Kobe Harborland is a large commercial and sightseeing destination on the site of the former Japan National Railways Minatogawa Cargo Station
- Sasashima-Live / Sasashima-raibu Station ささしまライブ駅: Sasashima Live 24 is a redevelopment area south of Nagoya Station, with a movie theater, shops, and restaurants. It is unusual to find a katakana train station so close to the central station of a large city.
- Koshigaya-Laketown Station 越谷レイクタウン駅: opened in 2008, this station serves the Koshigaya Lake Town 越谷レイクタウン development and the AEON LakeTown イオンレイクタウン mall, the largest mall in Japan. (SAITAMA)
Large Urban Planning Areas – office
- Osaka Business Park Station 大阪ビジネスパーク駅
- Rinkū Town Station りんくうタウン駅: near Kansai airport, this station is built on reclaimed land. Rinku Town was crated as direct “link” to the world, hence the word りんくう (Rinkū Town/ Link Town).
- Rinkū-Tokoname Station りんくう常滑駅: same concept as above, but for a Nagoya-area airport.
- Shinagawa Seaside Station 品川シーサイド駅
- Tennōzu Isle Station 天王洲アイル駅
Housing Developments and Complexes / “New Towns”
- Chiba New Town Chuo Station 千葉ニュータウン中央駅
- Yūkarigaoka Station ユーカリが丘駅: my favorite; described at the top of this post. The Yukarigaoka line also includes: Chiku Center Station 地区センター駅
- Orange Town Station オレンジタウン駅: housing development, see website (Kagawa Prefecture)
- Center Kita Station センター北駅: in KANAGAWA
- Center Minami Station センター南駅: in KANAGAWA
- Tama Center Station 多摩センター駅: in KANAGAWA
- Tama Plaza Station たまプラーザ駅: in KANAGAWA
- Woody Town Chūō Station ウッディタウン中央駅: and Minami Woody Town Station 南ウッディタウン駅: serves Woody Town ウッディタウン, a “New Town” in Hyogo.
Amusement and Theme Parks (outdoors and nature)
- Koga-Gorufujōmae Station 古賀ゴルフ場前駅: this station was closed in 2007 and had been named for the Koga Golf Club 古賀ゴルフ・クラブ(map of former station)
- Namegawa Island Station 行川アイランド駅: failed theme park in CHIBA; see “The sadness of Namegawa Island” and “Chiba Explorations“
- Kōnotori-no-sato Station コウノトリの郷駅: oriental stork (Konotori) bird sanctuary; see: “Konotori no Sato Park” (Japan Guide). Note: the station’s name was changed from Tajima-Mie Station 但馬三江駅 on April 1, 2015
Amusement and Theme Parks (non-Disney)
Rakutenchishita (lower) Station ラクテンチ下駅: this is the bottom terminal of the Beppu Rakutenchi Cable Line 別府ラクテンチケーブル線, a funicular serving Beppu Rakutenchi ラクテンチ, an amusement park in that originally opened in 1929 as 「別府遊園」. According to Wikipedia, this line is technically considered “public transportation”, but riders are required to pay park admission in order to ride the cable line. At the top of the hill is Rakutenchi upper station ラクテンチ上駅.
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:
- Space World Station スペースワールド駅: in KITAKYUSHU
- Universal City Station ユニバーサルシティ駅: in OSAKA
- Yomiuri-Land-mae Station 読売ランド前駅: amusement park in the hills of western Kawasaki, about 1-hour from central Tokyo.
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:
- Tokyo Disney Sea Station 東京ディズニーシー・ステーション駅
- Tokyo Disneyland Station 東京ディズニーランド・ステーション駅
- Resort Gateway Station リゾートゲートウェイ・ステーション駅
- Bayside Station ベイサイド・ステーション駅
- 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
- Cosmosquare Station コスモスクエア駅
- Trade Center-mae Station トレードセンター前駅
- Port Town-higashi Station ポートタウン東駅
- Port Town-nishi Station ポートタウン西駅
Reclaimed Land in Kobe
Reclaimed land in Odaiba (Tokyo)
Shopping Centers & Malls
- Bell-mae / Beru-mae Station ベル前駅: named for Shopping City Bell ショッピングシティベル
- Ote Mall Station 大手モール停留場 and Grand-Plaze-Mae Station グランドプラザ前駅 : these are stops on the Toyama City Tram Line 富山市内軌道線
- MALera Gifu Station / Morera-Gifu Station モレラ岐阜駅（もれらぎふ） – MALera shopping center
- Flower Town Station フラワータウン駅
Skiing and Resorts
- Cheers Station チアーズ駅 at the top of a rope way. It is Diligence Gondola ディリジェンスゴンドラ. I think it’s listed as a station because the real skiing doesn’t start until above that station (?)
- Gala-Yuzawa Station ガーラ湯沢駅 serving GALA YuzawaGALA Yuzawa, a ski & snowboard resort in Niigata Prefecture, 80 minutes from Tokyo on the Joetsu Shinkansen. The station leads directly to the ski center.
- Makino station マキノ駅: named after Makino townマキノ町 and the Makino Ski resort.
- Niseko Station ニセコ駅: nearby Nisko ski resort (HOKKAIDO)
- WeSPa Tsubakiyama Station ウェスパ椿山駅: serving WeSPa Tsubakiyama resort. Probably most remote of the stations on this list. The abbreviation may stand for west/spa.
- Yanaba Ski-jō Mae Station ヤナバスキー場前駅
“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)
- JR Goidō Station JR五位堂駅
- JR Kawachi-Eiwa Station JR河内永和駅: opened 2008 as part of the Osaka Higashi Line おおさか東線 ; before being named on August 23, 2007, the line was constructed with the tentative name “Osaka Outer Loop Line 大阪外環状線. Per Wikipedia, because of problems with illegal occupation, the northern part of the line has not started construction yet. The optimistic opening date of the extension is 2018. See: See: “JRおおさか東線、北ヤード乗り入れ、18年度までに開業、150億円追加投資。” (2009-01-31)
- JR Miyamaki Station JR三山木駅
- JR Nagase Station JR長瀬駅
- JR Namba Station JR難波駅
- JR Ogura Station JR小倉駅
- JR Shuntokumichi Station JR俊徳道駅