May. 23, 2017 UPDATE

Secluded hikyo stations of Japan: JR Hozukyo Station in Kyoto

There are many stations in Japan that may feel a bit lonely at first, but are actually places of abundant natural beauty, like JR Hozukyo Station in Kyoto.
Sampo[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Secluded, off the beaten path train stations in Japan have been a bit of a boom for maybe about the last 15 years. These stations are hard to access train stations that are located in places where there is almost nothing around them; stations that make you think why trains still stop at this station. 


This all started from the blog and station ranking site of Takenobu Ushiyama, of which was later even made into a television series. As a personal note, if you can get your hands on the series named Zenkoku Hikyo Fairu, it is a slow-paced program that makes great watching for those rainy days when you have nothing to do. 




After having watched the television series, I wanted to go find a secluded station myself. Luckily in Kyoto, there is just a station for that, JR Hozukyo, which is located a 20-minute train ride from Kyoto Station. This station is the next station after Saga-Arashiyama Station so many tourists go close to it, but extremely few actually go all the way to this station. Going to this station is easy: just take the local train toward Sonobe from Kyoto Station and ride it for 20 minutes.



After 20 minutes you get to a peculiar station on top of a bridge, located between two tunnels. As expected, no one except I got off the train.



The station is ranked no. 157 on Takenobu Ushiyama’s list, and it is located on top of a bridge, so the view to the gorge below is gorgeous. There really is nothing around the station, only a small parking lot with usually a few cars parked there, but it seems like on weekends people go hiking from this station.



Walking downstairs to the other side of the station, you really get to appreciate that the station is located on top of a bridge. The view from the bridge and of it must be incredible during the autumn fall season.



The mountains, the gorge, and the bridge look nice on a sunny day.



If you are lucky, or patient, you can get to see the Hozu-gawa River boat ride going downstream. The way the boatmen use their sticks to guide the boat around the rocks is something that looks surprisingly difficult, especially at places where the river is streaming fast.


Read more about the boat ride here:

http://sharing-kyoto.com/see_Sagano_Romantic_Train-Hozu-gawa_River_Boat_Ride/



A comment from the staff
Sampo
This was my first time going to a train station like this, surrounded by nature, and no people around, except for an old lady waiting for her train, and the old man taking care of the station. The Sagano Romantic Train / Torokko Train Hozukyo station is also close, so you could walk from the JR Hozukyo Station to the Romantic Train station too. This station is right by Saga-Arashiyama Station, so especially for trail fans, this station might be worth a visit.
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