Tokyobling's Blog

Taisha Station Building – Shimane

Posted in Places by tokyobling on December 21, 2013

In the sleepy little town of Izumo, in western Shimane Prefecture on the north coast of Japan you’ll find one the most beautiful examples of train station architecture in Japan. The Taisha station was inaugurated in 1912 as the first stop of the JR Taisha Line. The original station was much humbler and in 1924 the present station building was completed to better reflect the important national status of the town of Izumo and the grand Izumotaisha shrine. It is said that the station was designed by a young man, Mr. Sota who was only 25 years old. The station has three tracks and two platforms that are unusually long for such a minor station, the reason being that the station had to accommodate special long distance trains all the way from Tokyo and even chartered private trains. There was a direct line to Tokyo running regularly in the 1950s, and special direct trains well into the 1980s. It must have been a very interesting, and slow, journey! In the peak of its use, 1960, the station saw about 2000 passengers a day, but it was gradually superseded by other train lines and on the last of March in 1990 the last train pulled into the station. Townspeople and visitors to the shrine shifted over to the 1930 Izumo Taishamae station about a 10 minute walk from the Taisha station (which I blogged about last year).

The station is designed in the style of a shrine and as such does not fit into any contemporary style of architecture, which makes it look absolutely timeless, coming as it did between the Japanese Neoclassical style of the Meiji Period and the Imperial Style of the 1930s. It is no wonder it was declared a national building treasure in 2004 and 2009. The building is ecologically designed using local materials of wood, clay infill, lime, glass and stone, a far cry from the energy intensive modern concrete buildings.













6 Responses

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  1. amadl said, on December 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    It’s beautifuL! Is it stiLL being used?


    • tokyobling said, on December 24, 2013 at 6:15 am

      Only as a tourist attraction, unfortunately the station closed for traffic in 1990. It would be a cool place to have a concert of theatre play or something! (^-^)


  2. Yousei Hime said, on December 23, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I wonder how many Japanese movies and anime have modeled stations after this one.


    • tokyobling said, on December 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

      I think there is a whole sub-genre of research about anime that focuses on finding the real life inspirations for scenes in anime! (^-^)


      • Yousei Hime said, on December 24, 2013 at 7:05 am

        Makes me wish I was younger so I could revise my degree plans in that direction. Lovely pictures and fascinating info. Always enjoy visiting, but really loved your recent posts.


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