Mid last year it was determined that three small stations, in little use on the Japan Rail Hokkaido – Sekihoku main line, would be decommissioned in March 2016 as there weren’t enough passengers boarding from those small community stations.
A sweet story soon emerged about one of the remote railway stations Kyū-Shirataki, where teenager Harada Kana boards for school each morning.
It was discovered that Harada Kana who attends Hokkaido Engaru high school was the only regular passenger on the small two-carriage train leaving Kyū-Shirataki station at 7.15am.
Kana’s travel takes her approximately an hour and the 7.15am train is her only option to get to class on time. The next closest station is reportedly 6km away and has later morning trains, meaning she would miss her first class.
Kana, who is 17 years old, is set to complete high school by March this year coinciding with the station’s end. The Hokkaido Railway Company announced that they would keep the remote Kyū-Shirataki railway station open till March but it hasn’t commented on their only passenger. It is assumed however that they factored in the end of the school term in their determination to close the station, as news comes to light that train staff are familiar with their young Kyū-Shirataki passenger.
Harada Kana is set to move to the city to attend university after graduating in March.