Moji-ko Station and Orio Station are notable examples of retro-style station buildings in Japan.
Although there are around 10,000 railway stations in Japan, few old station buildings of original shape can be found in that most station buildings were made of wood. From the view point of architectural value, Hamadera-koen Station in Sakai City, Osaka, and Nikko Station in Tochigi Prefecture are well known, however Moji-ko Station in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture, as shown in the first picture, is regarded as the best in Japan. This station, built in 1891, used to be the starting point of the railway in Kyushu, but it was on the wane after Kanmon railway tunnel going across the Kanmon Strait was completed in 1916. Moji-ko Station was bypassed by Kanmon tunnel. This station is the one and only station building designated as an important cultural asset in Japan. The second picture shows Orio Station also in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture. This station building, built in 1916, enjoyed the prosperity as a hub of the coal transportation, however it declined due to the change of energy demand.
By Masahisa Takaki.
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