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Cat Stationmaster at Ashinomaki Onsen

Meet Love, Ashinomaki-Onsen Station's feline in charge

Meet 'Love', the cat stationmaster at Ashinomaki Onsen Station, in Fukushima's Aizu-wakamatsu region. Love took on the honorary role at this small, rural station on the Aizu Line at the turn of 2016, replacing his predecessor 'Bus'.

Visitors to the station can expect to meet Love, as well as his minders, and peruse the station's shop as well as take a rest at their Cafe Bus (9am–4pm), not to mention the mountainous views from the station platform itself (Ashinomaki-onsen Station is truly one of the more idyllic stations in rural Japan).

In the vicinity, expect to find a Aizu Railway Shrine, a decommissioned AT-301 series Torokko train carriage from 1964, and a small memorial to Bus, the original stationmaster cat for this station. Bus, named after the Cat Bus character in Studio Ghibli's My Neighbour Totoro, originally took on the role back in 2008 but became increasingly frail in recent years, and has since passed away in the spring of 2016.

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