Best known for some incredible hot springs destinations and its volcanic activity, Kyushu is a popular travel destination for nature lovers and those looking to relax and unwind. For those visiting the area by train, there are also some fun train stations to keep an eye out for, which incorporate quirky design elements, a Tangible Cultural Property building, and hot spring baths, among others.
Tanushimaru Station, Fukuoka
Fukuoka's Tanushimaru Station has to have one of the most inventive designs in all of Japan. The building itself is designed to look like a kappa, a commonly depicted water-based character in Japanese folklore. There's also a cafeteria inside the station building – aptly named the Kapateria – which offers menu items like a kappa-shaped curry and kappa macarons. You can see more of the station in the video below.
Kareigawa Station, Kagoshima
Originally opened back in 1903, Kagoshima's Kareigawa Station is the oldest station building in the prefecture and is registered as a national tangible cultural property. The area surrounding the charming wooden station building is a popular destination during spring thanks to a number of sakura trees lining the platform area.
Aso-Shimodajo Fureai Onsen Station, Kumamoto
Part of the Minamiaso Railway's Takamori Line, Aso-Shimodajo Fureai Onsen Station holds a unique title – it has the 5th longest station name in all of Japan. Aside from that, the station has a charming façade and is equipped with hot spring facilities for passersby to utilize.
Nishi-Oyama Station, Kagoshima
Nishi-Oyama Station is served by the Ibusuki Makurazaki Line, and lays claim to being the southernmost station in the JR network. Visitors to the station can appreciate a beautiful view of Kaimondake from the platform, which stands 924 meters in height and is often referred to as the Fuji of Satsuma – an old name for the western half of modern-day Kagoshima.
Okadome Kofuku Station, Kumamoto
The unmanned Okadome Kofuku Station is part of the Kumagawa Railway's Yuzen Line, and it's the only active station in Japan with the word happiness (kofuku) in its name. Next to the station building there is a gift store which sells a variety of happiness-themed items to purchase, including souvenir tickets.