- 3 min read

Nakatsu Station in Oita

The not-so-big but very convenient station in Nakatsu

After an hour ride from Oita Station, you'll notice the scenery from the JR Kyushu Nippo Main Line gradually change into the countryside with green rice fields and mountains lining the railway. Most of the stations the trains stop at become smaller and smaller while the surrounding nature becomes bigger and bigger. But after a several stops the train returns to the urban world, arriving at a rather big station in a city, Nakatsu Station.

Close to the Kitakyushu region in Fukuoka, Nakatsu City has some strong bonds with the northern cities of Fukuoka economically. Many people come here for school and business, which makes the city thrive. And since Nakatsu is the third most populated city in Oita, it means that there should be some high quality public transportation systems.

Needless to say, JR Kyushu Nakatsu Station, with 3000 users per day, is the main transportation facility in Nakatsu City. The station is on the JR Nippo Main Line, so express trains make a stop here as well. Compared to the other small local stations, the station is large, but considering it as a station where the express lines stop, it is not so huge. There is a large bus terminal for Oita-Kotsu with ticket counters in front of the station, and this bus line connects Nakatsu City and Hita City, another principal city in Oita. The bus can also take you to Yabakei Gorge in a quasi-national park, so you may want to keep that in mind if you are traveling around Oita Prefecture.

There are some interesting objects you should definitely check out in Nakatsu Station, including the Longest Conger Pike Bench in Japan and the Post on One Village One Product Around the Area. Making a very long bench out of windfall trees, and drawing a conger pike on the back was an idea suggested by the citizens, who wanted to promote their local specialty food, conger pike. It is built on the platform, and its majestic presence won’t let you ignore it. The post was made to revive the One Village One Product campaign (with each village having at least one specialty product) around the Nakatsu Area, and it shows you what each village is famous for. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures of either due to technical problems, but remember to check them out yourself!

You may find some shops and restaurants inside the station, such as Family Mart, Kiosk, and an udon restaurant, but be sure to walk through the Nakatsu-Eki Meitengai. It is a small shopping center connected to the station with only 5 shops right at the moment, but you can find some original souvenirs from Nakatsu, so don’t miss out on that.

Nakatsu Station is not a very busy station, but it is still very convenient, with express lines and rather long-distanced buses. Furthermore, in 2014, there will be a drama based on Kanbeh Kuroda, who was the feudal lord of Nakatsu City in 1587, which means this area will definitely be one of the hottest places in Japan – so why not visit?

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