Kokudō Station - Atlas Obscura

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Kokudō Station

Unchanged for decades, World War II-era bullet holes and nostalgic ghost signs still haunt this desolate train station. 


Almost unchanged since its completion in 1930, Kokudō Station is popular among enthusiasts of urban exploring areas outside of Tokyo, Japan, even though it remains in operation.

Named after the Keihin Kokudō (today National Route 15), the station is served by Tsurumi Line and used by some 1,500 passengers daily. Getting off here, you’ll find that the platforms are nothing unusual, but descend the steps into the dark, lonely concourse and walk into a world stuck in a different time.

The arched corridor was once home to a lantern-lit shopping street, full of izakaya life, but the last of the underpass bars closed down in 2022. Today, the remains of the shops and eateries sit empty or have been boarded up. Some ghost signs have been left behind on the much-graffitied walls. The arcade has become a dusty ruin in a perpetual state of photogenic near-abandonment.

At this murky tunnel’s halfway, the underground corridor opens up into a narrow alleyway leading to the residential street outside. Only a few steps long, it’s a jumbled-up confusion of veneer boards, corrugated plates, and bricks, plagued by a heavy layer of rust and vandalism here and there.

Outside, up on the right-hand side of the western façade, you can also spot bullet holes left by the strafing gunfire from an Allied attack in 1945, a rare surviving example of World War II-era damage on the periphery of the Tokyo Metropolis.

Unsurprisingly, the station boasts an eclectic filmography spanning decades, used as a location by a number of films and TV dramas. The most notable works are Akira Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (1949) and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Maborosi (1995).

Know Before You Go

The station is unattended, outdated, and rather behind on accessibility; there are no elevators or escalators and the toilets are squat-style. Also, be sure to mind the gap when getting off.

This is the second stop after Tsurumi Station, but not all trains make a stop here. You can also walk from Tsurumi Station as it's only a little more than 10 minutes away. If you have time to spare, consider checking out Umi-Shibaura (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/umi-shibaura-station), another station on Tsurumi Line.

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September 26, 2023

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