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Shimonada Station: Unmanned Station With An Unparalleled View Of The Seto Inland Sea

Shimonada Station in Ehime

A train station isn’t necessarily the first thing that pops into one’s mind when planning an itinerary. That said, you’d want to make an exception for the remote Shimonada Station. Hailed as one of the most beautiful stations in Japan, it is a pit stop not to be missed for anyone visiting Ehime. 

One of the closest stations to the sea in Japan  

Image credit: @chika._photo._

In Futami-cho, a small town on the coast of Iyo City, stands Shimonada Station (下灘駅). Though unassuming, It’s an unmanned station that has attracted many tourists and budding photographers alike.

Image credit: @zbwwwww

It’s not hard to see why the nondescript station has garnered such popularity. Despite only having 2 benches and a semi-covered station perched on the platform, its proximity to the Seto Inland Sea has drawn many visitors. The prime location makes for the perfect Seto Island Sea viewing platform. 

Image credit: @xiaoyaokamura

Passengers alighting here or waiting for the next train are treated to an unobstructed view of the emerald sea.

Image credit: @xiaoyaokamura

Besides being bestowed the title of one of Japan’s closest stations to the sea, there’s another reason why Shimonada Station has carved out a place in the hearts of the locals. 

The humble station was propelled to fame after it was featured thrice on the cover of Seishun 18 Kippu guides, a special discounted train pass sold by JR. 

Image credit: @ai__1218_

Image credit: @yuzu.305

As a result, the modest station sees a steady stream of visitors daily – so much so that there are local volunteers there to do some crowd control and tour guide duties. 

Enjoying the sunset & coffee at the unmanned station

Image credit: @kashii1112

As the evening approaches, the skies take on warm hues of red and amber, transforming the ambience drastically.     

Shimonada Station - sunset
Image credit: @aquamarionette

Many travel there in the late-afternoon, staying till sunset to watch the sun burst into reds and yellows across the sky, before taking the train back to Matsuyama City. 

Shimonada Station- sunsetImage credit: @comichicoco

Shimonada Station - shimonada coffee
Image credit: @shimonadacoffee

Besides catching the sunset, do also check out the coffee truck that’s parked right outside the station. Opened from 2.30pm onwards on weekdays and 11am on weekends, Shimonada Coffee is there until the sun sets for anyone who needs a pick-me-up.

Shimonada Station - coffee and orange juiceImage adapted from: @konyan76

Choose from a sizeable drink menu, which includes hand-dripped coffee (¥450-¥500, ~USD3.39-USD3.76), café au lait (¥500-¥550, ~USD3.76-USD4.13), and 3 types of freshly squeezed orange juice (¥550, ~-SD4.13). 

Getting to Shimonada Station

Image credit: @anz_tky

Shimonada Station is accessible via the local train on the JR Shikoku Yosan Line, which can be boarded at JR Matsuyama Station. Taking around 50 minutes, a one-way trip costs ¥560 (~USD4.21), and trains at certain timings require you to transfer at Iyoshi Station (伊予市駅).

As there are no ticketing machines available at Shimonada Station, we highly recommend getting the return tickets before you head there. Alternatively, you can also take a seiriken (整理券) when you board – a type of numbered ticket common on local trains – and pay the corresponding fare upon alighting. 

Shimonada Station - iyonada monogatari
The Iyonada Monogatari train.
Image credit: @matsuyama_cameraman

If you’re visiting on the weekends or during national holidays, consider taking the Iyonada Monogatari, a luxurious sightseeing train that traverses the Iyo-Nada Strait. Stopping briefly at Shimonada Station, it runs 4 times a day and provides meals as accompaniment to the serene sea view. 

Reservation is required and has to be made at least 4 days in advance. Tickets are priced from ¥3,670-¥4,000 (~USD27.57-USD30.00), and meal plans (¥3,000-¥5,500, ~USD22.50-USD41.25) have to be purchased separately.   

Tickets can be reserved here.

Image credit: @supincart

As the station is located in a residential town, please refrain from causing inconvenience to local residents or engaging in irresponsible acts such as leaving your trash behind. Let’s do our part to be respectful and considerate. 

Address: Futamicho Okubo, Iyo, 799-3311 Ehime

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Cover image adapted from (clockwise from left): @chika._photo._, @aquamarionette and @anz_tky