There was once a train station in Hokkaido, Japan called Kyu-shirataki Station. It wasn’t much more than a single small shack and one wooden bench, but it got the job done.
This super isolated station closed last year, but it was supposed to have closed in 2015. Why so late? Because one little girl needed to get to school, and walking sucks.
Without that station, 18 year old Kana Harada would have needed to make an almost 90 minute walk each morning just to take a different 9 a.m. train in a nearby town so that she could get to school on time. Once the rail company heard about Kana’s situation, they actually delayed plans to shut down the train station by a whole year so that she could finish her schooling. At 7:15 in the morning, her parents would drop her off and she would be the single regular passenger waiting for the train each morning. Sure, it wasn’t a luxury train ride, but at least she was able to attend her school.
On March 25 of 2016, Kana finally graduated from school and Kyu-shirataki closed its doors.
Kana stated, “I got on and off this train for the last three years, and this station’s presence has become something I have taken for granted, I do feel sad to think it will disappear.”
Kana wasn’t the only one affected by it shutting down, the community around her was also saddened by the loss. There was a closing ceremony on the 25th where people turned out to say goodbye and thank Kyu-shirataki. They hung a banner thanking the spot for its 69 years of service and left flowers on the little shack that once served as the station house.
It’s hard to imagine the same thing happening in the US… Just goes to show, Japanese culture & community kicks ass.
Take a peek at the whole story here.