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Japan's Most Instagrammed Train Station

Most Instagrammed Train Station in Japan

For Instagram travellers, did you know that there is a train station in Japan which is the most Instagrammed train station? Yes, one particular train station called Shimonada is known as Japan's most Instagrammed train station. 

With digital travellers on the rise since the social media boom worldwide, many new generation travellers have been seeking unique and special places that are Instagram-worthy.

The mission is clear cut simple - Having pose in the photo and post it on Instagram or Facebook.

Japan's Most Instagrammed Train Station

Japan Most Photographed Station
Japan's most famous train station

While Japan is one on the popular destinations for this, the most common photos usually shared are from Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto.

I am pretty sure you have seen hundreds if not millions of photos with people posing with sakura or cherry blossom photos. 

Not only that, other popular photos and selfies are taken with Mount Fuji, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Red Gates in Kyoto, Tokyo SkyTree and so on.

Well, to be honest, these are the commercial popular places in Japan, and this article shares one of Japan's most Instagrammed train station which is highly popular among the Japanese.

Photography at Shimonada Station
A beautiful sunset photographed in Shimonada. Photo by Kosu from Japan

What is Shimonada Train Station? 

Built-in the 30s, this nostalgic station was officially opened on 9th June 1935 and operated by the Japanese Government Railway or JGR and eventually taken over by JR Shikoku in 1987. This is part of the Yosan Line and the station code is S09. 

The Shimonada Station is also known as Shimonadate Eki and is so small, that there is only one mini platform that faces the Seto Inland Sea on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of four islands that make up Japan. This is also an unmanned station which makes it even more interesting.

The train station became popular when it was featured in various movies, TV programs, Japanese Anime, and even TV commercials over the years.

The popularity initially brought Japanese photographers and train fans here to capture the loneliness of this station, but that changed fast.

Shikoku Shimonada Station
Flowers blooming at the platform area. Photo by Visit Ehime Japan

NHK even ran their 72 Hour documentary here in 2017, where they put a camera team here for three full days to document this station and its visitors.

And from the documentary, Japanese photographers came from very far parts of Japan, just to photograph this station. 

Over the years and with the new generation of social media, more people were attracted to this place due to social sharing.

As photos went viral in Japan, it became a phenomenon for Japanese to put the Shimonada train station as a bucket list destination in Japan.

Shimonada Station Shikoku
One of the tourist trains stopping at Shimonada Station

Now, modern social and lifestyle travellers from the world over are slowly beginning to learn about this unique and mysterious station. 

Soon you can expect to see foreigners making their way here to get that Instagram photo, and this will slowly be shared among other travellers which will, in turn, start visiting here.

Station office for Shimonada
The classic wooden station building. Photo by Kinarino Japan

The wooden station building also houses some memorabilia, photos of the station, information and a guest book for visitors to read or even sign in.

A station keeper comes by daily to open the place some simple housekeeping in and around the station area. 

A classic red post box is also located just outside the station building for those who may want to post any letters or postcards from here.

But you should have your post items ready and just slot it in the main box.

Shimonada Station Sunset
A beautiful sunset scene at the station. Photo by KinarinoJapan

Best time to visit Shimonada Train Station

The most popular times to visit the Shimonada Station is just before sunset, to catch that magical golden hour.

However, many locals tend to come here on a good clear day to capture themselves sitting at the station platform facing the sea. 

Summer would be a very good time, but you can expect huge crowds of locals visiting the train station.

If you are all out for your epic Instagram shot, you should just rent a car and head there as early as possible to beat the crowd. This way, you can take your own sweet time. 

March and April is also a popular month as winter ends and spring begins with a nice blossom of flowers around the station area.

Just by the station, a small sunflower garden has its own blooms, and they make a perfect photo when you visit during this time.

Yosai Line Train to Shimonada
The local Yosai train arriving at Shimonada Station

Shimonada Train Schedule

There are a few trains that pass this station and one of the best ways to experience this is by taking the Iyonada Monogatari Sightseeing Train. 

For those on a budget, it is better to take the local trains that make daily routine trips from Matsuyama station to Shimonada station here. 
  • Iyonada Monogatari Train - 4 times a day, weekends and public holidays only. This special train service uses an old classic retro train with modern interior and facilities and makes a short stop here. Due to the popularity of this train service, advance reservations are only accepted and you can get more info and also book from Iyonada Monogatari website
  • Local Train along the Yosan Line - The local trains that ply the Matsuyama to Iyo-Ozu cities along the Yosan Line (Amber or Yellow Line) will make stops here. When you buy your tickets, just inform the ticket counter that you want to stop at Shimonada Station.
  • Matsuyama Station to Shimonada Station Train
    • This local train makes 8 stops before Shimonada. 
    • 11 trains are running hourly.
    • Duration: 47-60 minutes, depending on the train schedule
    • Train Schedule;
    • 1st Train: 6.02 AM
    • Last Train: 9.08 PM
    • Ticket Price: ¥550 per person
Instagram Photo Shimonada Station
Photos of Shimonada Station taken by various Instagrammers

Shimonada Station Instagram Pictures
Random Instagram photos of the station

Do's and Don'ts at the Shimonada Station

As always, you must be ethical and polite, the Japanese way when you are here. There will be a lot of photographers and Instagrammers here, hence it is best to take your turn for your photos. 

Do not take forever to get your photo at the platform bench as many others are wanting to take that same photo. Please take turns and let others get their photos.

If you are done and are not happy with your photo, let the rest finish before you go again. 

Do not shout or talk loudly there as Japanese people are mild-mannered and soft spoken. If you smoke, please do not smoke at the station, as it is non-smoking.

You can smoke in the car park area and most importantly, do not simply throw your rubbish as there are rubbish bins available.

Sunset Platform Concert at Shimonada
An outdoor concert held at the platform of the Shimonada Station

Shimonada Station Sunset Platform Concert

A special concert is performed at the Shimonada train station platform on the first Saturday of September.

Here, local artists will take the stage to perform Japanese songs to a niche audience who come to witness this once a year event. 

If you are here in early September, do make it a point to plan your trip so that you can catch the unique Sunset Platform Concert at the Shimonada Station on the first Saturday.

Shimonada Station Location
Map showing where Shimonada Station is located

Where is Shimonada Train Station? 

The Shimonada Station is located in Futamicho Okubo, Iyo, in the Ehime Prefecture of Shikoku Island. It is also located in the far north-west of the island and the nearest large city is Matsuyama City. 

If you are self-driving, just use Waze and locate Shimonada or you can key in the GPS Coordinates: 33°39'18.36" N 132°35'21.12" E or (DD Coordinates - 33.6551 132.5892).

Famous train station in Japan
The local train from Matsuyama. Photo by Libaclub Japan

How to go to Shimonada Train Station? 

From Matsuyama Station, it takes about 50 minutes by train and if you choose to drive there, it will take you about 60 minutes from Matsuyama. 

For those who are coming in from Osaka or Okayama, I would recommend you take a train from Takamatsu all the way to Matsuyama. This will be a long but beautiful coastal train journey with a lot of things to see. 

Once you reach Matsuyama, you can either check in here and catch the local trains the following day so you need not rush. 

Takamatsu Station to Matsuyama Station
  • Train: Yosan Line - Limited Express Limited Express Ishizuchi 29 towards Matsuyama
  • Train Type: JR Shikoku Tilt Train (Modern fast train)
  • Duration:2 Hours 40 minutes to 3 Hours
  • Train ticket ¥6390 per person
Shikoku Shimonada Train Station
The JR train board at the station

What else is at Shimonada Station? 

On peak periods like weekends and summers, you would be lucky to see one or two vendors who come in trucks to sell the local Shimonada Coffee, fruits, snacks and other drinks. They usually park around the station area by the road and are hard to miss.

At the bottom of the station, there is a road, which was newly constructed. Previously, that piece of land used to be a beach where the sea would meet the foot of the station. 

Shimonada Station was once the closest train station to the sea. Disable friendly - There is a disabled ramp to the platform for those on wheelchairs.

Train Station Shimonada
Shimonada Station by the sea at Shikoku. Photo by Wikipedia Japan

For the serious train tourist, there is also the All Shikoku Rail Pass that you should get as it covers the entire island by train. This is only recommended for those who are into train travel or if you are a train buff. 

And if you ever wanted to know which is Japan's most Instagrammed train station? The Shimonada Station in Shikoku is the most famous one. Now that you know, it is time to start making plans to visit this unique and interesting place.

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