Chugoku is the westernmost region of Honshu, and if you're traveling through the area by train there are some interesting stations to discover. Some of the unique ones to explore include stations inspired by shrines, turtles, the color pink, and the area's rich manga history.

Yonago Station, Tottori

Something fun that you'll often see if you're passing through Yonago Station are the decorated train carriages for the Sakai Line route. The line connects Yonago to Sakaiminato, and each stop along the route has a nickname which corresponds to the name of a monster from GeGeGe no Kitarō, a manga series created back in 1960 by Shigeru Mizuki who was raised in the prefecture. Other train designs incorporate characters from the Detective Conan series.

Yonago Station
Yonago Station (Photo: Tzu-hsun Hsu / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Izumo Yokota Station, Shimane

Shimane's Izumo Yokota Station has gained fame thanks to its design that imitates a shrine. There is a large shimenawa at the front of the station building, similar to what you'd see at the prefecture's famous Izumo Taisha Shrine. It provides a distinct contrast to many modern station buildings, and retains a charming, historical feel.

Izumo Yokota Station
Izumo Yokota Station (Photo: Kouchiumi / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Koi Yamagata Station, Tottori

Tottori's Koi-Yamagata Station had a makeover in 2013 which involved the addition of heart motifs and the color pink used in abundance. Pink heart motifs are also used for the platform directional signs, and there are pink heart-shaped ema for people to write their wishes or prayers on.

Koi Yamagata Station is decked out in pink
Koi Yamagata Station is decked out in pink (Photo: Lirim477 / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Kamenoko Station, Okayama

There's no denying the uniqueness of Kamenoko Station, which is served by the JR Tsuyama Line. The station building is shaped like a turtle, with the "shell" as its roof. The head protruding from the building also features functional clocks as the turtle's eyes! Visitors to the station will also find some turtle statues by the entrance, plus turtle themed artwork, figurines, and plush toys inside the building.

Kamenoko Station
Kamenoko Station (Photo: Ribbon / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sakaiminato Station, Tottori

Another great stop for manga fans, Sakaiminato Station is located right by the start of Mizuki Shigeru Road, which is filled with bronze statues of characters from GeGeGe no Kitaro. There are also numerous decorated trains that pass through the station, along with benches illustrated with characters, murals, and more.

Sakaiminato Station
Sakaiminato Station (Photo: pelican / CC BY-SA 2.0)