A new shinkansen station is to be built in the city of Otaru in Hokkaido and is scheduled to open by the end of 2030. It will be Japan’s northernmost shinkansen station.
Provisionally named Shin-Otaru Station the new station will serve the Hokkaido Shinkansen, a high-speed railway line which runs between Shin-Aomori Station in northern Honshu and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station on the island of Hokkaido. Currently, an extension of the Hokkaido Shinkansen is being built, which will link Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station with Sapporo
Shin-Otaru Station will be built in the mountainous Tenjin area of Otaru, about 4.5 kilometers south of the existing Otaru Station. Detailed design plans have not yet been released, but the new station will be a three-story building with a platform on the third floor, and ticket gates and a waiting room on the second floor. There will be a large plaza in front of the station with spaces for buses and taxis, and parking spaces for 300 cars.
Otaru is a scenic port town which is visited by approximately 7 million tourists every year. The town is famous for its many beautifully preserved historic buildings, which are used to house museums, art galleries, craft shops, and delicious seafood restaurants.
When the extension of the Hokkaido Shinkansen opens in 2030, the expected travel time by rail between Tokyo and Otaru will be between 4.5 to 5 hours – currently it is closer to 9 hours. The journey time between Otaru and Sapporo will also be just 12 minutes, which compares with the current average journey time of around 45 minutes.
Different design plans for the new shinkansen station are now under consideration and the final choice will be made by public vote later this year.
Article by Michael Lambe. Photo by Mix and Match studio/pixta. All rights reserved.