JR West will open a new station on the JR Kyoto Line called JR Sojiji Station in the spring of 2018. The new station will be located between Settsu-Tonda Station and Ibaraki Station and will also be close to Hankyu Sojiji Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line. Both stations are named after the local Sojiji Temple which is famous for its annual Kitchen Knife Ceremony. Because JR Sojiji Station will be so close to Sojiji Temple the style of the new station building is designed to create the impression that it is a gateway to the temple itself.
Sojiji Temple is one of the 33 temples in the Kansai region’s Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage route and it is believed to have been founded by the Heian era noble Yamakage Fujiwara in the year 879.
Yamakage Fujiwara was an originator of the Hocho-shiki or Kitchen Knife Ceremony. This is a highly skilled ceremony during which a fish is filleted and prepared as a ritual offering using only knives and without touching it by hand. To honor the memory of Yamakage Fujiwara the Hocho-shiki is performed every year on April 18th. On this date several professional chefs dressed in Heian era ceremonial clothes prepare fish and offer them to the memory of Yamakage Fujiwara. The temple also has a burial mound for used knives which have been dedicated by local restaurants and families.
The new JR Sojiji Station will be 1.7 kilometers from Settsu Tonda Station, 2 kilometers from Ibaraki Station, and 0.6 kilometers from Hankyu Sojiji Station. Sojiji Temple is located between Hankyu Sojiji Station and the construction site of the new station and is easily walkable from both.
The new station will have one island platform with tracks on both sides and this platform will be fitted with automatic screen doors for people’s safety. This is the first time for JR West to use this particular type of two-layered platform edge sliding screen doors.
Article by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.