Melon bread or train tickets, which can we buy here?

Japan is home to many quirky train stations, like ones that have stationmaster cats, or ones that have no entrances or exits.

But recently we heard about Sekiguchi Station, which has a reputation for looking exactly like a Lawson convenience store. Was this a strange coincidence? A case of mistaken identity? Or something deeper?

Since we happened to live nearby the station, we decided to pop on over to Sekiguchi Station to investigate it ourselves. Seki, known for its handcrafted swords and handcrafted sword ice cream, is in the countryside of Gifu Prefecture, which is already pretty rural. Getting to the station requires a bunch of transfers to progressively smaller stations and train lines, until…

▼ …you arrive at the station shelter in all of its glory.

▼ Seki Station is so small that it doesn’t have a station attendant, or even a ticket gate.
You take a ticket when you get on the train, and pay when you leave it.

▼ Here’s the schedule, with the train only coming through 21 times per day in each direction.
Don’t miss your train, because we’re not in Shibuya Station anymore!

▼ A few steps down is another, smaller shelter.
And then, across the metal fence is…

▼ A Lawson! …continue reading