Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 50 (Back cover)

New Japanese Railway Scenery 10
Nikko Station

Nikko is a famous tourist spot with its natural beauty and historic sites. It is home to the Toshogu, Futarasan Shrine, and Rinno-ji and other UNESCO world Heritage Sites. Nikko Station opened in 1890 to serve tourists visiting the various historical monuments and nature of Nikko area. It is still an active station and the stately exterior remains unchanged from when first constructed. It is one of the most beautiful station buildings in Eastern Japan. Both the VIP room on the ground floor used by the Taisho Emperor (1876–1926) and the first-class waiting room on the first floor are still in their original condition. The chandelier and marble fireplace in the VIP room create a dignified atmosphere. The waiting room is used for various public events.

JR East Nikko Line

Today’s 40.5-km JR East Nikko Line first opened in 1890 to connect the Utsunomiya and Nikko stations. It was built by Nippon railway, but subsequently became part of JNR and then JR East. Because it was one of very few routes to Nikko, the line thrived until fierce competition started with the opening of Tobu railway’s Nikko Line running 94.5 km between Asakusa (Tokyo) and Tobu Nikko station. With the progress of motorization and decrease of rail users, JR East and Tobu Railway decided to build ties. Since 2006, JR East has operated the Nikko Limited express with through services on Tobu’s line.

Photo: Front of Nikko Station (JR East)
Photo: Series 107 running on Nikko Line (JR East)