Yamaguchi: Prospective Town Residents Can Stay at Station

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The JR Sammi Station building, which is now being used as a trial housing facility

HAGI, Yamaguchi — The city government of Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, has started a trial project to allow people who are thinking about migrating to the countryside to stay in a 98-year-old train station building and experience life in the countryside.

Sammi Station on the JR Sanin Line is still in operation. However, it is unmanned, and the unused station building has been renovated for use as a “trial house” under the project.

The station building is a one-story wooden structure 125 square meters in size, including its eaves. It has about 60 square meters of living space, excluding the waiting room.

Courtesy of the Hagi city government
The kitchen of the trial housing

West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) initially planned to dismantle and demolish the aging building, but the city took it over for free and renovated it as a residence.

The station’s staff break room was converted into a Japanese-style room that can be used as a bedroom. The office was converted into a living space that has a kitchen, a bath and toilet.

The retro building was preserved as much as possible, and the platform side of the building has windows so that those staying there can watch the trains running right outside.

The trial house can be used for one to four weeks and is intended to lodge people who wish to move to the seaside municipality as well as people from companies considering setting up satellite offices in the area.

The rental fee for a maximum of four people at a time is ¥70,000 for six nights and seven days.

The city began renting the residence on April 1. It said reservations have already been received from the Kanto and Kansai regions.