Yokohama Station with No Exits, but Stunning Views, Draws a Crowd

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A train on the JR Tsurumi Line is seen at Umi-Shibaura Station in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama.

YOKOHAMA — As soon as the train doors cracked open, the surface of the shimmering, turquoise-tinted water catches my eye.

Stepping out onto the open-air platform under the clear blue sky, I see the Keihin Unga canal just beyond the fence. The Tsurumi Tsubasa Bridge in the distance also graces my line of sight.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The ocean ripples beyond the fence on the platform of Umi-Shibaura Station in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama.

All of these sights contribute to the visual appeal of Umi-Shibaura Station in Tsurumi Ward, Yokohama, a stop also known as one of the closest to the ocean.

The stop is the last on the Umi-Shibaura branch of the JR Tsurumi Line, which mainly runs from Tsurumi Station in Yokohama to Ogimachi Station in Kawasaki.

All stations except for Tsurumi on the Tsurumi Line are unmanned, with commuters to factories in the Keihin industrial area making up the majority of users.

Many of those who travel all the way to Umi-Shibaura Station are inspired by it being deemed one of the “100 best train stations in the Kanto region,” due to its spectacular view.

It is a very unique station, too, requiring prospective visitors to know a number of facts before making the journey there.

First, the general public is not allowed outside the ticket gates because the station is located on the premises of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp. However, anyone, regardless of whether they are employees of the company or not, can enjoy time at Umishiba Park, a private area adjacent to the station platform.

Visitors must also keep in mind that photography is prohibited on the side where the company is located.

The station also offers a stunning evening view, but visitors must be careful not to miss the last train because there is no public access to areas outside the station.

The last train departs at 10:20 p.m. on weekdays and 9 p.m. on weekends. Visitors also need to be mindful that outside of commuting rush hours, it can often be over an hour between trains.

The station, which opened in 1940, is said to have been named after Tokyo Shibaura Electric Co., currently Toshiba Corp.

Umishiba Park was established in 1997 to best take advantage of the view from the station in a way that would also help the public become more familiar with the industrial area.

The contrast between the exit-less station and the wide-open view is a big attraction for many. On New Year’s Day, about 300 visitors made their way to the park to witness the first sunrise of the year.

“When I take a break and come out to look at the view from the station, the exhaustion I feel from work flies away,” said Risako Kawai, 26, a Toshiba Energy employee.

Her colleague Koji Morimoto, 39, said he sometimes brings his young children to Umishiba Park on his days off.

“It’s nice to see that the station, located at the company where we work, is revered by so many people,” Morimoto said.