Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tama (or Kishi) Station, shaped like a cat for a reason... a cat brought it from bankruptcy to prosperity, and they've even given a passenger train a complete makeover to increase tourism on the Kishigawa line running in Wakayama

In 2006, the entire train line was in financial trouble. They de-staffed their stations, having local business owners handle some of the day-to-day duties. One such person, Toshiko Koyama, was fond of feeding a pack of local stray cats that gathered in the area.

The hype brought in tourism (mostly young girls). The station now houses a cafe, a little museum, and a shrine dedicated to Tama

The Tama train was of course, also named after Super Station Master Tama.

Tama, a calico cat, found her calling, hanging out in the ticket booth wearing a railway hat and being generally available for passengers to see and pet as they traveled to and from and through the area. It didn’t take long for word to spread and Tama became famous.

Now, the station is not just a depot but a destination. Tama’s popularity had folks riding the train just to visit (and maybe get a picture) with the feline stationmaster.

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