Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roadside Station Shimanto Towa

This large billboard with the logo attached
 acts as a landmark for the station
   Another roadside station we went to conduct an interview at was “Shimanto Towa,” located in Towa, Shimanto Town. “Shimanto Towa” opened in July of 2007, and currently has about 150,000 visitors annually, which is almost 50 times the population of the town it is located in. With some of the foremost tourist facilities in the area, the appeal of “Shimanto Towa” lies in its proximity to the nationally renowned Shimanto River, as well as in the love and care that has been put into the various local foods from the mountain (chestnuts, tea, etc.) and river (sweetfish, eel, etc.) served by the passionate staff that work there.

   It took us about two hours by JR to visit this roadside station situated in the mountains of western Kochi. Since we visited on a weekday, the parking lot was emptier than it usually is during holidays, but nearly every car that drove by the station ended up visiting, as if there was some kind of incredible power drawing in the passing vehicles.

A café where you can enjoy the view
of the Shimanto River while eating

   We visited and talked with the manager of the station, Mr. Morioka of the Shimanto Drama Company. When we asked him what the source of Shimanto Towa’s appeal was, he said that it derives from the station’s unchanging principles, as well as the station’s continual introduction of new products and its well-established forward thinking attitude.

You can even make bags
out of newspaper!
   The station operates under the concepts of retooling and development of regional resources, careful consideration of the environment, and cultivation of the region’s human resources. Regional materials are dug up and polished into products to be sold, creating a business model that does not put a burden on the environment. This framework cultivates a local populace that also adheres to the same principles.

   The station actively holds internships and training. Last year they accepted a trainee from Afghanistan. There are even young people who settle down in the town after their internship period has ended.

   This roadside station does not currently have any facilities aimed towards foreign customers, but if you come here you will surely be able to find something interesting!

 Location: 62-9 Towa Kawaguchi, Shimanto Town
 TEL: 0880-28-5527
 Hours :
   Towa Market <Summer> 8:30am - 6:00pm 
                         <Winter> 8:30 am - 5:00pm
   Towa Café 9:00am - 4:00pm (Last order at 3:30pm)
                    (Morning service 9:00am -11:00am)
                     Every Wednesday from 11:00am to 2:00pm a buffet is offered
   Ice Cream <Summer> 10:00am - 4:00pm
                    <Winter> 10:00am - 3:00pm
   Bicycle Rental 8:30am - 5:00pm 1hr/¥200
 Newspaper bag making: 2hrs/¥2,000 (Reservations necessary)
 Directions: From Kochi Station, transfer at Kubokawa Station and walk 30 minutes from Tokawa Station. 2 hours and 30 minutes by car from Kochi City. (Japanese only)

View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment