Take a 30-minute train ride from Wakayama Station to Kishi Station. A heart-warming trip to see “Tama”, the station master.
Cat owners must know that some cats are acting like they’re the boss. They are busy with sleeping, playing and eating. Some owners even treated their cats like their human children with great food, the puffiest pillow, and the cutest-pretties clothes.
And talking about the boss, the Kishi Station in Wakayama has its own cat boss, Tama, who gets special treat from her fans.
Her job is uncommon for most ordinary cats, she is the station master and she works five days in a week from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tourists and locals treated her like a celebrity, she is the cat idol in Wakayama. She is very busy running her own cat-themed station, train, and cafe.
Let’s go to the cat-shaped station to see the cat stationmaster and ride the cat-themed train at Kishi Station.
- From Namba Station, Osaka, get on Nankai Limited Express “Southern” to Wakayamashi Station, and then change to JR Kisei Main Line. Get off at Wakayama Station. The Limited Express “Southern” has reserved seat (additional fare).
- From Osaka (Umeda) Station, Tennoji Station, and the stations of JR Osaka Loop Line, get on JR Kishuji Rapid Train, and then get off at Wakayama Station. Kishuji Rapid Train is often connected with Kansai Airport Rapid Train, so take note of the car you are in.
The platform of Wakayama Electric Railway Kishigawa Line is No. 9 in Wakayama Station. Buy one day ticket at the gate of the platform. This ticket allows you to get on the train for 20 yen cheaper than the regular fare. (One day ticket: adult 780 yen, child 390 yen) MAP
- Get on Kishigawa Line of Wakayama Electric Railway.
On the Train (So cute!)
There are four kinds of trains, “Tama” Train, Strawberry Train, Toys Train, and Umeboshi (dried plum) Train. Each train has different decorations and illustrations inside the car, so you will be entertained while sitting on the train.
It takes 30 minutes to Kishi Station. Train runs through the peaceful landscape of the countryside.
- Get off at the terminal, Kishi Station.
Tama Museum Kishi Station
Finally, you got to Kishi Station, which is also named Tama Museum. As soon as you enter the station, the second station master “Nitama” will greet you unless she is sleeping. Actually, she is usually taking a nap comfortably.
This station has “Tama Cafe” that serves French toast and ice creams. At “Tama Shop” in the station, you can find Tama’s goods and various souvenirs made from Umeboshi, which is the local product of Wakayama.
- Get on the train and go back to Wakayama Station.
- If you also want to visit Wakayama Castle, get out of Central Gate of Wakayama Station and take a bus to Koenmae. It takes 10 minutes.
- Go straight on Keyaki-odori Street in front of the station. It takes 30 minutes to Ichinohashi Bridge of the castle.
If you still have time to stroll around, Wakayama Castle is a great place to visit. Though going up stone stairs is a bit tough, the view from the top floor will refresh you. (Opening hours of the castle tower: 9:00-17:30, Entrance fee: adult 410 yen, elementary/junior high school student: 200 yen) MAP
This castle was the residence of Kishu-Tokugawa Clan, who has been given the position to succeed the Tokugawa Shogun in Edo period.
Nishinomaru-Teien Garden, which is called “the Garden of the Valley of Maple Leaves”, is a typical Japanese garden of Tokugawa era. When the autumn season arrives, locals and tourists come to see the maple trees. Surprisingly, this castle also has a zoo.
- Get on a bus to Wakayama Station.
- Walk along Keyaki-odori Street to Wakayama Station.
- For Osaka Station or Namba Station, get on JR Kisei Main Line to Wakayamashi Station, and then change to Nankai Limited Express “Southern”.
- For the stations of JR Osaka Loop Line, get on JR Kishuji Rapid Train.