Former Shimashima Station

2022-07-05

On the day of the lecture at the former Hata Town Hall. I was in front of Shin-shimashima Station, the Matsumoto Electric Railway Kamikochi Line before the lecture.
Currently, Matsumoto Electric Railway has been changed to Alpico Kotsu Co., Ltd., so it would be accurate to call it “Alpico Kotsu Kamikochi Line", but Matsumoto Electric Railway is still more familiar to me.

However, the purpose of this day is not the Shin-shimashima Station. My destination is behind me, on the other side of the station building.

It’s this building.

The building is now called “Matsumoto City Hata Tourist Information Center", but it is no longer in use.

I will write the origin of the building.

Regarding the relationship between Shin-shimashima Station and Old Shimashima Station, (Japanese “shin" means “new") the end point of the Kamikochi Line was originally “Shimashima Station".
In 1921, Chikuma Railway opened the line that from Matsumoto Station to Niimura Station as the “Shimashima Line".  It was extended to Shimashima Station the following year. In the same year, the company name was changed to Chikuma Electric Railway, and in 1932 it became Matsumoto Electric Railway.

Around 1965, Shimashima Station was crowded as a gateway to Kamikochi, so the station square became too small to handle the increasing number of climbers.
Therefore, in July 1966, it was decided to relocate the bus stop to the former unmanned station “Akamatsu Station". Akamatsu station was renamed “Shin-shimashima station" in October, probably because of for tourists.
Tourists get off at Shin-shimashima station, so only locals got on to Shimashima station.

In September 1983, the typhoon No. 10 caused a landslide between Shimashima Station and Shin-shimashima Station. The estimated restoration cost was 20 million yen, but the annual profit between Shimashima and Shin-shimashaima, which are only used by locals, was 1 million yen.
Since this is not profitable, the section between Shimashima and Shin-shimashima was abolished in 1985. Three years later, the station building was also demolished.

After that, there were requests from mountaineers the restoration of the station building. In 1991, Hata Town recreated the old station building across the street from Shin-Shimshima Station based on blueprints and named it “Former Shimshima Station Building".
Some people on the Internet say that the station was moved, but this is not a move but a reconstruction. However, it seems that some of the materials were used. (Information unconfirmed).

So, the station building has both the words “Former Shimashima Station" and “Hata Tourist Information Center" on it. The character balance of the “Hata Tourist Information Center (波田観光案内所)" is strange, but I guess the name before the merger was “Hata Town Tourist Information Center (波田町観光案内所)". I imagined that when Hata Town merged with Matsumoto City, it was adjusted by omitting the word “town ()".

I looked around the building only from the outside.

Approaching from the front. The sign on the window says “Beware of falling down snow from the roof".

Coming around from the front to the left. There was a bench set up.

The back side looks like this.

I peeked inside through the window on the west side. The wood looks new, so it seems to be a new building, not a relocation. All the postings on the walls had been torn off, and the place was empty. I guessed it was no longer in use.

The Matsumoto City website has a document about city facility. The “Hata Tourist Information Center" is also listed up there.
It says that the center was opened on April 1, 2011 (the year after Hata Town merged with Matsumoto City), and closed on April 1, 2016.

Furthermore, in the official tweet of “Endo Nagisa" the Arpico Kotsu Kamikochi Line image character, I found a sentence on August 25, 2015, “Due to the aging of the building, it will not be open for business this year". So the facility was abolished in 2016, but apparently it was no longer open in 2015.

I wonder what will happen to this building in the future. Will there be other uses for it, or will it be demolished ?
The building is said to be decrepit, but I think it’s too early to call it decrepit after 30 years.

The last photo, I found this in the waiting room of Shin-shimashima Station. There was a model of the former Shimashima Station building.

A newspaper article (March 15, 2013) was posted on the wall, and it said that the model was made by a man named Mr. Ito from Azumino City.

[Reference]
“Hata Town History : Modern Times [Translated from Japanese.]". (Hata Town History Compilation Committee, 1987, published by Hata Town Board of Education)
“The Great Hata: 136 Years of a Beautiful Town [Translated from Japanese.]" (Hata Town Merger Commemorative Magazine, 2010)

[Addition] (2022.07.05)
I didn’t check the site after that, I found an article that the station building was demolished in February 2022.
Link (written in Japanese) “The dismantling of the old Shimashima restoration station building begins. Fans inside and outside the prefecture are disappointed" (Shimin Times WEB 2022.02.15)