A Michi-no-Eki is a roadside rest area for those driving across Japan.
There are currently 125 roadside stations in Hokkaido,
and it is planning to open in Tokachi and Rumoi in this year.
It isn't a place only for a rest,
but for a regional and tourist information for road travelers also.
I visited "Michi-no-Eki Abira D51 Station"
which is exhibited so that "D51 320"
can be seen up close with the opening of the Railway Museum from April 2020,
so today let me introduce this place to you!
Abira-Cho is located about 1 hour by car from Sapporo.
And it takes only about 30 minutes by car from New Chitose Airport.
It was a very new and clean roadside station that opened on April 19, 2019.
When we go inside, there is a farmers' market in Abira Town,
the bakery that sells delicious bread,
and the ice cream shop selling soft ice cream with blending bamboo charcoal.
Cheese is also recommended as a souvenir
as it is Abira Town where Japan's first founded cheese factory in 1932.
To the left of it, there was a museum that looked like the station building of Oiwake Station.
You were also certified as a Japan Heritage in 2019.
In the museum, there is a D51 which is very well-preserved to run on rails.
It's still operational!
They also hold outdoor exhibitions several times a year,
so if you have the opportunity, you may be able to see the D51 under the wonderful sky!
The front view also looks fabulous!
Although it is a representative model of a Japanese steam locomotive,
it has been designed to withstand the coldness and snowy weather of Hokkaido.
JR Hokkaido's Oiwake station, located in the center of the railway in Abira town,
was once an important place to transport coal produced in the Yubari area.
If you are a railfan,
it is worth it to visit since various important exhibits in railway history are displayed.
KiHa 183 series limited express diesel car is also on display,
but unfortunately it was not open to the public on the day I visited…😭
Abira Town is also famous for Canola flowers in spring
and sunflowers in summer,
so if you pick up or return a car at the New Chitose Airport sales office,
why don't you visit here at the beginning or the end of your trip.
Michi-no-Eki Abira D51 Station
Address (059-1921) 49-1, Oiwake Kashiwagaoka, Yufutsu Gun Abira Cho, Hokkaido
Closed 31st December 〜 3rd January（Except Parking area and public toilet）