Roadside Stations (道の駅; Michi no Eki) are a series of rest stops attached to major roadways throughout Japan. Akita Prefecture is home to 33 such stations.
Every station has an official name and an official nickname. The names are usually "道の駅" followed by the municipality's or area's name. The nicknames vary broadly, and often contain references to parts of local culture.
They are officially designated by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). They are designed to be places where motorists can relax on long journeys. They are also designed to be places where the local community can gather and buy/sell local produce.
Each Roadside Station has a unique stamp. If you purchase a stamp book and manage to fill it with enough stamps, you can submit it for prizes. Many motorists will go on "Stamp Rallies," where the sole purpose of their road trip is to visit as many Roadside Stations as possible.
As of November 17th, 2017, there are 1,134 registered Roadside Stations across all 47 prefectures of Japan.
The term "Roadside Station" (道の駅) purposefully contrasts with the term "Train Station" (鉄道の駅). Unlike train stations however, the "station" of Roadside Station rather is meant to indicate the traditional, Edo period post stations where travelers on horseback could rest.
Stamp Rally book
Tohoku Stamp Rally books are available for purchase for about ¥300 at any Roadside Station. These books contain information about every Roadside Station in Tohoku, which a slew of information including maps, coupons, locations, hours of operation, facilities and more.
The books update every year with new information and the new editions are available around April. If you collect stamps in your book from enough Roadside stations within a certain time frame, you can mail in your book and be eligible to receive prizes.
There are 33 Roadside Stations across the prefecture. They are numbered in the order they were designated by MLIT. The list below is organized alphabetically by municipality within each area, and does not reflect the official order.
- Roadside Station - Higashiyuri
- Roadside Station - Iwaki
- Roadside Station - Shimizunosato Chōkaigō
- Roadside Station - Nishime
- Roadside Station - Ōuchi
- Official English homepage of the Roads Bureau of the MLIT
- Official homepage of the Roadside Station system (Japanese)
- Homepage of the official Tohoku Roadside Station Stamp Rally
- Information on Roadside Stations from MLIT webpage
- List of Akita Roadside Stations on the MLIT website
- List of Tohoku Roadside Stations on Wikipedia (Japanese)
|Roadside Stations in Akita|
1.Takanosu • 2.Futatsui • 3.Nishime • 4.Yatate Pass • 5.Hachimori • 6.Kazuno • 7.Kamioka • 8.Kotooka • 9.Higashiyuri • 10.Kamikoani • 11.Kisakata • 12.Nakasen • 13.Ogachi • 14.Tennō • 15.Iwaki • 16.Shōwa • 17.Minehama • 18.Sannai • 19.Ōuchi • 20.Ani • 21.Hinai • 22.Gojōme • 23.Shimizunosato Chōkaigō • 24.Karinosato Sennan • 25.Kyōwa • 26.Jūmonji • 27.Ōgata • 28.Akita Port • 29.Kosaka Nanataki • 30.Ōdate-Noshiro Airport • 31.Ugo • 32.Ōyu • 33.Oga
|Traveling in Japan|
|Cars||Driving||Driving • Winter Driving • Speeding Tickets • Drinking and Driving • Roadside Station|
|Licenses||International Driving Permit • Japanese Licence Transition (Test Course Elements) • Renewing your Japanese License|
|Acquisition/Disposal||Buying a Car • Transferring Ownership of a Car • Disposing of a Car|
|Other Transport||Trains • Akita Nairiku Line • Shinkansen • Buses • Ferries|
|Airports||Akita Airport • Odate-Noshiro Airport • Narita International Airport • Haneda Airport • Sendai Airport • Kansai Airport|
|Leaving the Country||Traveling in and out of Japan • Residence Card • Visa Extension • Travel Insurance • Buying Flights & Travel Agents|
|Other Topics||Exploring Akita • Getting to Tokyo • Akita JET travel guide • Where in the World is Sugichi? • Quirky Japan|