たま駅長 . 다마 역장 . 小玉站长
Grandma, Mom and me are back in Japan, and this is my first visit to this part of Japan. We took a limousine bus from Kansai International Airport this morning and reached Wakayama City 和歌山市 before lunch.
From the JR Wakayama Station JR和歌山駅, we walked 10 mins to Ide Shoten 井出商店 for famous Wakayama soba 中華そば. Mom got a little lost as usual, so the walk took a little bit longer.
|Can't miss the queue outside!|
|A very small shop, and Mom said it looked like many famous people visited it too|
|Take what you need and pay at the end of the meal|
Address: 和歌山市田中町4-84Tel: 073-424-1689
Directions: Click here
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am - 11.30pm (closed on Thu)
After lunch, we walked back to the JR Station to take the Wakayama Electric Railway 和歌山電鐵 to Kishi Station 貴志駅 to meet Tama, the Station Master たまスーパー駅長. Mom said the station master is very special because it's a CAT!
|Enter the JR Wakayama Station, make a left turn and go down, and follow the paw prints!|
There is no need to buy a train ticket to enter the station.
|Follow the paw prints to the train platform|
|Head up to Platform 9|
|Tear off the left upper corner tab of the adult one-day train pass to get a discount for kids|
|The One-Day Pass is good because it lets us get on and off the train many times.|
Buy the pass at the platform ticket booth.
|Getting the station stamp in my travel notebook|
|Unfortunately, our train was not the special train|
|Passing by many paddy fields|
|30 mins later, we've reached Kishi Station|
|The cat-shaped train station in a small area|
|Peek into the window to see Tama|
Mom suggested that we wait at Tama Café たまカフェ for the train to arrive.
|Opens daily 9am - 5pm (closed every 3rd Wed of the month)|
|Tama mascot everywhere|
|810円 in total|
|One Tama stamp for the road ...|
|The Station Master is finally awake!|
Address: 和歌山県紀の川市貴志川町神戸 貴志駅内
Tel: Nil, to call Itakisho Station 073-478-0110
Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm
I was super happy to take the Omoden, the toy-themed train!
There are 3 types of special trains - the "strawberry" Ichigo EC, the "toy" Omoden, and the Tamaden - and I think Omoden is the best!
|Cot for babies|
|Lots of toys on display|
|Fun exploring the train|
|Gachagachapon! Got myself a Tama badge|
Five stops later, we alighted at Itakisho Station 伊太祈曽駅, and met its Station Master Nitama ニタマ駅長.
|Nitama is inside the station master "room" on the right|
|The small train station|
Then we took a 5-min walk to Itakisho Jinja 伊太祈曽神社 to have a quick look before the next train to Wakayama Station came. The sky started to turn a little dark, and we got back to the station before it rained.
|Entrance to Itakisho Jinja|
|Go straight and the Shinto shrine is on the right|
Address: 〒640-0361 和歌山市伊太祈曽 558
Tel: 073-478-0006Directions: Click here
- The soup broth at Ide Shoten was the highlight for me! The shop was really small, but the customer turnover was pretty fast... we queued for about 20 mins. Need to ask the locals for directions though
- No worries about popping into the souvenir shop next door to look at Tama from another angle
- Our visit to Kishi station took about 1 hour (including tea break); however, factor in more time to visit the strawberry (Feb-May), blueberry (Jul-Aug) and mikan (Oct-Dec) farms in this Kishigawa area when the fruit season starts
- The Tama Café is also a museum of sorts displaying the awards given to Tama as well as souvenirs, so feel free to walk in and explore
- Read this interesting CNN feature on how Tama saved a train station