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Shin-Hakodate Hokuto

Shin-Hakodate Hokuto station

Shin-Hakodate Hokuto station in Hokuto city, Hokkaido.

This station is the gateway of Hokkaido and the current terminus of Hokkaido shinkansen.

Shin means NEW in Japanese but it does not mean the new station for JR in the region or district but means that the station is for shinkansen lines. For example, Shin-Yokohama, Shin-Fuji and Shin-Osaka are on Tokaido shinkansen and away from downtown. Actually there are stations with prefix SHIN in Japan, also JR lines(for example Shin-Asahikawa, Shin-Iizuka and Shin-Matsudo) but these stations are far away from shinkansen and most likely no shinkansen in the future.

The station was called Oshima-Ohno until the opening of the Hokkaido shinkansen. Oshima-Ohno was a very local, very few passengers using the station(there were almost nothing around the station). Therefore the station should be renamed to Shin-Hakodate but the problem was that the station is not located in city of Hakodate but the neighboring city of Hokuto(this city was born after merge of several towns of the area in 21st century).

Of course JR Hokkaido did not want to rename to Shin-Hokuto as no one out of Hokkaido knows where Hokuto is. On the other hand, Hakodate is a historical city, third largest city in Hokkaido after Sapporo and Asahikawa. Then, Hakodate is a important port with many tourist attractions which means many tourists go to Hakodate all through the year. Municipal government of Hakodate insisted on naming Hakodate but the municipal government of Hokuto fully insisted on Hokuto.

Finally the JR Hokkaido combined the names of both cities.

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