Michi no Eki



Roadside stations (michi no eki)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Michi no Eki 道の駅 "Station at the Roadside"
Roadside Station

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These are stop-overs along national roads, where you can have a cheap meal of local specialities. They also have stores selling the local specialities and fresh vegetables of the area.Some are quite famous, for example the one in Okutsu Hot Spring, Okayama prefecture, where the local housewives prepare their home-made food and sell it for "all you can eat" for a rather cheap price. The variety of dishes and sweets is great and every day numbers of tourist buses flood the parking area during lunchtime.

They serve as tourist attractions and have seasonal events to attract visitors. There are more than 800 michi-no-eki all over Japan.

Some are open 24 hours a day.

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Michi no Eki in Western Japan / My PHOTOS

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Michi no eki in Nara prefecture


Roadside stations
Convenient rest areas like the ones located on expressways are found on open roads as well. Such facilities set up in approximately 900 locations nationwide are commonly known as "Michi no Eki."
Some local governments consider Michi no Eki as one of their facilities for tourists. Indeed, Michi no Eki play a key role in representing respective cities, towns, and villages, offering a wide variety of services for the users. From small ones with bathrooms only to those with stores selling local specialties, there are those that have more to offer than expressways' rest areas.
At some Michi no Eki, you can even find hot spring spa, camping ground, athletic field, and swimming pool.
However, please note that gas stations cannot be found in most of them.
source : www.japan-i.jp


Some famous local ones

Odaiko no Yakata (Michi no Eki Takanosu)
The world's largest drum (diameter 3.71 m.) and registered such in the Guinness Book of records, as well as a range of smaller drums from around the world can be seen in this exhibition hall.
source : www.japanican.com


Mutsu-Yokohama, Nanohana Plaza
Nanohana Plaza is a Michi-no-Eki roadside station in Yokohama, the rape blossom city. Rape blossom donuts made using fresh rapeseed oil extracted from rape blossoms and a wide variety of other rape blossom goods, as well as specialty food items made with sea cucumbers, are sold here.
This is the largest rape blossom field in Japan in terms of planted acreage, measuring about 109 hectares (which is equal to 152 soccer fields). Visitors can experience the joy of immersing themselves in a sea of yellow blossoms during a one-month period every year from the beginning of May through the beginning of June.
source : www.jnto.go.jp


Prefecture Seki・Mino・Gujo-Hachiman Area
2503-2 Shimonoho, Seki city

Michi-no-eki Heisei, which is located by the Tsubo River along the Heisei-Kobushi streets, is a hub facility of the Japan Heisei Village community. There is a gallery, a drinking area, and a Furusato-Corner where local tourist destinations are introduced and local special products are sold.
source : www.kandou10.jp


Since 1993, cities and towns that represent regions have been cooperating with highway administration bodies to develop Michi-no-Eki that provide the three functions of rest area, information provision and regional linkage.
On August 10, 2005, three new stations were registered in the Kinki region, making a total of 95 stations in the region and 830 nationwide.
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source : www.kkr.mlit.go.jp


Nango is a quaint fishing village on the far south coast of Miyazaki Prefecture on Japan's Kyushu island.
Michi-no-eki Nango
... with a vegetable shop and cafe, beautifully constructed walking trails, and striking ocean vistas, Michi-no-eki is much more than just a simple rest stop.
At the base of Michi-no-eki is a small cooperatively-owned vegetable shop that sells nothing but local produce and gifts for travelers. While the shop's wares are quite seasonal, it is the best place in Nango to find fresh, organic produce at low prices.
The heart of Michi-no-eki, however, is the free walking trails. Take an afternoon and enjoy a walk up the mountainside in the cool ocean air.
The tourist-friendly road stop actually features 12 immaculately maintained trails, each boasting a theme. Featured routes include the "Jungle Cruise", "Rock Mountain", "Ocean View Deck", "The Strange Forest", "Tropical Garden" and an upward hike to the "Ocean Vantage Point Gazebo".
The Tropical Dome
The Tropical Dome is a spectacular two-level greenhouse and horticultural center that covers an area of 845 square meters. It is 48 meters wide and a main attraction to Michi-no-eki. The Tropical Dome features many exotic plants and 30 varieties of fruit, including papaya, banana, and other flowering trees.
source : www.town.nango.miyazaki.jp


near Marugame, there is one to enjoy the sunset.

in Takamatsu, they sell a special

michi no eki bentoo 道の駅弁当
Lunchbox from the roadside station

with local tairagi clams

タイラギ / たいらぎ Atrina pectinata

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kigo for all winter


Highway Restaurants

You have to pay for Japanese highways, but there are many stops on the way for free toilet use and then getting gasolin and food on the way.
Many restaurants serve the local specialities, apart from the fast noodle soups and onigiri rice balls.

In my area, Hiruzen Service Area
has the fresh milk from Hiruzen Hights Jersey Cow farm.
Hiruzen Jersey Land

There is also a Michi no Eki right after the exit from the highway.
Kaze-no-ie 風の家 Home of the Wind
with a rich vegetable selection.
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Library: サービスエリア

Worldwide use

Stationen am Wegrand, Rastgelegenheiten am Wegrand.
Die Toiletten sind umsonst.

Things found on the way


Related words

***** WASHOKU : Restaurants

***** WASHOKU : General Information

Ekiben 駅弁 Train Station Lunch Box


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