Saturday, August 18, 2018
Yonabaru Railroad Station Museum
Before the Yui-rail was invented or, even dreamed of, a railroad once existed on Okinawa.
The original Yonabaru Station is a museum nowadays, dedicated to the original train line.
Friday's camera excursion led us to this attraction.
Some research had led us to believe photography was forbidden.
We planned on making a quick visit, snapping a few outdoor photos and checking it out.
A staff member was at the door, watching us snap photos of the exterior.
Using some sign language (Pointing at the camera and flashing OK?) paid off.
She signaled, "Cameras OK" and that got us indoors with smiles.
This frame on the wall shows the Yonabaru Station as it appeared in 1914.
Yonabaru had a busy shipping port. The rail line transported goods and people to Naha.
An old black and white photo shows the train at the station in the year 1920.
The museum sells trinkets, souvenirs, t-shirts and whatever but not much in English.
It would have been worth my while, to purchase a history of this train.
Here's a 1943 photo of the railroad staff posing by the train.
Much more cargo and passengers could be hauled on that line than, today's 2 car trains.
Before the Battle of Okinawa started in 1945, the Typhoon of Steel softened things up.
It was the end of the line for this railroad and the Yonabaru Station.
Much of the southern parts of Okinawa were destroyed during the battle.
Iron was scarce and scavenged for other needs so, the railroad was never restored.
It's a shame, the governments of Japan and the USA didn't restore the railroads of Okinawa.
Now, it seems the 2 car monorail, packed with tourists, is the wave of the future.
The museum has free parking for five automobiles.
The building is climate controlled so, it's cool in summer and warm during winter.
Entrance fees are less than it costs to buy a cup of coffee.
Special thanks to Chisato the museum worker for an enjoyable visit.