• Kyodo

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An architect in Otofuke, Hokkaido, has transformed part of his household into a railway museum.

“I want to provide a place where rail fans can get together and feel comfortable,” says Tadashi Hozumi, 53, who is now working on improving the displays.

A train buff since childhood, Hozumi first built a small museum on the second floor of his home in 2004. Fellow rail fans nationwide sent parts of their collections to contribute to the displays.

When the original space became packed with materials, Hozumi decided to remodel a storage shed into a new museum to celebrate his first effort’s 10-year anniversary.

He named the new museum Tokachi-bare (Tokachi Sunshine) Station after the deep blue sky for which the village is renowned.

The new museum, situated in the middle of a residential area, opened on a temporary basis earlier this month.

Upon entering the 30-sq.-meter “station,” visitors first see a monumental model railway with 20 meters of track. A wall is decorated with old train destination plates and lists of ticket prices. Old seats from passenger cars provide a place to relax.

Hozumi is currently filling out the diorama with downtowns and farms.

Aiming for a full-fledged opening in August, he said, “There is no final destination in the love of railways.”

For now the museum is open on Sundays and reservations are necessary by phone at 0155-31-8071.

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