An unmanned train station in Japan's rural Tottori Prefecture which is only used by two people every day is getting a splashy new makeover in an attempt by residents to create a new national treasure: the Love Station. The entire station has been repainted a bright pink, and a heart-shaped monument with the character meaning "love" (恋) has been installed to drive the point home. Red hearts also dot the entire station, surrounded by acres of natural beauty.
The Love Station is only the latest effort to brand Tottori as the land of love. Four years ago residents have been growing giboshi, a type of plantain lily that symbolizes love, and they've also been encouraged to write love poetry. This particular station was chosen for the makeover, along with four others in Japan, because it's name, Koiyamagata Station, contains the character for "love" (“koi” 恋).
In this secluded spot, a station representative hopes that lovers will find piece and harmony. “We will give this station as a place where a couple can be alone together,” he said.
Netizens were a little less romantic about the whole idea, complaining that it the bright pink station ruins the natural beauty of the spot. Some called it "tacky" and questioned whether it was naive to designate a station that could become little more than a hookup spot.
(via: Asahi Shimbun)