Former Temiya Line Railroad - Atlas Obscura

Former Temiya Line Railroad

This abandoned railroad got a new life as a scenic promenade cutting through the city of Otaru. 


The Former Temiya Line Railroad cuts through the retro port city of Otaru, running from the popular Sushiya-Dori shopping street to the Otaru City General Museum, which stands on the site of Temiya Station—the birthplace of rail service in Hokkaido.

Established in 1880 as part of the larger Horonai Railway, Temiya Line was the oldest railway line in Hokkaido and carried passengers from 1912 to 1962, after which it only ran as a freight train until its discontinuation in 1985, putting an end to the line altogether.

For years, the railroad tracks of the former Temiya Line lay all but abandoned. In 2001, the city purchased them from the Japanese Railway (JR) company in order to repurpose them as a scenic promenade, completing the project in 2016.

Now, the refurbished railroad tracks stretch on for a mile, carpeted with weeds and wildflowers. Running past many of Otaru’s landmarks, the promenade itself is a charming attraction, giving visitors a unique Stand By Me-like photo opportunity. 

Know Before You Go

As a public promenade, the railroad tracks are free to visit, 24/7. There are several sections of Temiya Line but, since it goes on straight for the most part, it shouldn’t be difficult to keep up with it once you find one section of it.

The Otaru City General Museum is open every day except Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 5 pm. General admission is 400 yen but you can also purchase a combo ticket for 500 yen, which grants you access to the nearby Temiya Cave archaeological site and another local history museum called the Unga-Kan (Canal Museum).

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August 22, 2023

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