The Stationmaster Of This Japanese Train Station Is A Benevolent Cat

Tama is the station’s hero, and she’s awesome.

This is the Kishi Station located on the Kishigawa Line in Kinokawa, Wakayama, Japan. It’s very special.
Hint: It’s shaped like a cat!

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And this is Tama. She was born in 1999 and lived near the Kishi Station with a few other strays.

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The station was almost shut down in 2004 due to financial problems.

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The Wakayama Electric Railway destaffed all stations on the Kishigawa Line in order to cut costs. The informal stationmaster at the time, Toshiko Koyama, had “adopted” Tama a few years earlier, was named the stationmaster in 2006 under those cost-cutting measures.

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In 2007, she was named stationmaster. She’s paid in free cat food, so she leads a pretty cushy life.

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As stationmaster, her job is to greet passengers.

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Tama had two helpful assistants, Miiko and Chibi.

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Thanks to Tama’s charisma, the station became quite popular and was saved from financial ruin.

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The cat-shaped station contains “Tama-themed cafe, as well as a souvenir shop with items ranging from the usual array of pens, staplers and other supplies to Kishi Station uniforms.”

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She seems to be very proud of the success of her station. The Wakayama Electric Railway now operates three very cute trains: Strawberry Train, Tama Train and Toy Train.

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You can see Tama every Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Luckily, Tama has an apprentice, Nitama, to work weekends.

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Thank you for your hard work, Tama!

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