A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Happy Tunnelversary

Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the opening of the Seikan Tunnel (青函トンネル) in 1988. This tunnel connects Aomori and Hokkaido and is the longest railway tunnel in the world (53.85 km with a 23.3 km portion under the seabed). The Channel Tunnel (50.5 km long with 39 km under the seabed) is the longest undersea tunnel.

Read more about the Seikan Tunnel and the Channel Tunnel on Wikipedia.


  • Prima Cabina says:

    There are two undersea stations in the Seikan tunnel, Yoshioka-Kaitei station (Hokkaido side) and Tappi-Kaitei station (Aomori side) (“Kaitei” means undersea).

    Unfortunately, JR has stopped an operation of the Yoshioka-Kaitei station since 2005. You can stop over only at the Tappi-Kaitei station right now.

    I have an experience to stop over at the Tappi-Kaitei station. It was a kind of great adventure!

    Actually, the undersea station is a gateway to a maintanance tunnel / an emergency exit. So a platform is very narrow.
    You can go up to the ground level on cape Tappi by an underground tram. On the ground level, there is Seikan tunnel Memorial Museum. You can learn about this great achievement.

    In 10 minutes walk from the museum, you can enjoy a very nice view from cape Tappi. A front of you is Hokkaido over Tsugaru channel and on the back, there are several propellers for the first wind power plant in Japan.

    Furthermore, there is one more must-go place in cape Tappi.
    You can go down from the side of light house to a settlement of Minmaya village by stairs and a footpath.
    Actually, this stairs and the footpath is a part of the national route 399!, only national route which has stairs. Without a signboard of route 399, nobody can realize this is a national route!
    For further information, google “階段国道(Kaidan-Kokudo(=a stairs national route))”.

    Please note that most of trains do not stop at the undersea station. I recommend you to ask a JR station staff about which train stops there before buying a ticket.

  • Shaney says:

    This is great information! I think you should promote this to a full blog post because I am afraid that some people will not check the comments. It would be a shame for people to miss out on this adventure!