Ok, so I’m a little obsessive with lists. And Japanese train stations. And lists of Japanese train stations. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of every train station in Japan that has Katakana or English letters in the official station name (most train stations are in kanji, with many having hiragana or a combination of the two).
Why this list? It started with a long, slow ride on the Keisei Line, coming back from Narita Airport on a cheaper, local train. The train stopped at Yūkarigaoka Stationユーカリが丘駅 (map). It was the first time I’d seen a station name in katakana. What did it mean? And why was katakana used?
The word ユーカリが丘 Yūkarigaoka is made up of yuukari ユーカリ, meaning eucalyptus, and oka 丘, meaning hill. Ga が links them, and together it means eucalyptus hills. Like some katakana words, the meaning of ユーカリ is not obvious to a new Japanese learner…
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