Spirited Away is undoubtedly one of the most iconic Ghibli films of all time. After all, it introduced Hayao Miyazaki to many in the West, and it did win that little award called an Oscar. Now, the film actually features a scene which uses Shimonada Station in Ehime Prefecture as the inspiration for its backdrop. Naturally, fans are coming to the area to pay homage to the film, as well as take pictures.
However, the thing that people wanna see the most are the submerged train tracks near the station, where Chihiro actually ran along in the film to reach the station. And as expected, tourists are flocking to see those tracks up close.
However, the problem here is that those tracks are part of an area that’s actually off-limits to the public. This is because they’re located inside a shipbuilding yard near the station.
The property owners seems to be getting annoyed and took to Facebook to air his grievances. He claims that hundreds of people are visiting the tracks everyday, and leaving trash behind.
In his post, the owner stated:
“Please share this. We are a shipbuilding yard. In no way is this any type of model for Spirited Away. It is neither a ‘hidden place’ nor a ‘healing place’. This is the place where we hoist up ships and repair them. The tracks are our work equipment. Would you be okay with people stepping on your work equipment? Would you be okay with 100 people coming to your house every day? Please. Please don’t come here anymore.”
So those aren’t train tracks, but tracks for transporting heavy equipment, huh? But if that’s not what inspired the submerged tracks, then what did? The Nagoya Railroad also weighed in, and sort of cleared things up. They stated in a tweet that “The inspiration for the train that appeared in Spirited Away is the Meitetsu Tokoname Line when it was flooded due to Typhoon Vera. The face on the carriage body is incredibly similar to the Meitetsu train at that time. Incidentally, this train was called “Imo-mushi”.
Well, without actual word from Hayao Miyazaki himself, this wouldn’t be official just yet. As of now, the matter of the train’s origins is still up to debate. But hopefully, these posts on social media deter some tourists from trespassing.
source: Sora News 24