There’s an unusual train station in southwest Japan to which you can take a train, but you can’t enter the platform from outside; nor can you leave.  Plus: the story of an eight year old in Russia who decided it was time to set out on his own and see the world.

Japanese train station with no stops, entrances or exits (Sora News)

Boy, 8, found after leaving home to ‘travel the world’ (BBC)

Get on board the Cool Weird Awesome train as a backer on Patreon!

This is Road Trip Week on Cool Weird Awesome, and today we’re talking about a trip, but where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

We do need rails, though. It’s a train station in southwest Japan, and an unusual one at that.

You can take a train there, but you can’t enter the platform from outside; nor can you leave. You can just… stay there.

Its name translates to Clear Stream Viewing Platform Station, and the idea is that people can take a train ride to this very scenic spot (the platform is built into the mountain and overlooks a river) and you could take a few pictures, soak in the scenery, or just take a moment in our often loud and busy world to have some peace and quiet.

We’re so used to trains and train stations being a means to an end, to take us to and from places, that it may feel weird to think of a train platform as a place you can go.

But Japanese trains have long played up the journey as well as the destination. The country’s rail lines have featured themed trains featuring Star Wars, Harry Potter and Hello Kitty, not to mention cat cafe train cars, where you ride the rails with rescue cats.

One tip, though: make sure to buy a round-trip ticket to the Clear Stream Viewing Platform Station. Just as there’s no entrance or exit, it has no ticket booth.

One more travel story today: last April an eight year old in Russia decided it was time to set out on his own and see the world. So he left home with the essentials: money from his piggy bank, encyclopedias, a toy, and a banana. The well-equipped young man took several buses and then continued on foot, but then he got tired and sat down for a rest. Which is when his very relieved mother and authorities caught up to him.