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Photo Journal: Hoping for the return of Ryoma and rail services

(Mainichi/Mai Suganuma)

This photo taken on Sept. 18, 2015, shows popular cat "stationmaster" Ryoma at Shiwaguchi Station on the JR Geibi Line in Hiroshima's Asakita Ward in western Japan. Part of the line including the station had been closed since torrential rains struck western Japan in July last year. Subsequently, the male feline, which is estimated to be about 14 years old, was hospitalized at the end of January. Local residents are hoping that train services and the feline stationmaster will return soon. Ryoma was often spotted around the station from 2010 and was unofficially appointed as stationmaster by local supporters in 2013 to promote tourism to the area. Full train services on the Geibi Line are expected to resume in autumn this year.

    (Japanese original by Mai Suganuma, Kyoto Bureau)

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