Hamadera Suwanomori Town is located in the Nishi Ward of Sakai City in Osaka Prefecture.
It is home to the old station building of Suwanomori Station on the Nankai Line, a nationally registered tangible cultural property with an aura of Taishō romanticism (an architectural style from the Taishō era) .
The entire area of the street, which extends about 300 meters east and west of the station, is called Suwanomori Shōtenkai.
The area was originally developed as an area of holiday homes and health resorts during the Meiji, Taishō, and Showa eras, and it drew large numbers of summer residents.
Later, ready-built homes were sold there on 200-300 tsubo (about 660-990 m2 or 7104-10656 ft2) lots. Over time, many Osaka merchants began to settle there, eventually creating a new residential area for merchants, and this is said to be the origin of Suwanomori Hondōri Shopping Street.
As the area further developed, a variety of shops opened up one after another in the vicinity of the station, which had become convenient for daily life, and soon after World War II, the Suwanomori Shopping Street Promotion Association was founded. Many shops began to open to conduct business along the old and new Kishū Kaidō Roads, and at its peak, 170 shops joined the Association.
Today, there are about 60 shops, including cafés and Japanese confectionery shops, that operate along the street and are loved by the community.
In 1993, the Suwanomori Shopping Street Promotion Association was incorporated, and the street was developed into a bright shopping street through the introduction of colored pavers, replacement of the street lights, and other initiatives.
Furthermore, the colored pavers used represent the sea in Hamadera Suwanomori and convey the image of Suwanomori crowded with beachgoers.
A major event, called Festa Suwanomori, is held every summer, with shops opening yomise (night stalls/booths); in winter, the street is illuminated with colorful lights and filled with thriving events, and it bustles with locals as well as visitors.
Please come to Suwanomori, the good old town that has long been loved by merchants and maintained by locals all these years.
In 1998, it along with the Hamadera-kōen station building became the first major private railway buildings to be designated as registered cultural properties.
Modest yet distinctive design elements in various places
Suwanomori Station opened in 1907, and in 1919, a new station building was built at the time of the station's relocation. The west station building has modest yet distinctive design elements in various places, such as stone-pitched outer spandrel walls and windows arranged in the form of an arch.
One of its features is a set of five stained-glass windows depicting Awaji Island beyond a sea that extends along a coastline of white sand and green pines.
In 1998, the building along with the Hamadera-kōen station building, which is one stop away from Suwanomori, became the first major private railway buildings to be designated as registered cultural properties.
In conjunction with the Continuous Railroad Grade Separation Project for the Nankai Line (Sakai City), the station's operations were moved to a temporary station building in 2019, and in 2020, the old west station building was relocated to its current location. It does not currently serve as a station building, but it remains as a popular space for community interaction, including as a café, as a gallery, and for culture classes.
(The east station building was built in 1966 when the outbound platform was relocated to the north side of the level crossing in order to widen the platform.)
Stained-glass windows depicting magnificent landscape
As a registered cultural property, the old west station building of Suwanomori Station has never been demolished or rebuilt and was moved to its current location by a building relocation method in which it was moved without altering its original state.
Currently, it is used as a community space, including as a café and for cultural classes, so please feel free to drop by.