Our series of inspirational and motivational images and quotes related to traveling continues with a quote from American author Margaret Lee Runbeck:
“Happiness is not a station you arrive at, it is a manner of traveling.”
The author of works including Pink Magic, Hope of Earth, and A Hungry Man Dreams, Margaret Lee Runbeck captured our attitude towards life perfectly. Traveling is not what makes us happy, though we enjoy it very much. In fact, nothing in particular “makes” us happy; we are happy. Whether you’re stuck in cubeville or are wandering the wide open highway, you can choose a state of mind. You can choose how you travel through life. We choose happy.
But, it turns out, Happiness is a station you can arrive at. Or could.
The picture is of Kofuku Station, a former train station in Kofuku-cho, about 14 miles outside of Obihiro, Japan. Kofuku means happiness in the Japanese language, so many people traveled to Kofuku to get a “ticket to Happiness.” One particularly popular route was from Aikoku to Kofuku; the city names mean Love and Happiness. The papers plastering the building, inside and out, are train tickets, photographs, and other mementos left by those wishing for happiness.
Unfortunately, the rail line was closed in the 1970s because the route was losing money. The very opposite of happiness for those who worked there. The station building was abandoned for more than 25 years, though as many as 175,000 people still visited every year. A stand sold “Tickets to Happiness,” which visitors then tacked up on the station. It has also been a popular spot for weddings, where the lucky couple can participate in a Kofuku Station Happiness Ceremony.
The city renovated the station in 2013, and it is still a popular destination.