japan‘s largest museum devoted to all things locomotive is the Railway Museum, located in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture. This expansive museum is a celebration of Japan’s rich train culture and is a must-visit for train enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
The Railway Museum is conveniently located near Tetsudo Hakubutsukan Station, which connects to Omiya Station via the New Shuttle service. There are several commuter lines that run from Tokyo Station to Omiya Station, including the JR Takasaki and JR Utsunomiya lines. From Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro stations, you can reach Omiya Station via the Shonan Shinjuku and Saikyo lines. The museum is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a convenient destination for visitors.
Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted with a massive 28,000-square meter facility that spans three floors and five different zones. The museum is home to a wide array of exhibits, including both models and actual trains, as well as interactive displays that cover the history and technology of rail travel. It offers a fascinating look into all things railroad-related.
One of the highlights of the Railway Museum is the collection of massive full-scale models of historic trains. These intricately crafted models allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of Japan’s most iconic trains. From old steam trains to freight cars and passenger cars, the museum showcases the evolution of locomotives throughout Japan’s history. Visitors can even venture inside some of these train cars and view others from underneath to see how they work.
For model train enthusiasts, the museum’s railway diorama is a must-see attraction. Located on the second floor of the main building, this diorama is one of Japan’s largest at about 23 meters wide and 10 meters long. It offers a realistic and immersive experience, allowing visitors to marvel at the intricate details of the miniature trains and landscapes.
Education and training are also key components of the Railway Museum. On the ground floor of the South Wing, visitors can explore exhibits about the railway system and learn about the various duties involved in working on the railway. There are interactive displays that allow visitors to try their hand at different railway tasks, providing a hands-on learning experience.
The museum also offers practical and educational attractions on the first floor, where visitors can learn about all aspects of how trains work. The simulators allow visitors to experience what it’s like to ride a real train, with the most popular being the realistic steam locomotive simulator on the ground floor of the main building. These interactive exhibits provide a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics and operations of trains.
In addition to its extensive collection of trains and exhibits, the Railway Museum features a gift shop, gallery, and the Teppaku Reading Room. The North Wing of the museum includes a play area for kids, as well as an outdoor playground called Teppaku Hiroba. Visitors of all ages can enjoy exploring the museum and engaging in educational and recreational activities.
Managed by JR East, the Railway Museum was opened in 2007 to commemorate Japan Railways’ 20 years as a private company. It serves as a testament to Japan’s deep-rooted train culture and its commitment to innovation in the field of rail travel. The museum continues to evolve and introduce new exhibits and experiences, ensuring that there is always something new to discover for both first-time visitors and returning enthusiasts.
Visiting the Railway Museum is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique glimpse into Japan’s locomotive history. Whether you’re a train enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about Japan’s rich rail culture, this museum is a must-visit destination. With its extensive collection, interactive exhibits, and educational opportunities, the Railway Museum provides a fascinating and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. Plan your visit today and embark on a journey through Japan’s captivating train heritage.
Address And Maps Location:
3-47 Onari-cho, omiya-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama-ken