For those who are thinking,
「I wanna know about the highlights of the Kyoto Railway Museum!」
then this article is for you!
Hello! WABI SABI here, to give foreign visitors the information you need in order to further enjoy Japan!
What we, the information brokers of Japan, would like to introduce to you in this article is the Kyoto Railway Museum!
The Kyoto Railway Museum had its grand-open in April, 29th, 2016, in the leisure place of citizens of Kyoto, Umekoji Park.
Originally, it was called the Umenokoji Steam Train Museum, but through remodeling and newly added facilities and attractions did it newly open as the domestically biggest Railway Museum.
Currently, it is a popular spot in Kyoto that is continuously visited by many families and railway fans, daily.
You can observe precious trains that can’t be normally seen, ride actually moving SL trains, and experience piloting a train.
The museum is full of highlights. Not only train fans but also beginners will be able to enjoy it as well. It is said that at the grand opening, a long line of about 14,000 people formed!
Now let’s get right into it!
You Can Feel The Appeal Of Trains Up-close!
The Kyoto Railway Museum has many highlights, but one of them that would come first would definitely be the fact that you can experience the appeal of the trains up-close!
When you enter, the first thing you will see are 3 rare trains. Each of these trains have had a big part in Japans transport system.
The first one from the left is the Large high speed passenger steam locomotive C62 type 26, the second is the Kuha 86, the first long train in Japan, the third train is Japans first bullet train 0 series 21.
You can observe the cool big train wheels up-close and even children get excited when seeing them.
The first Shinkansen in Japan had a cute round nose, which was imaged by current adults when they used to paint. Especially in front of the Shinkansen, there are many parents, children and railway fans who take commemorative pictures.
On each of the train cars is the name, model number, and other detailed information. If you read these, you will be able to understand its situation at it time before.
Japans Representative Sleeper Train Exhibit
When you head to the main building, there will also be trains on your left. In this space are the representative sleeper trains of Japan, Twilight Express, Express Train Akatsuki, and Suisei, and many other trains that were actually used.
Unfortunately, you cannot go inside the trains, but you can see the sleeping rooms from outside the trains.
You Can Understand The History Of The Railways
When you enter the first floor, you can deeply understand, not only up to the current ages trains, but also how each railway works, their characteristics, and their history through their exhibits.
You will definitely be able to feel the overall charm of the railway. You can observe the driver seats of the trains that have been used and experience controlling the pantograph.
There are many railway models of old stations carefully remade that you will even enjoy looking at!
You Can Experience Driving Trains!
You can try your hand at the driving simulator in the 2nd floor of the main building. In the simulation, you ride through 2 stations at the same feeling of a real train.
You can feel like a real train driver as they also have the train driver uniforms. There is also the accel and breaks to move the train and you can see a scenery that would be the same as if you were actually seeing it from the driver’s seat.
The tunnels and other trains going in the other direction feel very real as well. Due to that you will also feel the speedy feeling that you would get from actually driving a train.
You will also feel the surprising difficulty of using the breaks whenever you try to stop. When the experience is over, you can get your picture taken for a driver’s license.
The driver for the driving simulator is chosen through lottery so ask around if you want to participate!
The Inner Workings Of The Ticket Gate Machine
Furthermore, there is also an Automatic Skeleton Ticket Gate installed. You have probably been through one of these ticket gate machines per usual, but have you ever thought about the inner workings of it? Well, those thoughts will be answered in this exhibit!
You would get a free ticket from the ticket booth and insert it into the ticket reader machine. The inside of the ticket reader machine is like a skeleton and you’ll be able to see the ticket quickly flow within it!
There will be an original stamp on each ticket that comes out and you can bring that home in commemoration.
Rare Even In The Country: The Fan Shaped Garage
This is the fan shaped garage. This should be a fans dream to see as it is very rare to see the fan garage with all 20 of its trains parked.
The turning-platform in the middle is still working even now. You can even get up close to famous trains and go inside real steam trains! You’ll definitely be able to directly feel and hear them rumble!
Kyoto Railway Museum
- Address：Kankiji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8835, Kyoto Prefecture
- Business Hours：10:00~17:30
- Prices：「General/1200yen」、「Uni・High School/1000yen」、「Midde・Elementary/500yen」、「Kids above age 3/200yen」
- Access Info：After getting off at JR Umekoji Nishi Kyoto Station on the Sagano line, walk 2 minutes
- Official Website：http://www.kyotorailwaymuseum.jp/
The business hours of the Kyoto Railway Museum are from 10:00 to 17:30.
The prices for general customers is 1200yen, Uni and High school students are 1000yen, Middle and Elementary school students are 500yen, and kids above the age of 3 are 200yen.
Accessing the Kyoto Railway Museum became very easy as of March 2019 due to the newly built JR Umekoji Kyoto Nishi Station.
As there is no private parking space, those who are coming by car will have to use the coin parking spaces nearby.