Railway entertainment world for every generations
Text: Yukari Okouchi / Photo: Takashi Oka
Kyoto Railway Museum opened as Japan's biggest kind exhibiting total of 53 trains. Would you be worried that only train-freaks would be able to understand the lust? A step inside here and anyone will become a train maniac for sure. Exhibitions are all well planned, showing from wide scale to small details. There is also plenty of experience sections, too.
!st floor is a exhibition hall that has many rare models like a whole line of 0-system Shinkansen. Express train with sleeping berths 'Blue Train' has a restaurant space where the visitors can actually eat inside.
Japan's oldest steam locomotive 223, designated as important cultural property, awaits the visitors at main building. Nikko the world's first night train with sleeping berths, representative express train Raicho and other railway vehicles shows off the whole line of history. The museum is proud to present the rare collection of 'top numbered 19' railway vehicles such as steam railway C62 and 0-system Shinkansen.
On the second floor, you will find miniature railway field of 1/80 scale. A whole trip around the diorama takes 15 minutes. The trains moves as same as the actual schedules. The program changes from day to day so if you are lucky you might be able to catch a glimpse of Hayabusa crossing by Doctor Yellow.
Driving simulator is an actual machine used for real training. A skeleton ticket machine is also interesting to see how it works.
They also have a great SL train collection. A roundhouse platform for 20 vehicles are a great view. Some of the trains stored here are still in use. A train named SL-steam has regular 1 km ride between a park. This 10 minutes SL train experience seems popular. After the last ride, you can watch the train turning around on the platform to be stored into the roundhouse.
The view of Kyoto City from the sky terrace on 3rd floor of main building is a must-see. You can not only enjoy the grand view, but also wath the real trains go.
If you want to enjoy the museum without being stuck in a crowd, weekday afternoon will be your chance!
ADDRESS: Kankijicho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto（map）
HOURS: 10:00-17:30 *Last admission 17:00
CLOSED: Wednesday (open if it falls on holiday), New years
ENTRANCE FEE: Adult 1,200 yen, Students above high school 1,000 yen, Junior & elementary school 500 yen, children above 3 years 200 yen