The Railway Museum

The Railway Museum, Saitama: Hours, Address, The Railway Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

The Railway Museum
Rail Services • Science Museums • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Ticket can not be purchased at the museum. Advance reservation is required to enter the museum. Please purchase your ticket in advance at 7-Eleven, Lawson, or MINISTOP convenience stores. Some exhibits and hands-on programs are closed/ canceled. The Railway Museum will be operating on shortened hours from 10:00-17:00 (Last entry 16:30).
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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732 reviews
Very good

Denver, CO114 contributions
Feb 2020
This museum is in Omiya. From the JR Omiya Station it is the first stop on the New Shuttle people mover system. The entrance fee is very reasonable for this type of attraction.
We have been to several railroad museums in other countries and this museum is on a par with them.
The building is relatively new and well heated (we were here in February and it was cold and windy outside) and the exhibits are well organized. There are numerous locomotive and rolling stock exhibits. The title of the placard explaining each exhibit is in English, but the text is only in Japanese - need to use a translator to read the text.
We purchased bento boxes from the vendor on the north side of the entrance to the museum. The prices were reasonable, but they quickly sold out of the children's bento boxes that are packaged in plastic bento boxes that resemble trains. The one we purchased was based on the first car of a Shinkansen.
The museum was definitely worth the time and entrance fee and I would recommend it for families with children, but everyone would enjoy it.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Austin, TX1,695 contributions
Dec 2019
Before planning my most recent trip to Tokyo, I had watched quite a number of programs on NHK World. One of my favorite programs, Japan Railway Journal, had an entire program on the Railway Museum in Saitima. I had been anxious to visit this fascinating museum ever since I first watched that program. The museum is about an hour train ride north of Tokyo Station, but well worth the time and effort.

My first visit to Tokyo was in 1990 and I had my first experience riding the very unique trains and shinkansen (bullet train) in Japan. Ever since then I always looked forward to riding the trains in Japan! One of my favorite things to do is to get an ekiben (packaged bento lunch for traveling) and take a ride on a Shinkansen. At the museum you can purchase a variety of ekiben and sit inside one of the trains on display (outdoors) and enjoy your meal without the movement of a train you would normally experience! This apparently is a very popular place to have that experience. There is also a couple of more upscale restaurants. The View Restaurant on the 4th floor and the Nippon Shokudo on the 2nd floor.

The Railway Museum was fascinating & enormous in size. I might recommend downloading the Museum’s app to your smart phone prior to visiting the museum. Most of the signage at the museum is, naturally, in Japanese and this app really helped give me a background on most all of the train cars on display. I believe there are around 40+ full-size train cars available to view and most all of them allow you to tour inside them. The second floor has an entire very long wall (75 yards long) of miniature trains which really show the evolution of trains in Japan—amazing.

I think it’s a great museum for families interested in trains, as they have a play area on the ground floor devoted to children. There is a “kid’s” café with many choices of meals available & most served in dishes to resemble a train car. There is also a small shinkansen which the kids can ride outside in this same area.

I think one of the most popular attractions is the train simulators. I believe there are 3 different simulators you can get in line for. Since my Japanese language is very rudimentary, I didn’t dare give it a try. I went on a weekday morning so there was virtually no waiting.

In the center of the main floor display of “Rolling Stock” trains, there is a large steam locomotive train on display. At noon and 5pm, it’s a big production and the train is turned around on a really enormous turntable complete with large train whistles and a conductor directing the move. All things considered, if you have an interest in trains, it’s well worth the time to travel to the Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan station to see this museum. (The museum is a direct short walk from the train station and sits parallel to the station.)

Lastly, there is an excellent museum shop, TRAINIART, which a huge variety of goods for gift giving and souvenirs!
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore41,727 contributions
Feb 2020
I came here with my 6 year old son in early Feb for a visit on a weekday. A very interesting museum with plenty of trains to see. Many of the carriages were open for visitors to go inside and see the interior, plus quite a few activities to keep the children entertained. Wasn't so busy on a weekday, but potentially could be very crowded on weekends. Well worth the effort of visiting if you're into trains.
Written June 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Guam, Mariana Islands128 contributions
Dec 2019
Great place. no crowd. view of Japan's past, present, and future transportation system. also a chance to operate different types of trains via their simulators. optimum spatial arrangements. and complete with dining facilities at the upper floors. must see for the train fans, and if you're not, you will be after a visit to this place. highly recommended
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

tokyo4,585 contributions
Mar 2011
The Railway Museum is the successor museum to the old Transportation Museum that used to be located in Akihabara, Tokyo (now closed).

The museum has many many trains and displays covering the history of Japanese railways to the present. Present are some of the first locomotives used in Japan, Imperial coaches used by the Emperor and imperial family throughout history, the 0 series Shinkansen, and many many more trains.

There are also many hands on things for young and older folks alike, though many items like the train simulator are in Japanese, it doesn't take much to figure out how to operate them. There's even a mini train ride where you can operate a miniature train that goes on a track around the museum.

Of course like all places, there's a gift shop and restaurants/cafeteria in the museum as well.

The museum has a provided English guide map and pamphlet that explains in general what all the attractions are. The cool thing about the displays is that if you have a mobile phone that can read bar-codes, you can put your phone over the bar-code on the display and you can get very detailed English information about the particular display/train. This is also possible for Korean and Chinese language.

Because of it's distance north of Tokyo, I only recommend this museum to those who are really interested in railways, Japanese transportation history. Longer term residents with families might also enjoy this museum as well. If you are a short-term visitor to Tokyo, this museum might be a little out of the way north to get to, but if you are interested and have the time, by all means visit.

The Railway Museum is located north of Tokyo in Saitama. It takes about 45minutes by train from Shinjuku to Omiya station on the Saikyo Line or Shonan Shinjuku Line where you change to a small people mover to the museum train stop, it takes about 55minutes if you are coming in from Tokyo Station.

The one way fare from Shinjuku Station to Omiya Station is 450yen and from Omiya Station to the Museum Stop is 180yen. Note if you are using a Japan Rail Pass, the JR pass is valid on JR lines to Omiya Station. You still need to pay 180 yen from Omiya station to the museum.

The admission price for adults is 1000yen.
For elementary through high school students it is 500yen
For kids younger it is 200yen

The ticketing system is designed to work with your Suica / Pasmo prepaid card (if you have one), if you do not have one, you can purchase a temporary card at the machines. You use your card to enter the museum (like how you enter a train station).
Written June 3, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ben T
Berkshire, UK233 contributions
Jan 2018 • Family
The train museum is quite a way out of central Tokyo but we really enjoyed the trip. We have a three year old who is very excited by trains - their highlight of the trip to Japan was going on a proper Bullet train. At the museum we could sit in the driving sit of an old one.

It is well laid out with a splattering of English signs to explain what the exhibits are. At the centre is a huge hall with a wide variety of trains and carriages.

The museum is pretty cheap to enter 1000 yen for adults.

The picnic trains were a good idea - they were also immaculately clean. There are signs outside saying no food and drink but inside there are plenty of places that have signs saying food is ok.
Written January 28, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jakarta, Indonesia224 contributions
Jan 2015 • Family
This museum is for train lover.

They display a lot trains from time to time, and in real size. One of them is turning like turntable, at 12 pm and 3 pm, please make sure you watch it.

They also have several trains driving simulator, from modern train to coal train. So your child (and you) can learn how to be a train operator.

They have mini shinkansen and mini operating train. For mini operating train, you should register on the main entrance and pay some money to get in the ride.

This location is a bit of far from Tokyo, almost 1 hour by train. This museum can JR Shonan Shinjuku line / JR Keihin Tohoku line > stop at Omiya station > exit south > take Ina Line (New Shuttle Platform) > stop at Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan station.
Written January 31, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beaverton, OR87 contributions
May 2019 • Solo
I'm a 63-year-old solo American woman traveler, and I loved this museum. It's really beautifully designed, laid out, and if you download the app ahead of time, you can learn everything about every single train in this museum. Plus there are side exhibits that I enjoyed, such as one that showed every single eki-ben meal! And one that had all of the songs that you hear played at each train station. Only one caveat: If you don't like crowds, don't go on a weekend because it will be crowded. Also you should go when school is in session, because there were a lot of schoolchildren when I went.
Written June 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

165 contributions
Dec 2018 • Family
Spent an afternoon here with 2 tweens. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the visit. Very wide range of exhibits across eras. Really interesting to see all the real exhibits and getting into most of them, the hands-on experience is great

The train simulations were another thing altogether. Very realistic and fun! Do note the Shinkansen and some popular simulators require pre-registration and they will run out of places. Even the exhibits will allow one to start up and brake what seems like a real train drive-train is intriguing.

Easily accessible via Omiya station and "New Shuttle", and fully covered by "Tokyo Wide Pass", well worth the 2-3 hours.
Written December 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kutchan-cho, Japan56 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
Ahh, The Railway Museum. Everything what you will see and experience is one of a kind - memorable, I should say. There are the old trains that have been preserved and they're very neat. The trains (or cars) that include are the ones used by the imperial family of Japan, the first shinkansen (bullet train), some old third class cars during the early meiji era, express trains during the 50's, steam locomotives, and a few more others. You can walk in most of the trains, but you won't be able to sit inside the driver's area although you can see it through a small window. There are also 2 restaurants inside the museum, and 2 outside serving "bento" lunch. You can also eat those bento lunch inside the train that's air-conditioned. Pretty neat I should say. There's also a learning room for kids, small trains that you can drive around although reservations are required, and a the museum shop. My experience there was amazing as I love trains. There's also simulators included so you can experience to sit in a real train.

By the way, the place is convenient to go to. If you're somewhere here in Japan, near Tokyo, look for Omiya station. Go there, and then look for "New Shuttle". Take a ride in that small shuttle that goes to "Tetsudo-hakubutsukan" station. Get off in there, it's just a station away from Omiya.

Food in those restaurants cost approximately 700-1000 yen. Pretty expensive but worth it. :)
The entrance fee is 1000 yen.
Written July 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Railway Museum

The Railway Museum is open:
  • Wed - Mon 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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