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“A great place to spend the day”
Review of The Railway Museum

The Railway Museum
Ranked #1 of 113 things to do in Saitama
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The Railway Museum was built in Onari, Saitama City as the centerpiece of the JR East 20th Anniversary Memorial Project. This is a railway museum, and it preserves both the physical elements and heritage of railways in Japan and abroad. It also preserves materials relating to JR East and the JNR privatization reforms. The Railway Museum also conducts research and development. This is a historical museum that tells the industrial history of the development of the railway system while introducing the historical background of each period with displays of actual models. It is also an educational museum. Children can learn about and experience railway principles, systems, and the latest technologies (including future plans) through models, simulations, and play equipment.
Kawasaki, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
361 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“A great place to spend the day”
Reviewed December 10, 2013 via mobile

A great place for train enthusiasts. They have so many trains on display, ranging from 1870s to as recently as 1970s, some of which you can go inside. It's also a great way to learn a bit of modern Japanese history.
Admission is 1000 yen and well worth it!

How to get there:
They tell you to transfer to a local line from JR Omiya station to get to the museum. But you can walk there from Omiya station without transferring. It's only about a kilo away on foot but it's a great way to save some money and exercise :)!
Just walk along the raised tracks and they will lead you to the museum.

Visited January 2013
Thank Toru O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Makati, Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
227 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

This is a beautiful museum and a must for anyone who loves trains. It is packed with displays of locomotives, railway passenger and freight cars, and very special carriages used for the Imperial Family..
One of the things I particularly liked was the accessibility of the displays. You can actually go on board and get up close to some of the most beautifully preserved rolling stock preserved anywhere. I can go on in detail, but truly, it is best to go and see it.
One of the nice things about the museum is that if visiting from downtown Tokyo, you can ride the Shinkansen from Tokyo station as part of your visit. So you get to ride what is arguably one of the most advanced trains in the world while going to visit a museum that displays Japan's railway heritage and traces I it's development.
It's a treat for young and old.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Tamarindwalk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice Range of Locomotives”
Reviewed November 28, 2013

Being a locomotive fan I ventured to the museum for a morning excursion. It is very easy to find: I took the Shonan-Shinjuku line North from Shinjuku station to Omiya station, which took roughly 30 minutes, followed by the New Shuttle from Omiya station to the museum (1 stop away).

The museum itself is well laid out and has a range of locomotives from different eras of Japan's railway history. I am more into steam locomotives myself, however I still enjoyed the range of electric locomotives on display; in particular the Shinkansen exhibits. On the first floor is the model railway diorama which is very impressive. The layout has been set to run different plans and all with HO/OO-scale models.

The only thing that lets the museum down is the lack of English or other European language displays. I have seen that other reviewers have mentioned the QR codes, but these only work if you have an Internet connection, which wile abroad is expensive to use via roaming. Maybe the museum could provide free wi-fi access in the museum, this would allow people with smart phones to access the displays via the QR codes a lot cheaper.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank WinstonSmith_AS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Massive museum showing the history of Japanese trains”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Its a great museum that is nearby the Bonsai Museum. In fact we had a 200yen discount because of the ticket stub from there.

The museum is huge and houses trains across many different ages to show how train technology has evolved over the years as well as how the shinkansen has evolved over the years.

Visited October 2013
Thank YYNg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, California
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“For those who love trains, and even those who don't”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Full disclosure: I don't really care that much about trains so I thought this museum would be a snooze-fest, but it was actually quite interesting.
The huge display of trains, many of which you can walk through, gives a nice hands-on lesson in the history of trains and their influence on Japan. There is some English signage, but if you have a smartphone you can download the English explanation for most of the displays using the barcodes on the corresponding signs. This was a nice feature, especially if you are interested in the details and intricacies of a particular train (or, for instance, if you have always wondered just how a locomotive works)
If you have already used Japan's railway system, then some displays, especially the newer train cars, will seem rather pointless to walk through. But the older models are rather fun to explore.
There is also a large model train set-up that is popular with the small kids, a room filled with scale models of trains, a collection of simulators (drive a train!) and a outdoor area with train rides, small "trains" you can actually "drive." This was very popular with the littler kids also.
Although I did not eat at the restaurant, it appeared to be fun! There was a wide selection of train-style box lunches. Unlike the ones you can get at a real train station, these appeared to be fresher and better quality. So, if you want to keep with the train theme, eat here.
Naturally I would recommend this place to anyone who is really into trains, but also to families with young children as there is plenty for them to explore and touch. Finally, if you are like me and not really excited by trains, it is worth a couple of hours to take a look and perhaps build an appreciation for the transportation method that makes a trip through Japan easy and fun

Visited May 2013
1 Thank travellinjenna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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