• Japanese Railway/Transportation Museums

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Komachi
Cactus Jack asked about "heritage equipment" and rail museums in the Japan (Nihon/Nippon) thread, so I thought I'd put up a some links to museums with preserved railway equipment in the "land of the rising sun."

Here's a site with links to a few different places, including the Tokyo Subway Museum at Ochanomizu and the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum in Kyoto.

Here's a Japan Railway and Transport Review article about the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum (it's a PDF file).

Here's the English site for the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum

Here's the English site for the Tokyo Transportation Museum...

And from Mr. Fossett's "Byun Byun Shinkansen" site, preserved "bullet train" equipment around Japan.

Of these museums, I have been to the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum in Kyoto. It is quite an interesting museum, located in an old reinforced concrete roundhouse and early 20th century (1904) passenger station. It has quite a few steam locomotives of different types on display as well as various interpretive displays within the old Nijo station building. It is quite worth the visit, believe me.

Although I don't have a link to it here, there is also an outdoor architectural museum near Nagoya called "Meiji Mura" (Meiji Villiage). It contains buildings from around Japan that were built during the reign of Emperor Meiji (reigned 1867-1914), when Japan rapidly modernized. There is a steam locomotive in operation there, as well as an old Rogers locomotive (I have a pic. of the builder's plate somewhere... I'll go check what the number is) and an old Kyoto streetcar that runs along a short stretch of track. (There's also an operational steam engine at Umekoji and also a very short stretch of track that it runs on at Umekoji as well.) There is also an old self-propelled, steam powered passenger car at Meiji Mura that was sitting under a protective shed. Can't remember much right now, other than it was painted a similar shade to the Pennsylvania Tuscan Red, was steel in construction (rivited), porthole windows and had steam driving wheels underneath it. Again, I think I have a pic., will go and see what it might be. (It's been about five years since I've been there, so details are a little sketchy right now.)

I also saw many steam locomotives sitting in parks, much as they are here in the United States. So, if you're roaming around the cities of Japan, you may find one sitting around the corner.

I, however, can't comment on any other museums, although I think BillN has been to the transportation museum (maybe the subway museum?). Will post more about museums and preserved equipment as info. becomes available.

  by Cactus Jack
Much appreciate this info.

Many Thanks !

  by BillN
There is also this one northwest(?) of Tokyo:
Plan to get there this week maybe.

If you are planning on visiting Japan, highly recommend Kyoto/Osaka area vice Tokyo. The museum there is the most extensive I have been to (by far) and there is plenty of other sightseeing in the area as well.
Not to mention the coolest train station I have ever been to (Kyoto).
The Tokyo Transportation Museum is nice to see if you are already in the area, but IMHO is long over due for a face lift, and a move to a new (and much larger) facility. No, I haven't heard anything, just saying its needed.
The subway museum was also nice, but again, not really worth going to see it unless already in Tokyo.
So if you have to choose, go Kyoto/Osaka.