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).
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