Kyoto Railway Museum 京都鉄道博物館

Kyoto Railway Museum
Kyoto Railway Museum

Not just for railway buffs and history fans

The Kyoto Railway Museum, completed in 2016, is a grand tribute to over 100 years of locomotive development. Not only popular with railway enthusiasts, but the museum is also an ideal place to visit for families and for the young-at-heart.

Quick Facts

53 retired trains are exhibited in the museum

The railway diorama is roughly 300 square meters, is operated by an attendant, and features model trains that are about 1/80th the scale of the actual trains

The roundhouse showcases Japan's largest collection of well-preserved steam locomotives, made by four different manufacturers

How to Get There

The Kyoto Railway Museum is near JR Kyoto Station .

From the central exit of Kyoto Station , it takes about 20 minutes to walk to the Railway Museum. For those who prefer not to walk, take bus #103, 104, 110, 86, or 88 to Kyoto Railway Museum-mae bus stop, right in front of the museum.

A look at the locomotives that transported Japan into a new age

The Kyoto Railway Museum exhibits a vast array of steam, electric, and Shinkansen bullet trains, many of which are among the most important and revolutionary trains of their time. The museum features enough exhibits to keep visitors delighted all day.

You can observe many of the historical trains up close—even underneath—to see their inner workings. For a small fee, you can ride one of the charming old steam locomotives.

Once you have seen carriages and engines on display, head up to see the second floor, where you can put your driving skills to the test. The model trains here are controlled by simulators much like those used by real train drivers.

Be sure to stop to admire the front entrance to the museum, formerly the Nijo Station building constructed in 1904. Nearby lies the roundhouse with an old turntable designed to switch round inbound and outbound locomotives; it can accommodate up to 15 at a time.

An observatory on the third floor offers panoramic views of Kyoto Tower, the Toji Temple and Higashiyama mountains.

The Kyoto Railway Museum is located in Umekoji Park, with convenient access to the Kyoto Aquarium .

The museum is a perfect place to visit on a rainy day. Plan to visit for a couple of hours, or more if you've got a railway enthusiast to entertain.

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