Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park 碓氷峠鉄道文化むら
Drive a train and explore Japan's railway history
Usui Pass Railway Heritage Park in Takasaki , which straddles the mountainous border between Gunma and Nagano prefectures, is a mecca for rail enthusiasts. Of particular interest here is the option to drive a locomotive.
The Usui Pass has been an important mountain route since the eighth century
The first rack-and-pinion railway in Japan went through Usui Pass
Trains traversed the pass between 1893 and 1997, but services were stopped when the Shinkansen came along
How to Get There
You can get close to the area via the Joetsu Shinkansen or a highway bus from Tokyo.
The Joetsu Shinkansen from Tokyo takes about an hour. Buses from Tokyo also go to Takasaki and take a little over two hours. From Takasaki, take the JR Shinetsu Line to Yokokawa Station, which is 33 minutes away. The park is next to Yokokawa Station.
Model trains and railroad memorabilia
Look at a variety of diesel engines and other locomotives and purchase train-related souvenirs, from tote bags and enamel badges to full train sets.
Drive a locomotive yourself
If you have ever dreamed of being a train driver, make a reservation to operate a train all by yourself. This is the only park in Japan offering such a service.