The Railway Museum
Education | Avg price: ¥1000 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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Biggest and best railway museum in Japan
Apart from being an historical museum, the Railway Museum is also an educational and fun facility. It attracts visitors from near and afar. There is something for everyone and if you are visiting with children you would need at least a half day, ideally a full day, to explore everything they have to offer.
A lot of people don't realise that there is an outdoor annex on one side and an outdoor playground on the other. Don't miss these attractions if you visit. The outdoor annex houses the theatre which plays Thomas the Tank Engine episodes. It is also the home to the library; a library of books about trains. They have a really good selection of English books. You can catch a mini-shinkansen down to the annex, which is included in the entry price to the museum. The main building has 3 floors of interactive exhibits, some are physical activities others are mentally challenging. There is a great play room on the 2nd floor with boxes of plarail and trains that you can use freely. It is beside a huge model railway exhibit, which you can view from one section of the play area. The main hall has dozens of trains that you can walk into and explore. There are a number of different shops and restaurants, you can even bring in your own bento and eat it there. I recommend using the viewing deck on the 3rd floor where you can see shinkansen flying by. On the roof there is an outdoor garden and another observation deck.
The museum is very reasonably priced. If you plan to visit more than 3 times a year it is worth your while buying the annual pass. The parking is plentiful, but on weekends and public holidays it is not uncommon to have to queue to get in. It is charged by a daily rate. The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm and closes on Tuesdays.