The Railway Museum is currently being renovated and expanded until summer 2018. The museum extension is scheduled to open on July 5, 2018. On the same day, the admission fee will be raised from 1000 to 1300 yen. Some of the attractions may not be available temporarily during the renovation period. More information here.

The Railway Museum was opened in 2007 in Saitama City by JR East. It recounts the history of railway in Japan, exhibits many previously used train cars, teaches train operation using interesting simulators, and explains railway technology as it evolved over the years.

The museum's big collection of formerly used train cars includes steam and diesel locomotives, and retired shinkansen, passenger and freight cars. Many of them can be entered or viewed from under. The museum further showcases one of Japan's largest dioramas. In another section, railway concepts, science and systems are explained through models and hands-on activities.

Large diorama

The museum also offers multiple, popular train driving simulators, including a unique and outstandingly realistic steam locomotive simulator. Most of the simulators don't require an additional fee, operate on a first-come first-serve basis, and waiting times can be long. Only the steam locomotive simulator requires an additional fee, and only the first 27 registrants each day are able to try it.

The eatery and rooftop garden provide nice views of trains in service passing by, as the museum is situated between the tracks of the JR Takasaki Line and the Tohoku, Joetsu and Hokuriku Shinkansen. There are also an outdoor jungle gym and play areas for children, as well as an area with small tracks and mini trains, which visitors can try to operate (additional fee applies).

Seen from the rooftop garden: Shinkansen and New Shuttle trains running by the museum

Access

The Railway Museum is located just beside Tetsudo Hakubutsukan Station, which is reached in a three minute ride from Omiya Station by the New Shuttle (190 yen one way). The New Shuttle ride is not covered by any JR passes except the JR Tokyo Wide Pass.

How to get to and around Saitama

Hours & Fees

Hours

10:00 to 18:00 (entry until 17:30)

Closed

Tuesdays and December 29 to January 1

Admission

1000 yen (additional 500 yen for steam locomotive simulator, additional 200 yen for mini train driving)

English

Minimal