Japan Photoblog Photography

Kyoto Railway Museum / 京都鉄道博物館

Today, I went to have a look at the recently opened railway museum in Kyoto. They have 53 historic train cars. I skipped the steam engines; which look quite similar to European models, and focused on the early diesels and electrics.

I don’t know a lot about trains, so I’ll list the model numbers in case you’d like to find out more about any of them.


Kuha 86-1

0 Series 21-1 (the 1st Shinkansen)



Kuhane 581-35 and Kuha 489-1



As for the museum itself, it has loads of interactive activities;

  • Train operator simulation stations,
  • Model railways,
  • Model engines, bogies, tracks, signals, maintenance equipment etc.

There is lot’s and lot’s for kids to do and I saw most of the children were having a great time. There was also an operational steam engine taking people up and down a nearby track. It was lovely to see and hear the steam engine running – they are quite something!

To fully enjoy the museum you would need some decent Japanese, but even for an english speaker there are basic signposts and a map / guide etc.

My favourites were the two art deco styled Kuhane 581-35 and Kuha 489-1. I wish we had continued to advance technology but had retained this style direction. In an interesting parallel some game designers implement that kind of vision of the future in their worlds.

Which train do you like?

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