The Railway Museum (鉄道博物館ミュージアム) is a great place to visit for families and railway enthusiasts rain or shine. Opened in late 2007 the museum features railway cars, train car simulators for would-be-train drivers, model dioramas, miniature trains, train rides, an outdoor playground and indoor playrail area, cafeteria, museum shop, train library, and more. The museum has many small model trains as well as actual train cars on display covering the history of the Japanese railways to the present. Parents and kids can climb in and explore the train cars from different eras, have lunch in the dine-in train car, operate mini trains by remote control or operate a child-sized train outdoors (must be atleast 6 years old to operate), play at their train library filled with books about trains and more. The library also houses lego toys, a screen featuring Thomas the Train movies and has a good selection of books in English as well.
Here are other great places to visit in Saitama with kids
For all fun things transportation check here (attractions, shopping and trivia).
The Railway Museum (Omiya, Saitama) – One of Japan’s Most Popular Train Museums
Tip for first timers:
– Get there early and head to the main desk for the outdoor self drive mini trains (200 yen ). Rides are offered in 30 min increments on a first come first serve basis. Tickets are limited. Kids over 6 years can operate the train. Up to 3 persons can ride.
– You can take your own food and drink. There are a number of places to sit and eat. Our kids loved having their lunch outdoors in the dine-in train car. A cafeteria and restaurant is located on the main and second floors as well as a bento stall outdoors. The kids bento comes in a Shinkansen shaped dish.
– There is a mini shuttle that will take you to the Teppaku Library which is filled with Japanese and English books about trains. The library also has a screen showing Thomas the Train episodes and has a play area.
– At 12:00 and 15:00 the steam locomotive C57 at the center of the history zone blows a loud whistle four times as it goes around the turntable. Some kids get excited by the noise, others may get frightened.
P.S. Visit the newest and largest railway museum, the Kyoto Railway Museum or the SC Maglev and Railway Park in Nagoya.
The Railway Museum Details
Address: 3-47 Onaricho, Omiya-ku, Saitama (〒330-0852 埼玉県さいたま市大宮区大成町3丁目47番 (google map)
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00. Closed Tuesdays & Dec 29 – Jan 2
Cost: Adults 1,000 yen, Elementary to HS students 500 yen, Children 3 years and older 200 yen, 3 years and under are free. Parking 500 yen.
Access: Take the Saikyo Line or Shonan-Shinjuku Lines from Shinjuku Station to Omiya Station. Then take the New Shuttle and get off at Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station. The museum is connected to this station. Less than a 1-minute walk.
Notes: The facility is stroller and wheelchair friendly. Nursing room and Diaper changing room available.
If you visit the facility in Saitama we also recommend making a day trip of it and visiting the following locations:
The Pocky Factory (Kitamoto, Saitama)
FlyStation (Koshigaya, Saitama)
Little Edo – The town of Kawagoe
Tokyo Metropolitan Area Underground Flood Control Discharge Area (Kasukabe, Saitama)
The Railway Museum, Omiya – One of Japan`s More Popular Train Museums
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