Railway Museum in Saitama

saitama railroad sarah strausIf your kids are like mine and are obsessed with the trains in Japan, then you’ve got to check out the Railway Museum in the Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo. We had been to the Ome Railroad Museum several times and always enjoyed it, railway_museum1 kristabut thought it would be nice to see something different. This museum is much newer and nicer than the one in Ome (although I love the charm of the one in Ome) and takes longer to get to, but we thought it was totally worth it. When I was figuring out how to get there, I came across this blog that will definitely give you some great tips and information. http://aroundtokyo.net/blog/2012/10/28/railway-museum/.  One of the best tips is that you can bring your own lunch into the museum. There is a McDonald’s at Omiya Station right before you get on to the “shuttle train” to go to Tetsudohakubutsukan Station, which is where the museum is located. They have a little train that is specifically for eating or you can sit on the 3rd floor and watch the Shinkansens come by. They have a couple of restaurants too inside that have your typical Japanese food. (tonkatsu, curry, etc).
DSC_0227At noon and 3pm, they have a special steam engine “whistle blowing” demonstration that is great. If your kids are sensitive to loud noises though, I recommend going up to the second floor to watch it from above as it can be quite loud and startling for the younger ones.  This is a great day trip and I highly recommend it!  Hours: 10am to 6pm.  Closed every Tuesday and Dec 29-Jan 1.  General admission for adults is ¥1000. Elementary – high school age it is ¥500 and children ages 3 and up ¥200. If you have a Suica train pass, you can use that to purchase your entry tickets at the electric ticket vending machines.  Phone number: 81 48-651-0088, GPS: 35.922238, 139.616874.  -Krista Whipple, June 2013
train musuem kristaDIRECTIONS: Take the train to Omiya Station.  From Omiya station take a shuttle to Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station.  From there it is a 1 minute walk to the train museum.  There is limited parking at Tetsudo-Hakubtsukan train station at GPS coordinates: 35.922238, 139.616874.  If you decide to drive, basically you’ll head North on Route 16 for 36 kilometers past Iruma and Kawagoe.  At Route 216 exit left and keep left until you turn around and head under Route 16, traveling on Route 216.  Click on “view larger map” below for more directions.

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3 Responses to Railway Museum in Saitama

  1. My family went here on a Saturday in July and had a wonderful day. We drove and arrived at 11am and there was still plenty of parking that cost us 500 yen for the day. Don’t miss the learning zone, which spans three floors. This is a great place for kids to learn about how all the different parts of the train work – very hands on! My kids also liked the model trains set up throughout. This museum is very modern and gorgeous. It is definately worth a visit especially if you love trains.

  2. We went again today and somehow managed to do many different things this time than last time. This time we played on the playground, took the free tiny shinkansen ride and watched the huge model train show on the second floor. I didn’t notice this amazing model train exhibit the last time we went. Great museum!

  3. Lauren Thompson

    We went here today and it was so much fun! There were 6 kids ages 11 months-5 years and there was something for all. We got to ride on a little train outside by the playground and found the indoor play place for the little ones. The parking is a flat 500 yen fee which is great to make it an all day event. We packed our lunch and ate it outside on the grass. There are two trains set up to eat your lunch on with the pull down trays (think airplane trays on the back of the seat) if you want to eat in there instead of sitting in the grass. This is a great museum!

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