The Railway Museum

The Railway Museum, Saitama: Hours, Address, The Railway Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

The Railway Museum
Rail Services • Science Museums • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Ticket can not be purchased at the museum. Advance reservation is required to enter the museum. Please purchase your ticket in advance at 7-Eleven, Lawson, or MINISTOP convenience stores. Some exhibits and hands-on programs are closed/ canceled. The Railway Museum will be operating on shortened hours from 10:00-17:00 (Last entry 16:30).
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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732 reviews
Very good

Nishinomiya, Japan1,074 contributions
Dec 2021
There are three big railway museums in Japan. JR West, JR Chubu (central), and JR East. Each is good but highlights different things.

This is hosted by JR East - located near Omiya Station Saitama. From JR Omiya Station, take the New Train - the museum is located on the first stop.

This complex was fairly recently expanded and renovated. It is a fantastic place for adults and children.

Under strict COVID protocol, they currently are not accepting walk-ins. To control how many people are inside at any one time, they are only accepting prepurchased tickets. Tickets are 1,000 yen per adult.

Today, it was full of many children on their school trips.

The exhibits were very good. Rolling stock from the turn of the century. Coal trains, steam trains, trains from the major lines. The unique narrow track design and the standard international track width - how this affects speed, etc....

You can board most of the trains, there are explanation exhibits. Inner workings of an engine, braking, controls etc....

Children's areas have equipment where children can try out different experiments or outside, there is a mini-train park where children can have a train ride.

You need an easy 2-3 hours to see everything without been rushing but if you are a train aficionado, you will need much more time. Those with children, they will not be bored. Lots of things to do.

The only stupid rule is - no selfie sticks.

Note: These folks are CLOSED every Tuesday.

Food prices inside are predatory. You are forewarned.
Written 22 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore41,727 contributions
Feb 2020
I came here with my 6 year old son in early Feb for a visit on a weekday. A very interesting museum with plenty of trains to see. Many of the carriages were open for visitors to go inside and see the interior, plus quite a few activities to keep the children entertained. Wasn't so busy on a weekday, but potentially could be very crowded on weekends. Well worth the effort of visiting if you're into trains.
Written 4 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Oscar Lee
Sydney, Australia5 contributions
Dec 2019
You can really see how the Japanese put their passion into action in this world-class railway museum. The restored train car exhibits are certainly the most eye-catching ones for the average visitor, but the exhibits on the different aspects of railway history and operations are worth a visit as well.

One point of caution though is that non-Japanese speakers might find it difficult to read the description panels (I have an intermediate command of Japanese but my friend did not). Most of the exhibits are self-explanatory and impressive, so that is not a big issue for us.
Written 16 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Denver, CO114 contributions
Feb 2020
This museum is in Omiya. From the JR Omiya Station it is the first stop on the New Shuttle people mover system. The entrance fee is very reasonable for this type of attraction.
We have been to several railroad museums in other countries and this museum is on a par with them.
The building is relatively new and well heated (we were here in February and it was cold and windy outside) and the exhibits are well organized. There are numerous locomotive and rolling stock exhibits. The title of the placard explaining each exhibit is in English, but the text is only in Japanese - need to use a translator to read the text.
We purchased bento boxes from the vendor on the north side of the entrance to the museum. The prices were reasonable, but they quickly sold out of the children's bento boxes that are packaged in plastic bento boxes that resemble trains. The one we purchased was based on the first car of a Shinkansen.
The museum was definitely worth the time and entrance fee and I would recommend it for families with children, but everyone would enjoy it.
Written 21 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Austin, TX1,694 contributions
Dec 2019
Before planning my most recent trip to Tokyo, I had watched quite a number of programs on NHK World. One of my favorite programs, Japan Railway Journal, had an entire program on the Railway Museum in Saitima. I had been anxious to visit this fascinating museum ever since I first watched that program. The museum is about an hour train ride north of Tokyo Station, but well worth the time and effort.

My first visit to Tokyo was in 1990 and I had my first experience riding the very unique trains and shinkansen (bullet train) in Japan. Ever since then I always looked forward to riding the trains in Japan! One of my favorite things to do is to get an ekiben (packaged bento lunch for traveling) and take a ride on a Shinkansen. At the museum you can purchase a variety of ekiben and sit inside one of the trains on display (outdoors) and enjoy your meal without the movement of a train you would normally experience! This apparently is a very popular place to have that experience. There is also a couple of more upscale restaurants. The View Restaurant on the 4th floor and the Nippon Shokudo on the 2nd floor.

The Railway Museum was fascinating & enormous in size. I might recommend downloading the Museum’s app to your smart phone prior to visiting the museum. Most of the signage at the museum is, naturally, in Japanese and this app really helped give me a background on most all of the train cars on display. I believe there are around 40+ full-size train cars available to view and most all of them allow you to tour inside them. The second floor has an entire very long wall (75 yards long) of miniature trains which really show the evolution of trains in Japan—amazing.

I think it’s a great museum for families interested in trains, as they have a play area on the ground floor devoted to children. There is a “kid’s” café with many choices of meals available & most served in dishes to resemble a train car. There is also a small shinkansen which the kids can ride outside in this same area.

I think one of the most popular attractions is the train simulators. I believe there are 3 different simulators you can get in line for. Since my Japanese language is very rudimentary, I didn’t dare give it a try. I went on a weekday morning so there was virtually no waiting.

In the center of the main floor display of “Rolling Stock” trains, there is a large steam locomotive train on display. At noon and 5pm, it’s a big production and the train is turned around on a really enormous turntable complete with large train whistles and a conductor directing the move. All things considered, if you have an interest in trains, it’s well worth the time to travel to the Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan station to see this museum. (The museum is a direct short walk from the train station and sits parallel to the station.)

Lastly, there is an excellent museum shop, TRAINIART, which a huge variety of goods for gift giving and souvenirs!
Written 15 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Guam, Mariana Islands128 contributions
Dec 2019
Great place. no crowd. view of Japan's past, present, and future transportation system. also a chance to operate different types of trains via their simulators. optimum spatial arrangements. and complete with dining facilities at the upper floors. must see for the train fans, and if you're not, you will be after a visit to this place. highly recommended
Written 7 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

boyet l
2 contributions
Dec 2019
comprehensive train history of japan; including future plans. with a chance to use engineers' simulators for various trains. reserve at least a half day cause the place will keep you interested. great restaurant at 4F and a museum shop.
Written 20 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore5 contributions
Nov 2019
Went on a weekday. Not too crowded but still there were school groups. Took train from Shinjuku. One good thing is that you can see Mount Fuji on the left on a clear day. It takes about 50 min or so to get there. Train simulators are fun for kids but they are stationary. Overall, good.
Written 23 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Saitama, Japan10 contributions
Dec 2018 • Family
Place is mainly targeted kids but adults can also enjoy. Many trains from coal powered and steam powered to modern Shinkansen. People can access to train cars and sometime even to engines. There is a science park for kid which many activists can be done. Three is a joy ride on a mini train which kids can enjoy a lot. Spent the day is possible.
Written 5 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mable Kwan
Hong Kong, China46 contributions
Jul 2019
Many different activities inside the museum to suit various age groups.
We are very delighted to experience as "JR driver", fun & real!!!
But need to queue a bit long, as duration is 15-20 mins for each guest.
Written 4 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Railway Museum

The Railway Museum is open:
  • Wed - Mon 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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