Tokyo Transport Museum

This is a great museum for the whole family, and has something for everyone. The largest part of the museum is dedicated to Japan’s most popular form of transport, the train. You don’t even need to enter the museum to see the trains, there is a bullet train and old steamer built into the front of the building. The building was originally the railway museum and dates back to 1921.

UPDATE: The Tokyo Transport Museum is now closed. many of the exhibits have been moved to the new Railway Museum. You can find out more information at the following websites.

http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/english/ (english info)
http://www.railway-museum.jp/ (official Japanese site)

Inside it is an amazing display; there are several old steam trains, one even in cut down form so you can see the components that make up this massive piece of machinery. There are signals, and track changing levers, signal control rooms and lots of station signs, if it’s got anything to do with rail it can be found on the first floor.

One of the highlights for the young is the huge model train display; it would have to be the biggest train set in the world it is massive, with trains, bullet trains, monorails and trams scooting along this enormous model.

There are several displays dedicated to Japan’s world leading high speed train systems, the Shinkansen.

These state of the art vehicles have been travelling the lines of Japan for over 30 years and in that time have evolved to become the most efficient form of transport on the planet. There are working models of each of the Shinkansen models including details of a new higher speed model that test and development work has started. There are also details on magnetic levitation trains which will be the next generation of high speed travel in Japan.

Up a level and the display turns to cars and other road vehicles, there are several interesting historic Japanese cars bikes and road vehicles. Most of the vehicles in this section date back to the early days of motoring.

Ships and boats make up the next floor; here there are a huge array of boats, boat models and nautical memorabilia. Some highlights include models of some of the huge super tankers and ships that Japanese industry uses.

Flight is represented on the top floor; there is a full size model of Japan’s first plane and lots of interesting displays including commercial and military aircraft. One interesting display is a model showing how the JAL Concorde would have looked if it had have been delivered in the 1970’s.

The centre offers a fantastic gift shop where all sorts of transport related items can be purchased including a huge array of train sets and model trains.

The centre has a small entry charge, which is paid into a train ticket like vending machine, just to make things more fun.

The Transport museum is easy to get to by rail, Akihabara station, which is home to Electrical Town is only a 2 minute walk across the river.

UPDATE: The Tokyo Transport Museum is now closed. many of the exhibits have been moved to the new Railway Museum. You can find out more information at the following website.

http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/english/ (english info)
http://www.railway-museum.jp/ (official Japanese site)

Only in Japan

bus dog

Japanese Bus Stops can often be sign posted with cute characters.