Omiya Railway Museum
Whether you’re crazy about trains or just looking for a way to pass an afternoon, Saitama City’s Railway Museum is a great spot. Although, for some people, a museum dedicated to the history of Japanese trains might sound a little dry, the reality is anything but. The East Japan Railway Company pulled out all the stops to make their museum a properly fun and engaging experience.
The museum is filled with retired locomotives from the early days of steam trains and coal, all the way to modern bullet trains. Those who want to give driving them a go can do so, but not in the originals of course! The museum has a collection of high-end simulators which recreate the experience of piloting trains throughout the eras. If you want to try the hyper-realistic steam locomotive simulator, you’ll have to pay a little extra, and be sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you have any budding engineers in your family, the science area’s interactive learning exhibits will surely capture their imagination. As will the huge railroad diorama — one of the biggest in the country. You’ll also find a rooftop garden, jungle gym play area, and several restaurants (one of which is themed like the fancy first-class dining car of a train, of course).
With all that on offer, the afternoon you planned on spending here could easily turn into a full day of exploration!
Sign up to receive insider tips about the food scene in Japan's most extraordinary areas.