Kyoto Railway Museum

Kyoto Railway Museum

The Kyoto Railway Museum should be on your to-do list for train enthusiasts and history buffs while in Kyoto. Located in the Shimogyo ward, the museum is a tribute to over 100 years of railway history in the country. Opened in 2016, it showcases a vast collection of retired trains, from steam locomotives to more recent electric trains, and lets you chance to learn about the evolution of Japan’s railway system.

The museum is spread over three floors and covers a massive 30,000 square meters of space. You can explore the exhibits at your own pace and learn about the history of Japan’s railway system through interactive displays, videos, and other multimedia. From the early days of steam engines to modern high-speed trains, the museum has something to offer everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • The Kyoto Railway Museum is in the Shimogyo ward of Kyoto
  • tribute to over 100 years of railway history in the country.
  • Open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Last admission is at 4:30 p.m.
  • A collection of retired trains, from steam locomotives to more recent electric trains.
  • Spread over three floors and covers a massive 30,000 square meters of space.
  • The museum opened in 2016


Kyoto Railway Museum

One of the highlights of the museum is the 20-track roundhouse built in 1914, which has been beautifully restored and preserved. The roundhouse features a collection of steam locomotives, including the C62, which was once the fastest steam locomotive in Japan, and the D51, which was used for both freight and passenger services.

The museum is divided into several exhibition areas, including the Promenade, Main Hall, Twilight Plaza, and Roundhouse. The Promenade area displays the history of the railway in Japan, including the development of the Shinkansen bullet train, while the Main Hall showcases various exhibits on railway technology and infrastructure, such as signals and switches.

The Twilight Plaza, on the second floor, is a large open space that features a collection of retired trains, including the 500 Series Shinkansen, which was in service from 1997 to 2010, and the 113 Series, which was used for suburban and regional services in the Kansai region. You can also see freight cars, passenger cars, and even a dining car.

It also has a section dedicated to the history of the Hankyu Railway, a private railway company that operates in the Kansai region. It features exhibits, including a replica of the first Hankyu train, which was built in 1910.


Kyoto Railway Museum

The museum was originally opened by the Japanese National Railways (JNR) on October 10, 1972, commemorating the centennial of the railway in Japan. The museum was initially in Tokyo and was later moved to Kyoto in 2016.

It was established to preserve the history of the railway in Japan and to promote the railway culture. The museum has a vast collection of railway-related artifacts, including locomotives, carriages, and other railway equipment. The exhibits at the museum showcase the development of the railway industry in Japan, from the steam locomotives of the Meiji era to the latest bullet trains.

In 1987, the JNR was divided into several regional companies, and the museum was transferred to the West Japan Railway Company (JR West). In 2016, the museum was relocated to its current location in Kyoto, and the new museum building was constructed. The new museum building has a total floor area of 30,000 square meters and houses over 50 railway vehicles and numerous exhibits related to the railway history of Japan.

Visitor Information

Kyoto Railway Museum

Here’s what you need to know before you go:

  • Location: The museum is in the Shimogyo-ku district of Kyoto, just a two-minute walk from JR Umekoji-Kyotonishi Station.
  • Hours: The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. Last admission is at 4:30 p.m.
  • Admission: General admission is 1,500 yen for visitors 18 years and older. Children aged 3 to 17 pay 500 yen, and children under 3 are free.
  • Facilities: The museum is wheelchair accessible, and there are restrooms and a nursing room available for visitors.

You can purchase tickets at the museum entrance or online in advance. It’s recommended to buy tickets online to avoid long lines at the ticket counter.

The museum is large and features exhibits, including historic locomotives, train simulators, and interactive displays. Visitors should plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the museum and its outdoor exhibits.

There’s also a gift shop and a cafe on site, where you can purchase souvenirs and grab a bite to eat.


The Kyoto Railway Museum is a large museum that offers facilities to make your visit more enjoyable. Here are some of the facilities you can expect to find:

  • Gift Shop: The museum has a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, including model trains, t-shirts, and postcards. The shop also sells snacks and drinks.
  • Diaper Changing Tables and Nursing Rooms: If you are visiting with young children, the museum has diaper changing tables and nursing rooms available for your convenience.
  • Lockers: The museum has lockers where you can store your bags and other belongings while you explore the exhibits.
  • Free Wi-Fi: The museum offers free Wi-Fi access to visitors, so you can stay connected while you explore the exhibits.
  • Wheelchair Accessible: The museum is wheelchair accessible, with ramps and elevators available for visitors with mobility issues.

Overall, the Kyoto Railway Museum offers a range of facilities to make your visit comfortable and enjoyable. Whether you are interested in trains or just looking for a fun day out, the museum is definitely worth a visit.

The Sum Up

With its 31,000 square meters of exhibition space, the Kyoto Railway Museum is the largest railway museum in Japan. It showcases a vast collection of trains, locomotives, and other railway-related artifacts, including Japan’s first steam locomotive and the world’s oldest existing electric locomotive.

Information Category Details
Name Kyoto Railway Museum (京都鉄道博物館)
Address Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8835, Japan
Ticket Cost Adults: 1,200 JPY; High School Students: 1,000 JPY; Elementary and Junior High School Students: 500 JPY; Preschoolers: Free
Opening Times 10:00 – 17:30 (Last admission 17:00); Closed on Wednesdays and New Year’s holidays
Nearby Hotels
Luxury Hotel Granvia Kyoto – 0.7 km
The Thousand Kyoto – 1.3 km
Mid-range Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae – 1.1 km
ibis Styles Kyoto Station – 1.2 km
Budget Kyoto Guesthouse Lantern Gion – 0.5 km
Santiago Guesthouse Kyoto – 0.8 km