Photos: The First Imperial Carriage
The first Imperial Carriage was built in 1876 for the Meji Emperor (1852-1912) at the Kobe Works
of the Government Railways under the supervision of the British engineer Walter M. Smith. It
was used for the opening of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe section of the Tokaido Line, the first railway in
western Japan. It is a wooden 4-wheeler just 7.84-m long and 2.16-m wide. The exterior is
finished in lacquer and the interior is sumptuously padded with silk. Lighting is provided by oil
lamps in the ceiling. It is preserved at the Transportation Museum in Tokyo.
Photo: The Fifth Imperial Carriage
The fifth Imperial Carriage was built in 1902 for the Meiji Empress
(1850-1914) at the Shimbashi Works of the Government Railways. It
is a wooden construction, 16.13-m long and 2.46-m wide with two-axle
bogies. The exterior was first painted crimson but was later lacquered
in the same colour. The carriage is divided into six compartments
including a lavish lounge. The lounge ceiling features a beautiful
painting of swallows and wild geese in flight. It is preserved at the
Meiji-mura Museum near Nagoya.
Photo: The Seventh Imperial Carriage
The seventh Imperial Carriage was built in 1914 at the Shimbashi Works of the
Government Railways for the Coronation of the Taisho Emperor (1879-1926). It
is a wooden construction, 20.7-m long and 2.6-m wide with three-axle bogies and
divided into eight compartments including a large lounge. The exterior is
lacquered in deep crimson with fine gold lines. It is preserved at Tokyo Yomiuri
Land amusement park.
Photo: The Tenth Imperial Carriage
The tenth Imperial carriage was built in 1922 at the Oi Workshop of the
Government Railways to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward
VIII and Duke of Windsor) on his State Visit to Japan. It is a wooden
construction, 20.0-m long and 2.64-m wide with three-axle bogies and
features an observation platform. It was later used by Prince George
(Duke of Kent), the Duke of Gloucester, Swedish Crown Prince Gustav
Adolf, and the Emperor and Empress of Siam. After the war, it was used
by US Generals of the Occupation Forces. It is preserved at JR East Oi
Workshop, but is not open to the public.