Japan Railway & Transport Review No. 21 (pp.2 & 54–55)

Railway Museums in Japan (1)

The Transportation Museum in Tokyo is located near JR East Akihabara Station in central Tokyo. It has five steam locomotives (none in working order) including Japan's first locomotive (2-4-0 tank) built by Vulcan Foundry of Britain in 1871 (top left) and a Class 9856 Mallet compound locomotive (0-6-6-0 tender) built in 1912 by Henschel of Germany, as well as a Class C57 (4-6-2 tender) built by Mitsubishi in 1940 (both top right). It also keeps four passenger carriages including two imperial carriages. It has a good library and extensive archives with a collection of ukiyo-e woodblock prints of early railways as well as some important railway documents.
The Modern Transportation Museum in Osaka is located near Bentencho Station on JR West's Osaka Kanjo Line. It has five steam locomotives including a Class D51 (2-8-2 tender) built in 1936 by Kawasaki (middle right), one electric and three diesel locomotives as well as shinkansen and other rolling stock. It also has a library and archives.
Usui Pass Railway Monument Park is the newest railway museum in Japan located on the site of the former Yokokawa Locomotive Depot (130 km northwest of Tokyo) which was closed together with the Usui Pass section of the Shin'etsu main line in 1997. It keeps 17 electric locomotives used by the former JNR, including an ED42 (middle left) built in 1934 by Hitachi to serve on the rack-and-pinion Usui Pass section. Visitors can enjoy the pleasant open-air display of modern locomotives (bottom left) and rides on an operating miniature steam train (bottom right).

Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Usui Pass Railway Monument Park)
Photo: (Modern Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Usui Pass Railway Monument Park)
Photo: (Usui Pass Railway Monument Park)

Railway Museums in Japan (2)

The Osaka Tramway Museum is near Kita-Kagaya Station on the Yotsuhashi Line of Osaka Municipal Subway. It has a unique collection of six tramcars including a full-scale replica of a double-decker originally built in 1904 (top left), and a sprinkler truck used for watering dusty unpaved roads (top middle). Due to insufficient facilities, the museum is open to the public only on limited occasions.
The Tobu Museum of Transport is in Tokyo near Higashi-Mukojima Station on Tobu Railway's Isezaki Line. It has one electric and two steam locomotives, two electric railcars and one tramcar (none in working order). The 4-4-0 Bayer Peacock steam locomotive (top right) was built in 1898. A very realistic train simulator is popular with young-at-heart visitors. Ome Railway Park is some 50 km west of central Tokyo, and has an open-air display of 9 steam locomotives, one electric locomotive, and an end car of a Series 0 shinkansen. There are three British-built early steam locomotives including a Class 2120 built in 1905 by Dübs (bottom right).
The Hakkoda Maru Memorial Ship (bottom left) is moored in Aomori Port, northern Honshu. She was a former JNR Seikan ferry, linking Hokkaido with Honshu before the opening of the undersea Seikan Tunnel. One of the five decks has railway tracks, used originally to carry freight wagons, and now used to display some rolling stock. Other former Seikan ferries are moored at Hakodate Port in south Hokkaido (Mashu Maru), and at Tokyo Port (Yotei Maru at Museum of Maritime Science).

Photos: (Osaka Tramway Museum)
Photo: (Tobu Museum of Transport)
Photo: (Hakkoda Maru Memorial Ship)
Photo: (EJRCF)

Railway Museums in Japan (3)

Meijimura Museum in Inuyama City near Nagoya was opened in 1965 and offers visitors a glimpse of life in the Meiji period (1868–1912), including three steam locomotives (two in working order), five passenger carriages, including two imperial carriages, and two tramcars. The photograph of a Kyoto tramcar (top left) built in 1911 gives an idea of fashion at that time. The operating steam locomotive (top right) was built by Sharp Stewart of Great Britain in 1874 for service on Japanese government railways, and runs daily through the museum.
Otaru Transportation Museum is at Otaru Port, the starting point of the first railway line (1880) in Hokkaido. It has some 50 locomotives and other rolling stock used mainly in Hokkaido. The American wooden-frame first-class carriage (middle right) was built in 1892 and is noteworthy for its double bogies. Japan's oldest surviving locomotive shed (bottom right) dates from 1884 and is a listed railway heritage building. The turntable in front of the shed is turning a 2-6-0 steam locomotive in working order built by Porter of the USA in 1909. It was brought to the museum from Guatemala.
The Subway Museum in Tokyo is built under the elevated tracks of the Tozai Line near Kasai Station. It is operated by a subsidiary of the Teito Rapid Transit Authority and has a high-level collection covering all aspects of subway operations. The main attraction is the canary-yellow No. 1001 electric railcar (bottom left) dating from 1927 and used by Tokyo Underground Railway Company, the forerunner of today's Ginza Line.

Photo: (Meijimura Museum)
Photo: (The Subway Museum)
Photo: (Meijimura Museum)
Photo: (Otaru Transportation Museum)
Photo: (Otaru Transportation Museum)