The Five Yen of Happiness! The JR Central SC Maglev and Rail Museum
AUTHORS NOTE: CONTAINS LOTS OF JAPANESE TRAINS.
- I give in – I need a break (Introduction)
- To Heathrow and The BA Galleries North Lounge
- BA902 London Heathrow to Frankfurt Airport in Club Europe
- Bumbling around Frankfurt Airport with random #AVGeek spotting
- Meeting the A350 and the Air Canada Lounge
- Qatar Airways QR068 Frankfurt to Doha
- The joy of Hamad International Airport, and The Oryx Rotana Hotel
- Qatar Airways Flight QR812 Doha to Tokyo Haneda
- The Hotel JAL City Haneda Tokyo
- Shikansen Adventures to Hiroshima!
- Time in Hiroshima (featuring the ANA Crowne Plaza Hiroshima)
- Hirosihima – 70 years on
- A day trip to Itsukushima
- More Shinkansen fun to Kyoto (Featuring Kyoto Tower Hotel)
- A trip up to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
- Dinner with The real_jetsetr!
- The JR Central SC Maglev and Rail Museum
- Shinkansen to Tokyo
- The Strings by InterContinental
- Cheap evening – From the Tokyo Metropolitan Building
- The JR East Railway Museum, Saitama
- Shibuya nights
- Akihabara Days
- Gotta Catch them All! A few Pokemon Centres.
- Off to Narita
- Nartia Airport, The JAL Lounge
- Qatar Airways Flight QR807 Tokyo Narita to Doha
- Four and Half Hours in Doha Airport
- Qatar Airways Flight QR067 Doha to Frankfurt
- More time in Frankfurt
- BA8735 Frankfurt to London City Airport (Club Europe)
- And about that Five Yen Coin – The Sensoji Temple, Asakusa
I admit it. As I stated earlier I’m a bit of a Train Otaku., so when there was a chance of going to The JR Central Super Conducting Maglev and Rail Museum – I jumped at the chance.
This would be an easy 3/4-day trip from Kyoto – so what the blazes. There’s a Shinkansen network that can be used… and a JR Rail Pass to use it on.
An early-ish morning start, and I was out of the Kyoto Tower Hotel and crossed the road to the station. With a reservation made for the next Hikari to Nagoya, I was soon on my way down the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
Off we go again.
Of course, I still need to be hydrated – today’s choice had 50 lemons worth of vitamin C. Handy to know.
Now some people do question how fast the Shinkansen goes. Well, there’s an easy bit of science that be conducted and a speedo app:
Oh dear. It appears I have broken the speedometer. Oops.
Just under an hour later, the train pulled in to Nagoya Station.
From there, it was a case of play “hunt the Aonami Line”, which is helpfully signposted.
Getting to the Museum from Nagoya Station
Since the Aonami line is outside the JR Lines scope, it’s time to pony up. You can use a MANICA smart card (or any other interoperable smart card), or pay the fee of ¥350 each way.
What did I do? Welllllll…
A blip through the gates, and there was a waiting train.
The Aonami line connects to the Museum at Kinjō-Futō Station – 15km away from and 24 minutes Nagoya station.
From the train station, it was a short walk to the JR Central SC Maglev and Railway Museum.
JR Central SC Maglev and Railway Museum.
Once you’ve cleared the hurdles of buying an entry ticket (which you can do on an IC Card), you enter the what is called the “Dynamism of the Railway” – three trains that set speed records:
Once you’re passed these exhibits, you enter the main hall – and are confronted with these beasts
Four Shinkansens of JR Central (also, this was a tough picture to get. Too many people…). L-R – 700 Series (yes, they operate these today and one’s in a museum), 300 Series , 100 Series and the classic 0 Series.
The original and classic Bullet Train or Shinkansen – The 0 Series
The 3rd iteration of the Shinkansen – the 100 Series (I’ve always loved the sharp nose this train has),
As well as the Shinkasens, there’s various exhibts to try and experiment with…
Yes, you can play with an accelerator and play chase the train…
As I stated on Twitter – Aerodynamics aren’t just for planes.
Of course, there are many other trains at the museum – here’s just a few:
JNR Class 165
However, whilst you can get up and close with the trains on the ground, you can also go up to the mezzanine level for some amazing views of the museum:
Better views of the first room you enter in the museum – gives a much better view of these three record breakers
The mezzanine level is where one can have food – and there also happens to a Delica Station (the stores that operate in JR Central land) for Ekiben meals and other things…
I headed back to the main floor, and wandered in and out of the exhibits (most of which were open)
The Shinkansens were also visit-able, so you wander around inside the trains.
The 100 Series Shinkansen also had an extra feature – a double decker car. In the past, these were used a restaurant cars – a feature long enhanced from the Tōkaidō Shinkansen.
Meanwhile on the floor, there was another Shinkansen – whilst it looks like a 0 Series Shinkansen, this is actually a Class 923 – Doctor Yellow, which was used for inspection purposes at line speed.
However, with other things on my agenda – so I made my way out… and passed the gift shop. This would be dangerous.
And it was.
With my Credit card suitably hit, I headed back to Nagoya station (and into Nagoya). Once back, I reserved a seat for the next express back to Nagoya.
Sadly, that would… a Kodama service – the slowest of all the Shinkansen services. There was only one option for this – to get an Ekiben for the “slow” journey back.
The inbound train.
Sigh. The Kodama. At least it’s Green Car for the service.
Now, there’s an important note about the Kodama – and that is it has no trolley service and no attendant to give you a towel (compared to the Hikari, Nozomi and Sakura).
It’s a difference – but it shows that Kodama is a bit lower down the pegging order than the other Shinkansen services.
With the train accelerating out of Nagoya, it was time to sit back and watch the countryside.
And as well watch the countryside, there was also time to break into this ekiben. This was of course a Kodama Ekiben!
It seemed to be a nice balanced Ekiben again – with lots of different flavours and textures.
Soon enough the train was pulling into Kyoto station – and I bundled my way out of it, and through the gates back into the heat of Kyoto.
Overall: An enjoyable day out exploring some of Japans rail history as well as some amazing trains. If you’re in the Nagoya area – I would urge you check it out. That and you can get some Shinkansen chopsticks too.
NEXT: Whilst there were a few other things I did in Kyoto – I’m going to park them for a bit. It’s time to head to the madness that is Tokyo.
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