The Five Yen of Happiness! The JR East Railway Museum
- 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
You might have noticed from the amount of train riding and museum visits I’ve done this trip I kind of like the trains they have in Japan.
A Train Otaku if you like.
Getting to the The JR East Railway Museum: It depends where you are in Tokyo. If you’re starting on the east side of the Yamanote line, there are options on the Tahoka Shinkansen (for the quickest journey) to the v-e-r-y slow Keihin-Tōhoku Line. On the West side (Shinjuku), there are choices such as Shōnan-Shinjuku line, Saikyo Line.
In any case, you’re needing to head too Omiya Station in Saitama.
Put it like this: Head north from the Yamanote loop, and you won’t go far wrong.
Once you get to Omiya station, you’ll need to find your way to the Ina Line New Shuttle. It’s a 5-minute ride, and you’re at Tetsudo-Hakubutsukan Station – Home of the JR East Railway Museum.
Lots of different wheelsets…
To get in to the museum, you have a choice of renting a visitors pass (¥1000)… or use your IC Card (Suica, ICOCA, etc which is still a ¥1000) to electronically load an entrance ticket. Remember not to loose your IC card as you’ll need it to enter and exit the museum.
Once inside, there was a sea of people.
With a lot of people in the main floor, I headed outside to get some liquids in and nibble a Onigiri. Outside, there was a miniature train taking adults and children around.
And yes, there were Ekibens too.
More Ekibens – with Shinkansen style ones too.
The museum is split into different zones, with an education zone, a park zone (where you can drive a train around), A History Zone (where the main displays are) among the areas.
Even around here, there was crowds, so I headed upstairs to try to avoid them – and get a scale for the venue.
Thankfully the upstairs area has exhibits, as well as an overview into the history zone.
There were plenty of exhibits on the more historical side which were interesting
Eventually, I headed downstairs and into the main hall – and the melee that is the history zone.
I explored some of the exhibits, starting with the steam trains.
Then it was time to move onto the Electric Locomotives.
Then it was time to move onto to the multiple units. Japan embraced multiple units – and high speed multiple units in a big way as it expanded its network (in fact, finding locomotive hauled services that are not freight hauled can be a challenge).
And finally – onto the Shinkansens. This museum has preserved two of them – A 0 Series and a 200 Series (as well as the cab of a 0 series).
The 200 Series Shinkansen is the second series of Shinkansen (in the past even numbers indicate JR East models, odd numbers indicate JR Central and West models). Introduced in 1982, with the last units withdrawn in 2013, these units served on the JR East network.
Finally, we come to the special exhibit of a 0 Series Shinkansen – showing how it would had looked on its first departure from Tokyo.
Of course you could wander aboard the train… which looks like a lot of Shinkansens look today. There is one thing you probably won’t find aboard a Shinkansen today…
For those of you who want to dine aboard a train, there’s a special “lunch train”.
However, a mixture of heat was getting to me, as well as the people (that’s the joy of Tokyo). As a result, I headed back to the New line station, and back to Tokyo.
It might had been quicker to catch a local train, but heck – I had a JR Pass. I therefore did what any visiting train Otaku would do…. and caught a Shinkansen back to Tokyo.
Overall: If you can only visit one a train museum in Japan, and you’re in Tokyo, this isn’t a bad option. But it isn’t the best option. I found it to be a bit chaotic due to the amount of people around – which if you’re there for the exhibits – can be annoying.
If you have the time, the money (or a JR Rail Pass), head down to the JR Central SCMaglev and Railway Museum in Nagoya. It’s a much richer museum to visit.
Next: We’re off into the night of Tokyo as I explore Shibuya at night.
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