Just one station from Kyoto Station, or only a 15 minute walk with kids, located within Umekoji Park, you can find the Kyoto Railway Museum which opened in 2016. With more trains on display than anywhere in Japan, you can see steam engine locomotives as well as electrical trains among the 53 trains in the museum. Also, they have the only steam engine locomotive in Japan that runs daily and you can actually ride it! Miho, who traveled to some of Japan’s best spots for trains when her oldest son was younger and crazy about them declares that Kyoto Railway Museum is the number one spot for taking kids to enjoy trains because of the displays as well as easy access. You can see views only visible from the museum as well, so even moms who aren’t so interested in trains can enjoy a trip to the museum. Kyoto Railway Museum can be enjoyed both for a quick visit or for a longer more relaxed visit, Miho’s family has stayed for up to 5 hours! We will tell you about the points which kids and parents can enjoy.
Kyoto Railway Museum – A Place of Excitement for Parents and Kids Alike!
With 53 trains and being surrounded by railroad tracks, even if you search for another place where you could be in the middle of so many trains and tracks, you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere. Even for someone not so interested in trains, visiting Kyoto Railway Museum is sure to peak their interest just a little! Miho says that she has stayed in hotels overlooking the tracks near Nagoya Station and Tokyo Station for her son who loved trains, but that the volume of tracks at Kyoto Railway Museum stands out. Plus you can only enjoy the view of Kyoto station surrounded by trains, Higashiyama (Eastern mountains) and Japan’s nature all mixed together from this location!
Amazing View #1 – 2nd Floor Restaurant
On the 2nd floor of Kyoto Railway Museum is a restaurant with a sprawling view surrounded by trains. As customers enter the restaurant they all let out a gasp of excitement at the view!
The restaurant’s ordering system is a self service ticket system. The menu includes items such as ramen, udon noodles, hamburger steak, kids’ lunch plates, French fries, etc. The food is okay, but you can also take your own into this space, so you could also bring your own food and drinks and take a rest in order to feel refreshed. Warning: Weekends can be very crowded, so it’s best to avoid lunchtime hours if possible.
Amazing View #2 – Rooftop Terrace (3rd Floor)
There is a panorama deck on the roof of Kyoto Railway Museum. Just like from the restaurant on the 2nd floor, you can enjoy looking down on the trains as you dine. With amazing views for about 300 degrees, the view from the rooftop terrace is truly amazing! If the weather is good, you can take your meal to the rooftop terrace and truly enjoy a special experience.
At Kyoto Railway Museum – Parents and Kids are Excited to Try Driving!
Try the Driving Simulation
※It’s a popular attraction, so you give your ticket stub to be entered into a drawing. Only those whose ticket stub is drawn can participate, but there are around 40 participants every hour, so unless it’s really busy everyone gets to try it. (Weekdays are recommended)
Lots of Hands On Activities
On the first floor of Kyoto Railway Museum there are many things that are hands on. You can get on models of trains and pretend to be the conductor and take pictures. There are so many things that you may not know where to begin at first. You are sure to leave the museum with many great memories!
Kyoto Railway Museum – A Place for Parents and Kids to Take a Break
Ride the Steam Engine Locomotive
At Kyoto Railway Museum there is a real steam engine locomotive powered by coal. Seeing the smoke come from the train’s chimney is sure to make your child happy. The ride goes around Umekoji Park which is full of greenery and takes about 10 minutes. It runs about once every hour. If you have the chance, please take a ride!
Take a Break at the Kyoto Railway Diorama
The Kyoto Railway Diorama located on the 2nd floor of the museum is a railroad model which really moves. About once each hour you can see the models run the tracks. It takes about 15 minutes. The explanations are all in Japanese, but just being there and watching is fun too. (If it isn`t crowded, you can go in during the running time)
Kyoto Railway Museum – A Spot that is Exciting for Kids and Parents Can Rest
Kyoto Railway Museum – Enjoyable In Any Weather
Kyoto Railway Museum is perfect for rainy days or days when you aren’t sure where to go. Opened in 2016, it’s still quite new and is a comfortable place to spend your time. For kids who like trains, this museum is like heaven. Even for kids who weren’t interested in trains before visiting this museum, seeing the real trains here will be impressive and they are sure to be just a little more interested when they leave.
Kyoto Railway Museum – General Information
・Sagano Line 「Umekoji Kyoto West Station」2 minute walk
・JR「Kyoto Station」From Chuo-guchi, head west and walk about 20
・JR「Kyoto Station」Take city bus 205 or 208, get off at Umekoji Park・JR Umekoji Kyoto West Station Mae, walk for about 3 minutes
10:00～17:30（Entrance until 17:00）
Closed on Wednesdays (open if it’s a national holiday)
Closed for New Year holidays
University / High School Students：1,000円
Junior High / Elementary Students：500円
Kids (Ages 3 and up)：200円
※If you purchase the Railway Museum ticket and Kyoto Aquarium ticket together you can get a discount!
More tips for Kyoto with kids from local moms
To make sure families fully enjoy Kyoto’s charm, we, local moms started Kyoto with Kids services. We are continuously developing programs which parents and kids can both enjoy. Please check out our Kyoto with Kids services developed by local moms!