Place Category: Attractions
A great place to spend an afternoon out of the hot sun or rain. JR (Japan Rail) has brought many trains out of storage to show the history of train travel in Japan over the last century, right up to the Maglev train. The scale of the museum is outstanding yet quite compact.
The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park was opened in 2011 by the railway museum of Central Japan Railways (JR Central) as a way to educate visitors about advances in high speed rail.
39 retired train cars are displayed in the museum including historic steam locomotives, record setting experimental shinkansen and the latest magnetic levitating trains (maglev). In addition to exhibits explaining how trains and their parts work and historic artifacts, many of the trains can be entered or viewed from underneath. Children can find many educational but fun experiments on the second floor. The various train simultors are a main attraction which allow visitors to try their hand at driving a train for an extra fee.
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park also features one of Japan’s largest model railways with a diorama of Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo.
The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:30 (last entry 17:00) with a 1000 yen admission fee. The train simulators cost an additional 100 or 500 yen. The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is closed on Tuesdays and from December 28 to January 1 for the New Years holidays.
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is located a short walk from Kinjofuto Station on Nagoya’s Aonami Line. The station is fully wheelchair accessible.
For those travelling by car, accessible parking is available, but can be a bit hard to find and you may need to ask staff for directions.
You start on the ground level and get a good look at the undercarriages. All of the train cars have wheelchair accessible ramps up to “boarding” level . Whether or not you will be able to board all of the trains depends on the width of your chair, but a typical manual wheelchair can fit through roughly 80-90% of the entrances. One or two of the older trains had either door frames to small, or in one instance, stairs inside the train.
There are a lot of other displays relating to the daily operation of the current Shinkansen, an exhibit on Doctor Yellow, the train that does repairs to the Shinkansen track, and some train simulators. The train simulators are accessible but the driver’s seat is bolted down so wheelchair users can see all the controls but not get right up to them. To see the simulator, you need to have your number drawn in a lottery.
One of the best parts of the museum is a big intricate diorama of the train system that takes you through a day in the life of JR. Wheelchair users can pull up really close and it is easy to see the trains and people move from a seated level.
The facility has accessible washrooms and several elevators throughout the building. The gift shop and outdoor park around the building to the ocean are all accessible.
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park has done a great job of creating an accessible train museum while maintaining. While not everything is fully accessible, the vast majority is, making it a fun stop for train lovers.
Special thanks: Accessible Japan would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to Alison Teasdale for her help in writing this article. Thanks also go to Heleen for providing the picture of the simulator. Contributions like this help so many interested visitors. Thank you!
Top Image: By Bariston (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd Image: By z tanuki (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons