Inside the Maglev and Railway Park

The Central Japan Railway Company’s Maglev and Railway Park in Minato City, Nagoya, is a train museum that has a blend of technological innovation and nostalgic preservation.


From Past to Future: Maglev and Railway Park

The museum does a good job of showcasing Japan’s engineering excellence, from their historical locomotives to their futuristic magnetic levitation (maglev) trains.

It houses 39 real railway vehicles, train cab simulators, a diorama of Japan’s railway system, and a hands-on maglev exhibition that explains how the magnetic system works.

Exterior of the Maglev and Railway Park

Exterior of the Maglev and Railway Park

The Maglev and Railway Park is a testament to Japan’s technological heritage and commitment to progress. It’s a fascinating destination for train enthusiasts, engineers, and families with children that are interested in trains.

The Main Attractions

The SCMaglev

The obvious main attraction, and the reason the Maglev and Railway Park even exists, is the Superconducting Maglev (SCMaglev). However, I was very surprised that there was only one train, an older model, on display.

Superconducting Maglev (SCMaglev)

The Superconducting Maglev (SCMaglev)

The newest Superconducting Maglev holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest maglev train at a stunning 600 mph.  The model on display is credited with a top speed of around 320 mph.

The Great Rolling Stock Hall

Something I thoroughly enjoyed was The Great Rolling Stock Hall in the center of the museum. It’s like taking a stroll through time, giving you an opportunity to explore the evolutionary timeline of Japan’s trains.

From the steam locomotives of the 19th century to the speedy, sleek, aerodynamic marvels of the present day Shinkansen (Bullet Train).

Evolutionary Timeline: The Great Rolling Stock Hall

Evolutionary Timeline: The Great Rolling Stock Hall

I’m not a train enthusiast, and I still enjoyed seeing the developments Japan has made in public transportation. You can actually feel what it was like to commute throughout the generations.

Train Simulations

There are two ways you can experience the simulated speed of Japan’s trains.

The first is a Maglev passenger simulation, where you choose a seat, sit down, and enjoy the ride. It gives you the chance to feel what it’s like to commute on a Maglev train.

The second is the Shinkansen driving simulator. For just 500 yen, this simulator gives you the rare opportunity to experience what it’s like to drive a bullet train.

I didn’t have the opportunity to try the driving portion of the museum because slots were filled by the time I got there. I recommend going early if this is something you want to do.

Overall, the simulators give visitors a chance to experience the speed and efficiency of Japan’s trains firsthand. It’s like taking a ride into the future of transportation in a safe, somewhat realistic setting.

Interactive Exhibits

One of the things I really enjoyed were the hands-on, interactive exhibits explaining the SCMaglev system. Even with the very technical translated English, the hands-on exhibits made it easy to understand the science of how the Maglev works.

Diorama Delight

I imagine the Railway Model Diorama would be an irresistible attraction for any train enthusiast. It’s a pretty realistic miniature recreation of Japan’s expansive railway system.

Times and Prices

The museum is open every day except Tuesdays and during the New Year’s holiday. It opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 5:30 PM, and last admission is at 5:00 PM. I recommend getting there early if you want to try your hand at the Shinkansen driving simulator.

Maglev and Railway Park Hours of Operations

Maglev and Railway Park Hours of Operations

The admission price is very reasonable, costing just 1000 yen for adults and 500 yen for children. For an attraction that offers a trip through the legacy of locomotion with many exhibits, it’s a significant value for money.

Getting to The Maglev and Railway Park

Getting to the Maglev and Railway Park is as convenient as the location itself. You can take the Aonami Line from Nagoya Station to Kinjō-futō Station, and from there, the museum is just a short walk away.

Aonami Line Entrance

Aonami Line Entrance

The Aonami Line can be found on the east side of Nagoya Station, which is the same side of the station as the Shinkansen Line. It’s a bit tucked away, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for the signage.

Aonami Line Station Name Sign

Aonami Line Station Name Sign

Once you find it, you’ll need to buy a ticket and head to Kinjō-futō Station. It’s important to note that it’s not possible to use the Japan Rail Pass on the Aonami Line. You’ll need to buy a separate ticket.

Aonami Line Ticket Machines

Aonami Line Ticket Machines and Train Route Map

At the time of writing this article, a one-way ticket is 360 yen for adults, and 180 yen for children.

Signage to the Maglev and Railway Park

Signage to the Maglev and Railway Park

Once you get to Kinjō-futō Station, just follow the signs (like in the picture above) to the Maglev and Railway Park.

Is It Worth a Visit?

The exhibits at the Maglev and Railway Park cater to visitors of all ages. And being infatuated with trains, or maglev technology, isn’t a prerequisite to appreciate the park.

I think that exploring the generations of life-size trains and the interactions with the exhibits are enough to intrigue any visitor, regardless of age or interest in trains. I was genuinely interested and truly enjoyed my visit to the museum.

However, if this is your first visit to Japan, and you’re not an engineer, or a train enthusiast, you may want to give this a pass. Japan is full of amazing places to visit, and I feel like this one doesn’t make the short list.

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