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Kyushu Railway History Museum

The Kyushu Railway History Museum houses a wealth of information about the history of trains in southwestern Japan.

By Elizabeth Sok

Opened in 2003, the Kyushu Railway History Museum houses a wealth of information about the history of trains in southwestern Japan. Adults, children, train buffs and novices alike will have plenty to enjoy at this historic site.

Railway History

kyushu railway history museum

Photo by: PIXTA/kazukiatuko Perfect for train lovers and history buffs of all ages.

The story of Kyushu’s railroad network began at the end of the 19th century. As Japan was in the process of industrialization after opening its borders to the international community, Fukuoka prefecture became one of the leading producers of coal in the country. As a result, iron and steel works as well as other heavy industries rapidly developed which turned Fukuoka into an industrial powerhouse.

To transport materials to the rest of the country, private railroad networks were created although many of these were eventually bought by the national government in the early 1900s. The opening of Kammon Tunnel in the 1940s which linked Kyushu to Honshu marked the beginning of the end of Kyushu’s golden age of railroads.

The Exhibits

kyushu railway history museum

Photo by: PIXTA/kurutanx- Take a step back in time.

The Kyushu Railway History Museum is housed in the old headquarters of Kyushu Railways, a red brick building that dates back to 1891. The museum covers two floors and includes a permanent exhibition featuring numerous historical artifacts originally found on trains and in stations. On the first floor, visitors will be able to walk through a restored passenger car once used in the first decades of the 20th century. Check out the tatami mats and the specially designed low windows on board.

Model train enthusiasts will love the massive models on display that showcase famous Kyushu trains that run today, such as the Sonic, Kamome and Sakura. Finally, get behind the wheel of a train in the Driving Simulator which allows players to ride between Mojiko and Orio stations at various difficulty levels.

Real Trains on Display

kyushu railway history museum

Photo by: PIXTA/ さんり All aboard.

The must-sees of this museum are the old trains that are available for visitors to see and touch. Highlights include an SL Series 9600, one of Japan’s first steam locomotives built in 1922 as well as a C591 which used to bring passengers on an express train on the Tokaido and Sanyo Honsen. Also on site are several trains that you can tour inside. The KUHANE581-8 was the first electric sleeper car in the world while the KIHA0741 was a diesel-powered train produced before the Second World War.

Things To Know


The museum is open every day from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and is closed on the second Wednesday of each month.

Tickets to the museum cost ¥300 for high school students and older, and ¥150 for junior high school students. Entrance is free for three years old and under.

How To Get There


By train

The museum is a short walk from JR Mojiko station. 

By car

Take the Moji IC from the Kyushu Expressway. 

Where To Stay

Premier Hotel Mojiko
  • 9-11 Kabushikikaishiya Mojikohoteru, Kitakyushu-shi Moji-ku, Fukuoka, 801-8503 Japan
  • ¥8,550 - ¥29,308
  • 4.29/5 (3,077 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Hotel Route-Inn Mojiko
  • 2-11-2 Nishikaigan, Kitakyushu-shi Moji-ku, Fukuoka, 801-0841 Japan
  • ¥6,500 - ¥9,950
  • 4.1/5 (1,438 reviews)
  • 0.9 km
Shimonoseki Grand Hotel
  • 31-2 Nabecho, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi, 750-0006 Japan
  • ¥5,500 - ¥32,000
  • 4.39/5 (1,197 reviews)
  • 2.3 km
Smile Hotel Shimonoseki
  • 4-4-1 Takezakicho, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi, 750-0025 Japan
  • ¥5,900 - ¥6,900
  • 3.68/5 (810 reviews)
  • 3.5 km
Via Inn Shimonoseki (JR West Group)
  • 4-2-33 Takezakicho, Shimonoseki-shi, Yamaguchi, 750-0025 Japan
  • ¥7,097 - ¥10,374
  • 4.16/5 (531 reviews)
  • 3.5 km

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