On a rainy cool Friday I had the pleasure of visiting "The World Railways Expo 2016" at the Pacifico Exhibition Hall A in Yokohama.
It is no mystery why Yokohama would be the location for such an expo, as 144 years ago this city was the site of Japan’s first railroad.
Last October I wrote about the Hara Railway Museum near Yokohama station. This Expo is partially sponsored by the museum and includes trains from Mr. Hara’s collection that have never before been displayed. The Expo area is broken down into 4 zones.
Zone One has many beautiful pictures and historical explanations of train systems. There are hands-on interactive screens and the aisles are nice and wide for large crowds. To wet your appetite near the beginning of your tour there is a platform of some running model trains, raising your expectations for when you reach zone three.
Zone Two has a very large display of model trains from around the world. This area includes some very rare trains from Mr. Hara’s collection. There are so many (Over a 1,000), that you could spend hours looking at the intricate details of each set representing France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia, China, South Africa, USA, and Japan.
Zone Three had a very large set of tracks with three sections and multiple trains running. There is a relaxing feeling watching the trains as they pass by. Many adults and children in this area like me were also mesmerized. This is something I will never get tired of viewing.
Zone Four is for the kids, with rides on a small bullet train, and a good Thomas the Tank train exhibit.
As you head towards the exit there is a very nice gift shop, with something for everyone both young and old.
According to Mr. Norihide Kawai, Project Development Director, the exhibit took one and a half years of planning and almost all the 2000 trains displayed are being seen for the first time by the public.
Now one other nice thing about this exhibit is that it runs through September 11, 2016, which gives me time to have some repeat visits.
If you take the Negishi line from Yokohama station to Sakuragicho, it is a 12-minute walk straight through Landmark tower, Queens tower and onto the Pacifico exhibition complex. You can also take the Minato Mirai subway line to Minato Mirai Station.
The exhibit is open daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm. The entrance fee is 1500 yen for adults and 800 yen for children; in my eyes money well spent.