Hara Model Railway Museum
On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, the Hara Model Railway Museum will open in Yokohama, where Japan's first railway started.
The museum opens to the public a massive collection of models trains, said to be the largest in the world, made and possessed by Nobutaro Hara. The collection also includes many railway collectables other than the model trains.
One of the features of Hara's models is that they recreate cars from Japan, Europe, the United States, and other places around the globe. From steam locomotives to electric locomotives, those tell of an age when railways were making tremendous advances.
With those models, visitors can enjoy the world's railways without ever leaving Yokohama.
Another feature of Hara's models is that they faithfully recreate real trains. They draw power from overhead lines and run on iron rails with iron wheels. One area museum visitors should take notice of is the click-clack sounds the model trains make.
You can hear the same sound as real trains as they go over the joints between track sections. Running models are made possible by incorporating the same technologies as real trains, even if those cannot be seen from the outside. Such technologies include gears, leaf springs, bearings, swing bolsters, brakes and more. At the museum, you can enjoy gauge one (1:32 scale) model trains incorporating those technologies running on one of the world's largest indoor dioramas.
When hearing of railway technological innovations, Hara would demonstrate his passion for railways and technologies by going places around the world to actually see, ride, and record railways with still photos and 16mm movie film that were rare when Hara first started taking his records . The museum shows off some of the vast array of railway and travel memorabilia he collected as well at technical documents. You will be amazed at how the technologies covered in those documents are actually incorporated in model railways.
The many models and other materials that Hara has collected are valuable in terms of railway history and modern industrial history. They can also be said to demonstrate "dreams of travel," "adoration for unknown worlds," and "dreams of new industries" brought about by the "cutting-edge technology of the time" exemplified by railways.
Come to the Hara Model Railway Museum and see for yourself the wonder of railways.
NameHara Model Railway Museum
Opening dateJuly 10, 2012
Floor spaceApprox. 1,700m²
Exhibit spaceApprox. 1,200m²
Total cars in collectionApprox. 1,500
Gauge one diorama areaApprox. 310m²