The Dawn of Nippon Rail

The Railway Museum

poster for The Dawn of Nippon Rail

This event has ended.

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Meiji period (1868–1912). As Japan entered a new era and opened itself up to the world, Japanese people took an interest in the steam trains of the time, travelling abroad to ride them, creating models, and systematically studying them. In 1869, the Meiji government ordered the construction of a railroad but a lack of domestic technology, materials, and finances resulted in foreigners being invited to oversee its construction. In 1872 Japan’s first railroad running from Shimbashi to Yokohama officially opened. This exhibition examines the relationship between the Japanese public and the railway at the dawn of the Meiji period, the foreigners who were employed to help build Japan’s first railway, and how Japanese people later advanced rail technology through their own initiatives.



from April 28, 2018 to September 30, 2018
Open on July 24th, July 31th, August 7th, August 14th, August 21th, August 28th.



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