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Yokohama Tramport Museum

A bygone era of riding the Tram in Yokohama

For almost 70 years the Yokohama tram system was a major mode of transportation throughout the city.

It began in 1904 as the Yokohama Electric Railway Company. The city took over the network in 1921. Just two years later the “Great Kanto Earthquake” decimated the system.

The city residents being a hardy lot would not let it fall and restored the entire system by 1930. During that time the daily ridership reached 120,000.

All was well until 1945 when it was destroyed, this time by the bombing from World War II.

Again, the citizens rallied together and rebuilt the tram system and by 1956 the daily ridership was up over 364,000. The Trams lasted until 1972 when the final car made its last run. The reason given was that there were too many automobiles and the trams were snarling traffic.

The museum opened a few years later to commemorate a transportation system that was loved by its citizens.

You can take a walk down memory lane and actually enter one of several restored trams.

While sitting in the tram notice the nicely done wooden floors, the soft cushion seating, and the smell of the car. Close your eyes drift back in time and listen to the tram traveling on the tracks. You can almost see the car full of people going about their daily business in the city.

There are several videos showing when the trams were in service. Many display cases with original documents and paraphernalia from the system take you back in time.

As you walk near the end of the museum is the Yoshimura Collection, a large display of model trains including trams.

A little further back we come to an O scale model platform of the city of Yokohama with trams all the way up to the bullet trains moving about the city. Another place like Hara Model Railway museum where you be mesmerized by the scale models. In the very back there is a small set where the kids can pay a fee and control the trains.

When you purchase your ticket at the entrance you can also buy time in a subway simulator.

This was my second visit to the museum and I enjoyed it even more than the first, as I observed the patrons, especially the excitement in the children’s eyes while they sat in the conductor’s chair and pretended to operate the tram.

Museum employees were very friendly and eager to answer any questions, that is in Japanese. The brochure you receive at the entrance does have an section in English.

This is another attraction that is worth your time and effort.

The easiest way to get to the museum is take the Negishi line to Negishi station. You can take the bus route #21/#78 to Shiden-Hozonkan, to the end of the service. Since the weather was cool I decided to walk from the station and took around 30 minutes.

The museum is open everyday but Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. I am told that on the weekends it can become very crowded. There is a small entrance fee, that is unless you are over 65 then it is free.

As I have previously written there is so much more to Yokohama than the Bay Area and with a little investigation you can fill your days with interesting and fun out of the way attractions.

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Elena Lisina 5 years ago
Interesting museum!

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