Odakyu Electric Railway will open their new Romancecar Museum on Monday, April 19th. The new museum will display several vehicles from Odakyu’s luxury limited express “Romancecar” series and is located beside Ebina Station in Ebina City, Kanagawa Prefecture. This is Odakyu’s first permanent indoor exhibition site and is designed to be a family-friendly facility which can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Odakyu’s Romancecar was first introduced in 1957 as a rapid tourist train, with the SE #3000 series. That same year it broke the world speed record for narrow-gauge trains (145 kmph) and was said to have inspired the design for the first Shinkansen bullet train. Today Romancecar trains continue to run services between Tokyo and Mount Fuji and other resort areas such as Hakone, Odawara, and Enoshima.
Without a doubt, the museum’s main attraction is the Romancecar Gallery. Five different historic Romancecar vehicles will be displayed here, some of which can be entered. The following vehicles will be on display:
- 3 cars of the original Romancecar SE (#3000 series)
- 3 cars of the Romancecar NSE (#3100 series)
- 1 car of the Romancecar LSE (#7000 series)
- 1 car of the Romancecar HiSE (#10000 series)
- 2 cars of the Romancecar RSE (#20000 series)
In addition, the museum also features a History Theater which shows short movies about Odakyu and the Romancecar, a huge diorama with 15 working model trains showing railway connections between Shinjuku and Hakone, a play area for small children called the Kid’s Romancecar Park, and a train driving simulator.
The museum also features a shop selling a wide range of Romancecar themed souvenirs, and a restaurant, called the Clubhouse, where you can enjoy hot dogs, cakes, ice creams, tea, and craft beer.
Admission fees for the museum are 900 yen for adults, 400 yen for elementary school students, and 100 yen for infants over 3 years old. Free for children under 3 years old. As a COVID-19 countermeasure, advance reservations are currently required to visit the Romancecar Museum. To make your reservation, please visit the official Romancecar Museum website (Japanese language only).
Article by Michael Lambe. Photos courtesy of Odakyu Electric Railway. All rights reserved.