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While Kenji’s parents were in Okinawa (lucky…) we had some free time, so we decided to take a trip to Saitama to visit Omiya and Kawagoe. Unfortunately, we slept in and didn’t have time for everything, so we cut Kawagoe and decided to just go to Omiya to visit Hikawa Shrine and the Train Museum.

The shrine was a bit of the walk, but luckily it wasn’t rainy, just kinda gross and overcast. The shrine itself is a popular one for New Years, but when we went hardly anyone was there, except for people setting up for the New Years rush. We spent a little time taking pictures there, then walked back to the station and then to the train museum.


On the train


Walking to the shrine entrance


Traditional New Years decorations sold outside the shrine entrance


Hikawa Shrine


Hikawa Shrine


The only activity in the shrine itself was a lone priest walking, and a little activity where the souvenirs are sold.


I would have spent more time taking artistic pictures, but my hands were cold 😦

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Walking back to the station

The train museum was built in 2007, and Kenji had been wanting to go since then, but we never found time. I was thinking, “oh, a train museum! … interesting!” but actually it was really AWESOME! I totally want to go back and try all the hands-on activities we missed by getting there too late. There will definitely be a next time!

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Walking on the way were many different kinds of trains and pictures all along the route


This one is “tsubame”


Hours, etc.


The entrance


Once you get in, you can go inside and see all sorts of different trains, from old style to new!


There are a LOT of different ones to visit


Cheese!


There are even platforms to see on top…


…and under trains, views usually you can’t see normally.


There was the Emperor’s train


An old style steam engine


Even examples of people inside


This train you could see the insides


There was even a mini version of running trains!


Upstairs, besides a good view of all the downstairs trains, was the History Zone.


All sorts of cool examples, such as the old-style ticket punches, Tokyo Station (now it is renovated so it looks like that again)


Even these tunnel decorations


And the changes to the Japan Railway company


We missed it 😦


Lots of old stuff like the old signs


You could even do simulations and actually drive a mini-train! We missed all this unfortunately

After the train museum, we went back to the station, but it had started to rain while we were looking for a restaurant. We finally found one (luckily) after grabbing a Coedo beer in a bar. Coedo is the local beer, which we only very occasionally get in Gunma, so I wanted to have one! The restaurant was more traditional Japanese food, which was good too. Then we came home!


Coedo “Shiro” beer


Cool lights and the food from the restaurant


creepy picture of me…


And the neato train museum tenugui I got!