Umekoji Koen (Park), which is about one kilometer northwest of Kyoto Station, is today home to the city's aquarium and the Steam Locomotive Museum and a large green space in the center of the city.
The park is 12.5 hectares (30 acres) and opened in 1995. Prior to that, the area was a village that was folded into various larger municipalities, and then a railroad yard.
In the Edo Period (1603 to 1868), it was part of Yamashiro Kuni. In 1868, it joined the newly created Kyoto Prefecture, and was known as Kadonogun, Umekojimura. In 1889, the appellation of the area became: Kyoto Prefecture, Shichijomura, Umekojimura. In 1918, the area was incorporated into Kyoto city.
In 1876, the Umekoji train station opened along the Saiin Line, which to this day still heads west out of Kyoto Station. In 1913, Japan Railways purchased the land that now is the park, and in the following year built a railyard for steam engines and freight trains.
Today, what remains is the Steam Locomotive Museum. It is housed in an attractive wooden station building that was built in the early part of the 20th century. In a previous incarnation, it was the station building for JR Nijo Station between 1904 and 1997.
Three times each day (11:00 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm), a steam locomotive is rolled out along a little turntable. There are seventeen engines in the museum, six of which still move.
For train buffs, this is a fun day out. For picnics, the park is plenty big. For cyclists, parking is no problem.
Steam Locomotive Museum
Open 9:30-17:00 (entry until 16:30), closed Mondays
Admission: Adults: 400 yen, children: 100 yen.
Tel: 314 2996
12% off when you spend £99 or more
Offer starts: 11/12/12 at 17:00 GMT
Offer ends: 13/12/12 at 00:00 GMT
Offer excludes Bikes and in-stock items.
Code: 12EXTRA (please see below for international thresholds)
12% off when you spend 14,500YEN or more
12% off when you spend US$175 or more
Tags Japan Touring Kyoto Cycle Japanese