Toei Kyoto Studio Park 

XToei are a major Japanese film and television studio making shows ranging from historical dramas to animation and live action superhero series. In addition to working studios, the Kyoto Park provides a range of activities. 

After another long walk through local Kyoto with its tiny shops, houses and even a temple or two we caught the Sagano railway line a few stops. 

We arrived so late that most of the live shows and demonstrations had finished. After going through the Amazing Maze with its optical illusions we made it to the Jidaigeki show, where they demonstrate some of the effects on a samurai drama set. Despite the language barrier it’s a lot of fun! 

There was also a singsong one lady show of some amazing tied chopstick tricks at the theatre.

That left us with only enough time to wander quickly through the old sets and the Ultramen/Power Rangers displays. Quite intresting, but be warned that many attractions cost extra. Would have been nicer to see the sword demonstrations as well.

Quite fun, but Alex’s highlight was still the ticket gate.

Kyoto Railway Museum

As our train approached Kyoto station this morning I spotted a steam train pulling a collection of open sided passenger carriages. Also at that moment Alex asked to return to the train museum at Nagoya to play with their ticket gate exhibit. 

I suggested that we change our plans and go to the Kyoto Railway Museum instead. 

It was a fairly long and hot walk from the main Kyoto station to the museum, though the last part was through a pleasant park. The steam train reappeared, obviously just shunting passengers up and down a straight track. The smell of burning coal and hot oil evoked memories of the many tourist steam engines in my past. 

Ultimately we didn’t catch that steam train, but we did spend hours in the huge museum. There was an excellent range of displays, different enough from the SCMaglev and Railway Park in Nagoya to make the dual visits worth it. For starters, Kyoto’s had a Series 500 Shinkansen on display, along with a huge roundhouse of steam locomotives. 

There were also excellent working displays on all sorts of operations, including signalling and points, electric and diesel engines and boom gates. And fortunately for Alex (and unfortunately for us) a working ticket dispenser and gate. He printed 27 tickets and spent over half an hour doing circuits of the gate. It drove us mad!