Why Everyone (Not Just Train Fans) Need to Visit Kawasaki World

ByJustin Hanus
Jun 28, 2022

Why Everyone (Not Just Train Fans) Need to Visit Kawasaki World

Although the Kawasaki brand is known for motorcycles, a highlight of Kawasaki World in Kobe has to be the trains. Train fan or not, you should check out this museum.

What’s So Great About the Shinkansen Exhibition?

To understand why the Shinkansen exhibition is fascinating, you need to know a bit about the trains.

Shinkansen is the bullet train in Japan. It is a feat of engineering to achieve such speed and still have an ultra-safe mode of transport. The Shinkansen trains have only suffered one accident in history due to a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in March 2022. Although the quake derailed the train, everyone on board was unharmed.

The first Shinkansen was the 0-series, which started running in 1964. It was discontinued in 2008, but one is on display in Kawasaki World in honor of the company’s involvement in its construction. As well as exploring one of the passenger cars, you can enter the driver’s cabin of the train. Plus, you’ll have a closer view of all the dials and levers than is possible almost anywhere else.

Also, a Place for Bike Fans

You’ll also find plenty of motorcycles in Kawasaki World. The models on display change occasionally, but there are always some rare ones and racing bikes. One corner is dedicated to showing the latest models — you can touch and even sit on some of these.

Interactive Zones

Whereas the above are most exciting for train and motorcycle enthusiasts, the museum’s interactive areas appeal to just about everyone. Particularly popular is RidEX — a simulator that allows you to try riding a large motorcycle around a circuit at up to 200 kilometers an hour. The special effects in the video make the simulation feel pretty realistic. A ride is included in the price of your entrance fee, but you should make a reservation when you arrive at the museum to secure a slot.

Other experiences include driving a model train (a camera in the car shows you the view from the driver’s seat), a jet ski simulator, and a flight simulator where you can take off and land at Kobe Airport.

Other Exhibitions

There are also some other exhibitions you may like to explore. One exhibition near the museum’s beginning details the company’s history as it relates to Japanese history — particularly how the country became industrialized. Another display is of factory machines, many of which you’ll never have encountered before. Finally, a helicopter that provided aid in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake that you can enter to see the cockpit.

You can make your visit to Kawasaki World part of a great day out in Kobe. It’s actually inside Kobe Maritime Museum — which explains why there’s a model ship at the entrance; in fact, you’ll receive admission to both museums when you buy a ticket. You may also like to spend time at Meriken Park, where you can check out Kobe Port Tower (the city’s main landmark with incredible panoramic views), Red Brick Warehouse, and Kobe Harborland.

Tokumeigakarinoaoshima, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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