For most city residents, trains and subways are an integral part of daily life, and few countries have embraced rail travel like Japan. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that one of the best train museums in the world is found here: the Kyoto Railway Museum — and it's a great place to visit with kids.

Opening its doors in 1972 as the Umekoji Steam Locomotive Museum, the museum received a ¥7 billion makeover in 2016, and reopened as the Kyoto Railway Museum you see today. An astounding space, covering 30,000 square meters, it includes modern, interactive exhibits in addition to 53 trains on display, ranging from steam locomotives to today's shinkansen technology.

The size and scale of the museum can be felt as soon as you present your ticket and enter the Promenade, a 100-meter covered walkway showcasing examples from three eras of rail transport. On the left is a steam locomotive while on the right an early-model shinkansen bullet train. In the center is a bright orange and green EMU (Electric Multiple Unit) the type of commuter train used nationwide.