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New facility showcasing shinkansen simulator opens at Saitama museum

Kyodo

Visitors to a railway museum in Saitama will get a chance to experience what it feels like to drive a shinkansen thanks to a simulator that is part of a new addition to the facility that opened Thursday.

Exhibits in the new building offer hands-on railway experiences with a dash of history.

The E-5 series Hayabusa shinkansen simulator takes guests on a journey between Tokyo and Hakodate in southwestern Hokkaido, as recorded scenery flashes by, simulating speeds of 320 kilometers per hour.

Visitors can also perform other conductor duties such as opening and closing the train’s doors.

Included in the showcase of 140 years of technological railway developments is a Tokyo Station ticket gate replica used in the Taisho Era (1912-1926).

Actual rolling stock from the 400 series Tsubasa shinkansen, known as a miniature shinkansen, is also among the exhibits.

About 440 people lined up for the grand opening, and limited tickets for the Hayabusa simulator sold out in about 10 minutes.

“It was really fun. I want to become a conductor in the future,” said Shinnosuke Nakajima, a 9-year-old elementary school student from Tokyo.

Admission costs ¥1,300 ($11.80) for adults, ¥600 for minors and ¥300 for children aged 3 or older.