Friday, Oct. 8, 2004
The National Archives of Japan will hold a free exhibition of documents, maps and illustrations through Oct. 17 detailing the history of Japan's railways.
The exhibits trace the opening of the nation's first railway between Yokohama and Shinbashi in 1872 to the development of Japan's present railway system, including its military applications from the Meiji Period to World War II. Other exhibits include a schedule and fee table used in the railroad system's provisional opening in May 1872 and a route map from its full opening in September the same year.
The items include an official document on the opening ceremony for Japan's first railway, a nationwide railway map carried in the July 1890 government gazette, and a copy of the March 1906 Railway Nationalization Law.
Tetsudo (railway) exhibition: 9:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through Oct. 17 (till 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays) at Kokuritsu Kobunsho Kan (National Archives of Japan, 3-2 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku; tel.  3214-0621). The National Archives is a five-minute walk from Exit 1B of Takebashi subway station.
On Oct. 9 and 10, another free event, the 11th Railway Festival will be held at the plaza in front of the fountain in Hibiya Park, featuring railway-related goods, events and food and drink. Visitors will also be able to ride coaches pulled by a miniature steam locomotive.