One of the most frequently asked questions we get is "Why do you model Japanese trains?" Well, here are a number of reasons that many of us have gotten into this interesting hobby!
Just like the old real estate adage of Location, Location, Location,
Japan is chock-o-block full of trains. There are literally hundreds
of different kinds of trains in Japan running right now, the diversity
is absolutely startling! Many of the trains are very futuristic and even whimsical in their design. Japanese railroads also team up with
pop culture a lot, painting their trains with anime characters or art
from well know artists. To top this off there are three manufacturers of N scale Japanese trains (Kato, Tomix, and MicroAce) that are very active, turning out dozens of new model releases each year.
If you are a passenger train fan, Japan is the place to model. The
train systems in Japan are some of the most extensive in the world.
The premiere bullet train system is just the start as they have a
large system of limited express trains, local and rural trains as well
as subways and trams.
The density of trains in Japan means that most any scene you can imagine can have a train in
it. Unlike the US, Japanese passenger trains run right through the heart of busy cities, so
you can see a speeding shinkansen flying right by a high rise office building only a few dozen
yards away! The diversity of scenes in which you can see a train allows your imagination to
run wild with the kinds of locals you can model.
Japan is a very compact country. Most scenes have a lot going on in them to model. Most scenes that North American railroads run through are wide open spaces which are difficult to model without a lot of room to do so. A small layout of japanese railroad scenes can be very dense with buildings, scenery, roads, etc and still be totally prototypical!
Japan also has a number of cities with vibrant trams, streetcars and monorails. These systems
operate in large cities as well as smaller towns and run in both public roads and down private
right of ways. The model train manufacturer Modemo creates superb models of many of the
Japanese streetcars and trams. Japanese streetcar scenes are fantastic for creating T-trak
modules scenes (and was what T-trak was originally designed for!)
Here are a few of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers from JRM.
Here are articles that members and others have written to share their japanese rail modeling efforts.
Here are articles on Japanese themed layouts from around the world!
These are reviews that have been submitted to JRM about japanese rail modeling products.
Some useful web links to Japanese modeling sites.