History Yui Rail Museum: An Indoor Learning Experience For All

The name is Yui Rail (Monorail) Museum, but don't let that fool you! The two-story museum is packed with 400 different items on display, some of the construction of the monorail to even the old railways in Okinawa. It's free to enter, open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and something to do on a rainy day in Okinawa.

You can access it by following the map in the "location" box below, but the parking lot is somewhat confusing to know exactly which building it is. Follow the side of the gray building (pictured) and you will see a sign leading you to a double glass door where you can enter.

Yui Rail Museum Yui Rail Museum entrance

Once inside, you'll notice a suggestion book, but more importantly, a telephone.

Yui Rail Museum phone

Underneath the phone in showcases is some merchandise you can pick up for a few yen. If you're looking to buy a monorail postcard, key chain, or even cute little socks for your kids, you'll need to get on the phone and dial 224.

Yui Rail merchandise Yui Rail kid's socks

Once you enter, you'll see the main exhibition of all the monorail stations, which they'll soon have to make room for four more after the expansion is complete.

Panorama of all the current Yui Rail monorail stations

Around the corner from the monorail station exhibition is a scale model of a fictitious monorail route. Unfortunately, when we went, it didn't work. Hopefully, they restore it at one point because I'm sure kids would enjoy "racing" the monorails around.

Yui Rail model Yui Rail model closeup

P1-P9 are the piers in which the first monorail station, Naha Airport Station, now rests on. It's a marvel to look at such a huge construction project that took place.

Construction of piers 1 to 9 of Yui Rail, where Naha Airport Station rests

The museum also boasts about Yui Rail having the most southern as well as the most western monorail stations in all of Japan, being Akamine Station and Naha Airport Station respectively⁠—though, that could surely change with how rapidly Ishigaki and Miyako-jima are now growing in tourism too!

Yui Rail's claim to having the most southern and most western monorail stations

They also have a cutout of the monorail wheels on display which is nice to be able to physically touch and see how the monorail can stick to its rail.

Yui Rail monorail car wheel cutout

Upstairs is where things get a little more interesting.

You're initially greeted by two large sections of steel rail. These rails were found in someone's garden just recently in 2010 and date back to the first rail system on Okinawa that suffered severe blows during the Battle of Okinawa.

Pre-war era railroad track unearthed in 2010

There are also plenty of pictures that show the old rail stations and routes strewn about the walls.

Old railway station in Okinawa

Old railway routes in Okinawa

If you're a train enthusiast, you're going to absolutely love the collection of train memorabilia and relics from real trains throughout Japan.

Steam locomotive model trains Old railroad relics and memorabilia Model train sets

But, before you take off, don't forget your monorail paper craft; I'm sure if you bring your kids along, they'll enjoy making a model monorail of their own.

Free Yui Rail monorail paper craft

Have fun while you're here in Okinawa and make a day of your visit to the Yui Rail Museum by walking your way down to Naha Airport Station and getting an all day monorail pass afterward. You can use this to ride the rails to Shuri Castle and back to knock that off your Okinawa bucket list!
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David
David is the Founder of Okinawa.Org. When he's not busy with business and administrative dealings on the site, he's out looking for the smallest things in the largest areas that may be overlooked by many.

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