JR Inari Station Lamp Museum
- The smell of oil still pervades the walls and floor of this lamp museum
One of the oldest remnants from the days of national rail
Inari was a rail station (now Zeze Station) between Kyoto and Otsu, on the Tokaido Line, which opened in 1879. Back in those days, all the lighting - both in and outside the station as well as the locomotive lights and carriage interior lighting - was provided by oil lamps. Thus, a lamp shed was built for storage and maintenance of lamps as well as storage of lamp oil.
And, the lamp museum is housed in this very small shed, a mere eight square meters in size, but sturdily built in brick (an unusual building material back then) to make it fire resistant to allow for storage of oil. The museum is home to a collection that tells the story of railway history through several dozen precious pieces of railway memorabilia, such as hand lamps, signal lamps and tail lamps as well as front plates, timetables, semaphone signals and double-head rails. The museum building is one of the oldest national railway buildings in existence, and, therefore, has been designated as a Railway Semi-memorial Object.
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