I went to Japan in early October. I was supposed to visit Hokkaido but a typhoon hit there. I was in Aomori but I gave up on visiting Hokkaido. I had some extra time in Aomori and spent this time to visit Seikan Train Ferry museum.
I would like to share my experience to visit this train ferry museum.
Hakkodamaru is one of two existing Seikan Train Ferry ships
Seikan Train Ferry connected Aomori and Hakodate before Seikan Undersea Tunnel was opened. All Seikan train ferry services were discontinued at this time and most of ships were scrapped. Now two ships are existing. These are Mashumaru in Hakodate and Hakkodamaru in Aomori. When I visited Hakodate, I did not visit Mashumaru because I knew that Mashumaru did not open the train track level for public. Hakkodamaru has opened the train track level for public. This is the biggest feature of the train ferry and that was why I visited there. I really wanted to see this train level and the train trucks on the ship.
I should have taken this train ferry before it was discontinued. However this historical ship made me wonder about the ship which ran this water.
The ship is moored at the former second pier.
When Seikan Train Ferry ran between Aomori and Hakodate, there were three piers at Aomori station. Hakkodamaru is now moored at the former second pier. At that time, this pier was of course connected by a track with Aomori station.
It is very close to Aomori station. I walked from Aomori station and it spend about 10 minutes.
Now this ship is not connected to Aomori station by train track. But the transfer bridge and the tracks around the bridge are still existed. We can see how it worked.
After I saw this bridge, I proceeded to the inside ship.
Inside of Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru Museum
You can pay an admission at the entrance. If you want to see this ship museum only, the adult admission is 500 yen.
There are many combo tickets available with other attractions in Aomori city. Please ask a staff at the entrance.
First, I proceeded to the third floor to see “Seikan World”. This section is like a wax museum. There are some displays and they show Aomori in 1960 to 1970. Those displays were in Yoteimaru which is another Seikan Train Ferry ship. It was moored at the ship museum in Tokyo but this ship was scrapped. Before this ship was scrapped, these displays were transferred to Hakkodamaru.
There is a small movie theater next to Seikan World. It explains about a history of Aomori and Seikan Train Ferry, but this is in Japanese only.
I proceeded to the other side of the third floor. There are lots of displays of Seikan Train Ferry.
I could sit down on the Green seat. This seat was used on Seikan Train Ferry.
One of the bedroom compartments remained but I could not go inside.
I also saw a captain’s room and office. I could not go inside that either.
Unfortunately other accommodations, such as ordinary seats, dining room, cafeteria are not existed. If the dining room is open and offer some original menus, I would be very happy. But I think I ask too much.
I proceeded to the fourth floor and I could see the bridge of this ship.
We can go outside from the bridge and go up the tunnel. There is an observation deck. But when I was there, it was closed due to high wind by typhoons.
I proceeded to the first floor and proceeded to the train track level.
Seikan Train Ferry carried only a freight car. There are many other trains displayed in this ship now and it looks like a train museum.
This level looks very similar to a car ferry. But this ship has some track on this level and carries some trains in this ship. The car ferry does not have those.
At the end, I saw the engine room under the train track level.
To be honest, I was satisfied with seeing the train track level. The engine room was not very important to me.
After that, I went up the second floor and went back to the entrance.
I think this ship is worth visiting if you like trains. The admission is only 500 yen. You can see the history of this ship and Aomori. It is such a big job to maintain this big ship by a small city. If you have some extra time in Aomori, I recommend you to visit this historical ship.