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Greetings from Colorado!


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Hello everyone!


I recently joined in this forum but didn't have time to make an introductory post until now.

Ah how a job can get in the way of everything!


I was previously somewhat into N-scale for a year or so, before quickly moving up to HO scale, modeling modern-day operations of the Norfolk Southern railway around Chicago. That went on for years and years.


Recently I've just been in a bit of a modeling slump, so I'm completely selling off my HO roster, and changing to modeling N-scale around the Tokyo area!

I've already picked up a 6-car set of the JR E655 Nagomi, and an older Kato E253 N'EX 6-car set. That's my entire N roster at the moment.


So I have to ask, what exciting features or places are there to model around Tokyo? Preferably someplace with closely-spaced commuter operations, with a Shinkansen line closeby?


Thanks for all the help!

~Phillip R.

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Welcome Phillip!


glad you found us and Japanese trains. I think you will find Japanese trains can really reinvigorate your modeling. There are so many different trains and trains go thru just about everything in japan so the scene possibilities are tremendous. Scenes can also change abruptly as well so packing a lot into a layout can actually be pretty prototypical.


start a thread in the layout section and post some of your wants in the layout and I'm sure folks can give you ideas of places that might match up. Keep us posted on your progress.





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Hello Phil, welcome!  NEX and E233 give you a pretty good swath of Japan to model, from Yokohama to Mt Fuji, to Tokyo and Narita.  Google maps is a great help finding interesting places in to model in Japan, you can trace along the Tokaido main line till you find a spot that catches your eye.  Some members also live in the area, and will post pictures from time to time.  A personal favorite of mine is where the train lines cross the tama river, although the viaducts in tokyo proper are also a fun scene to model.  Happy modeling!


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Hello Jeff, Sam, and Miyakoji, thank you for the warm welcome! 


How long have you all been in to Japanese N scale? And do you have any little tips to give a newbie, since I assume you've all been doing this for quite some time?

I think my biggest fear is breaking the Kato couplers and pantographs of these little EMU's, since I don't exactly know how to "properly" operate them!





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I've been in Japanese N scale since about 2015, and I'm still learning lots!  You do have to be a little careful with the pantographs, but just gently pulling up on the top should be fine.  I know quite a few modelers dont actually bother raising them to be honest.  Some older models (kato 0 series shinkansen I'm looking at you) had pretty flimsy pantographs, but the newer models are stronger than they look.  I usually just lightly pull up on the horns on both sides of the contact strip.     The kato couplers on the other hand are actually a lot more robust than they seem, just pulling the cars apart on straight track will pop the EMU couplers apart.  It feels weird, but its actually the official kato suggestion.  

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we have a wide range here in interests and time in the hobby. I got interested in Japanese trains when first visiting Japan on 84 while in grad school. As a kid I did us n scale. I got back into model trains and started back into Japanese trains about 18+ years ago. 


The couplers are pretty harty and replacements usually available if one does break. I've never broken a coupler actually in all these years. Pantographs can be pulled up for running! Just be gentle with them and check clearances if you have any overhead obstructions like a tunnel or bridge over your tracks.





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