Taking a first step in the railway history on October 14, 1872, the Japanese
railway was opened between Shinbashi and Yokohama. Since then, the Japanese
railway has supported the development of Japanese economy, society and culture
in various forms, and in 1994, it celebrated the 122nd anniversary.
In Japan, the railway has played a key role in transportation. In Western countries, too, the railway has been "restoring its rights" because of concerns over energy and environmental issues in recent years. With the railway and the economic and social environment surrounding it changing, Japan celebrated "Railway Day" on October 14 to bring further development of the railway and to deepen understanding and interest in the role the railway plays.
On the first Railway Day, a commemorative ceremony was held with their Imperial Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Akishinonomiya in attendance, and various events related to Railway Day were developed all over Japan, including a railway festival, a commemorative symposium, an image mark contest, and a national railway stamp rally.