Our monthly online newsletter,"L'ESPACE".
L'ESPACE is a diverse French word that means place,area,cosmos,and gap.
There are many different train lines running in Tokyo. All of them are on precise timetables, and there’s no need to worry about traffic jams like when you’re driving or riding a car. If you can learn to use the trains well, traveling around within the metropolitan area is a breeze.
Above-ground trains in Tokyo include the JR lines and private railways.
The JR Yamanote Line, which loops around central Tokyo, is one of the most-used train lines in all of Japan. Some other JR lines that run in Tokyo include the Chuo Line, Sobu Line, Keihin Tohoku Line, and Saikyo Line.
There are also a variety of private railway lines. Using private railways is convenient when you’re traveling from Tokyo to destinations like Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba.
Some links to private railway websites are shown below.
|Official Tokyo Travel Guide GO TOKYO Private Lines (Japanese)|
|Official Tokyo Travel Guide GO TOKYO Private Lines (English)|
Tokyo’s underground trains include the Tokyo Metro and the Toei Subway.
The Tokyo Metro has 9 lines, and the Toei Subway has 4.
Using the subway is a convenient way to get around in central Tokyo.
The subway route map is available below.
|Tokyo Metro Station Numbering Route Map (PDF) (Japanese)|
|Tokyo Metro Station Numbering Route Map (PDF) (English)|
Trains that stop at all stations are called futsu or kakutei.
Some trains that stop at only large stations include tokkyu, kyuko, kaisoku, and junkyu.
Before getting on a train, check the information board to make sure it stops at the station where you want to get off.
If you’re not sure, ask one of the station staff.
If you use a route and fare search site, you can find out the following information before getting on the train.
This site helps you to search routes and fares. Available languages are English, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.
|Japan Transit Planner|
The fare you pay for riding the train is called unchin. There are two different ways to pay it.
Buy a ticket from a ticket machine called a kenbaiki. Some of these machines have foreign language display options.
To use an IC card, charge it to load money onto it. If you touch it to the ticket gate, your fare will be deducted. If you use an IC card, your fare will be slightly cheaper than when buying a ticket.
There are two types of IC cards you can use.
Either one of these cards can be used for riding JR lines, private railways, and subways, as well as buses, taxis, and shopping. You can charge your card with more money at a ticket machine.
On the train platform, line up and wait for the train to arrive. This is called seiretsu josha. Also, there are often large numbers of people lined up in the area of the platform near the stairs. Try to wait in areas where there are fewer people.
When the train doors open, wait for the people inside to get off before boarding. Don’t get on the train until the people getting off have all exited.
When getting off a crowded train, you shouldn’t push people in front of you without saying anything. Always say “orimasu” (I’m getting off) first.
During the morning and evening rush hours, large numbers of people use the train to go to their workplaces and schools. For this reason, the train can sometimes be delayed. Try to leave home a little early in the morning just in case.
When the train is delayed due to factors such as accidents, rain, or snow, you can get a piece of paper proving the delay. This is called a chien shomeisho. This paper is distributed at the ticket gates, so don’t forget to pick one up if necessary. You can also get a chien shomeisho online. Check the applicable railway company website for details.
Maintain good manners on the train.
During the morning rush hour, there are train cars only women can ride on called josei senyosha. Look for pink stickers on the platform and the windows of the train to identify them. Small children, disabled people, and their caretakers can also ride in these cars even if they are male.
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