Font size
  • S
  • M
  • L

Get on a Streetcar and Go Somewhere!

Karim is an exchange student who just loves trains. Today, he plans to get on the Toden Arakawa Line and enjoy riding with his friend Tatsuya as the streetcar runs through downtown Tokyo and stops at each station.

Get on a Streetcar and Go Somewhere!

Tatsuya

Hi there Karim! It seems I have kept you waiting.

Karim

No problem. I have been really excited since this morning, so I got here early.

Tatsuya

Yes, I remember you saying that you have always wanted to ride a streetcar.

Karim

Yes, I’ve been interested in it since I first saw it. I suppose it’s because I felt somewhat surprised to find this sort of retro streetcar running in Tokyo.

Tatsuya

Yes, when I saw the streetcars ambling through
the city, I also experienced a certain time slip that
transported me back to how Tokyo used to be.
According to my grandfather, in the past there were 41 different streetcar lines running through Tokyo. However, due to the adoption of motor vehicles and greater traffic volumes, over time it became more difficult to operate them. Thus, from about 40 years ago the only line remaining in operation has been the Arakawa Line.

Karim

I see. Back in my home country of Morocco there are also streetcars operating. However, they only started operations a few years ago in cities like our capital of Rabat and in Casablanca; as such they are a new mode of transport. It seems that here in Japan there has been quite a long love affair with streetcars!

Tatsuya

Yes, along the Arakawa Line there still remains a cityscape that brims with the romance of the downtown area. Thus, the line is very popular in that passengers can enjoy the scenery of old-fashioned Tokyo. Along the line there are also a number of famous spots including Kishimojin, Asukayama and Shin-Edogawa Park, etc.

Karim

It seems that there is a lot to see! I’ve heard that a one-way trip takes a little under an hour; however, if we get on and get off a number of times along the way, time will quickly fly by.

The two friends finally make it to a stop on the Arakawa Line.

Karim

Hold on? There are no gates or ticket machines on the platform! How do we buy tickets?

Tatsuya

There are no tickets on streetcars. You pay your fare when getting on; you put your money in the fare box.

Karim

I see. And what about the fare, how much does it cost?

Tatsuya

It costs ¥170; even if you travel just one station or through to the end of the line. If you’re using an IC card, the cost is ¥165. Let’s use a one-day pass for the streetcar today. It costs ¥400 and you can freely get on and off streetcars throughout the day. These passes are also sold onboard. If you ask the driver, you can also get a one-day pass registered to your IC card. The cost of the one-day pass is subtracted from the amount charged to the card.

Karim

That sounds really convenient! Hold on, here comes the streetcar! What about getting on, there are doors at the front and back, which do you use to get on?

Tatsuya

You use the front doors when getting on, and the back doors when getting off. Furthermore, as you approach the stop where you want to get off, you notify the driver by pressing the stop button.

Karim

Great, I understand! Let’s head off on our streetcar adventure!

How to use the Toden Arakawa Line, etc.
(Bureau of Transportation, Tokyo Metropolitan Government)

http://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/services/streetcar.html

Toei Streetcar (Toden) Arakawa Line (GO TOKYO)
http://www.gotokyo.org/en/tourists/spot/anime/spotmovie/spot12.html