Do you use train every day in Tokyo? Have you ever got lost in the train station? This article will help you to go around easier in Tokyo with some tips. This year is almost my fourth year in Japan and I hope that you see this one is useful. I have used train in some other countries but for me the train network in Japan is the most complicated.

It looks scary right? But it would be fine if you stay calm and carefully check the signs! And don’t forget that all the staffs are very friendly and always be there for you!

Today I will talk about the city that never sleeps and it almost reach 14 million people this year, Tokyo. It has 882 interconnected rail stations in the Tokyo Metropolis, 282 of which are Subway stations, with several hundred more in each of the 3 surrounding densely populated suburban prefectures. Tokyo is covered by a dense network of train, subway and bus lines, which are operated by about many different companies. People in the city mostly use the train lines by JR East because it’s convenient and famous stations. When I first arrived in Tokyo and lived inside the downtown, I always used JR Yamanote Line. I guess a lot of you have already known this line as it’s passed by Takadanobaba and some other famous spots like Shibuya and Shinjuku. The city’s 13 subway lines are operated by two companies and run largely inside the Yamanote circle and the areas around Ginza and the area east of the loop line. Most of the many suburban train lines commence at one of the six major stations of the Yamanote Line (Yellow-green): Tokyo, Ueno, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya and Shinagawa.

Besides that, there are some major JR lines in Tokyo: Keihin-Tohoku Line (Light- blue), Chuo/Sobu Line (Local) (Yellow), Chuo Line (Rapid) (Orange), Saikyo Line (Green- blue), Shinkansen.

I have some friends who spend more than 2 hours every day from Chiba or Saitama to Waseda University which makes them very tired when they arrive at school. There are many other lines connect Tokyo with the metropolis’ outer regions and surrounding prefectures. There is one interesting fact is many of the private railway companies also operate department stores usually at their train lines’ major stations. That’s why when you see the name of the line; you will feel familiar because they have many famous department stores around all the famous tourist spots. Some of them are:

  • Kanagawa – Tokyo: Tokyu Railway
  • Saitama – Tochigi (including Nikko): Tobu Railway
  • Tokyo Tama Region – Saitama: Seibu Railway
  • Tokyo Tama Region: Keio Railway
  • Kanagawa: Odakyu Railway (you also can go to Hakone) & Keikyu Railway (including Haneda Airport also)
  • Chiba (connect Narita Airport to central Tokyo): Keisei Railway
  • Akihabara – Tsukuba, Ibaraki: Tsukuba Express

Here are some useful websites for your information:
https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/
https://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/
https://global.jr-central.co.jp/en/

Another way to go around the downtown is the Tokyo Metro. It’s one of Tokyo’s subway operators. Waseda and Nishi Waseda are the nearest station to Waseda University. There are some major lines: Ginza line (Orange), Marunouchi line (Red), Hibiya line (Silver), Tozai line (Sky blue), Chiyoda line (Green), Yurakucho (Gold), Hanzomon line (Purple), Namboku line (Emerald), Fukutoshin (Brown).

You will find it more easily as the website is very useful and friendly display in English!
Tokyo Metro Website: https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

Finally, as I’ve said at first paragraph, Tokyo’s train network is very complicated and hard to use but after a few times using, you will feel better as you can follow the website and the train apps on your phone! With a bit of planning and research, you will find it more interesting and easy to go around by yourself!

S.R (Student Staff Leader)