Japan Subway Systems: Tokyo Subway
Tokyo Subway 東京の地下鉄
Tokyo's subway system is one of the largest and busiest in the world. Trains are punctual and frequent and stops are usually less than 5 minutes apart.
Each line has a color and a number and each station also has a number.
Tokyo Metro operated lines are: Chiyoda Line, Ginza Line, Fukutoshin Line (Yurakucho New Line), Hanzomon Line, Hibiya Line, Marunouchi Line, Nanboku Line, Tozai Line and Yurakucho Line.
The two systems share some stations but if changing from one to the other, you will need to buy a special transfer ticket specific to your route. When changing from one Tokyo Metro Line to another Tokyo Metro Line pass through the specially marked orange ticket barrier if necessary. A pre-paid card such as SUICA or PASMO negates the need to buy a transfer ticket.
Ticket prices for the subway in Tokyo start at 160 yen, but if you are spending any time in Tokyo it would be wise to invest in a PASMO or SUICA rechargeable card to ease connections between the two systems and save on the wait for buying tickets.
Most subway lines in Tokyo start at around 5am and last trains depart at around midnight, there are few night buses, so taxis are the only option in the early hours. Services are less frequent on weekends and public holidays. If you miss the last subway here are a number of tips to help you get through the night until the first train comes along.
The following subway lines in Tokyo have women-only carriages running in the morning rush hour period: Chiyoda Line, Fukutoshin Line (Yurakucho New Line), Hanzomon Line, Hibiya Line, Tozai Line and Yurakucho Line.
In Tokyo the rush hour is roughly 7.30am-9.30am and 5.30pm-7.30pm. Women-only carriages are to counter groping in the cars by male perverts, known as chikan. Look out for the pink sign on the platforms.
Subways in Tokyo have announcements on the train in Japanese and frequently in English too. The next station is often displayed on electronic boards in the carriages in both Japanese and English.
Tokyo Subway History
Tokyo's first subway line opened in 1927 between Asakusa and Ueno. If you are interested in the history of Tokyo's underground railway and its present-day technology visit the Tokyo Subway Museum in Kasai.
Tokyo Subway Video
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