Tokyo's Railway Network Explained - Trains, Subway and Discount Passes

Tokyo's Railway Network Explained - Trains, Subway and Discount Passes

In addition to JR (Japan Railway) lines, there are several other railways operating in the Tokyo area, including the underground lines of Tokyo Metro and Toe Subway. Find out what are the convenient discount passes that each of them issues.

The Japanese railway system is world-famous for being well organized and efficient, but the very complex network of lines which are specific to the metropolitan areas may be daunting at first sight.

In many countries from Europe and America, railways play an essential role in connecting cities and towns, while public transportation within urban areas is ensured by buses, trams and underground railways.

In Japan, you'll be using trains to move around both within and between urban areas. Nevertheless, the underground railway network of the larger cities is also very well developed, and you might need to switch between surface and underground lines in order to travel efficiently.

Tokyo's Railway System Explained

Source: Tailor-Made Holidays in Japan - How To Purchase A Japan Rail Pass

If you want to use convenient discount tickets and passes such as the Japan Rail Pass or the Tokyo Metro 24-Hour Ticket, you will need to distinguish between the various railway companies that run either surface trains or underground trains, and remember on which railway is your ticket valid.

The aim of this article is to explain Tokyo's railway system, introducing the railway companies that run surface and underground trains in the metropolitan area, along with the convenient discount tickets and passes offered by each of them.

The Surface Railway Network of the Tokyo Area

Japan Railways (JR) has the most extensive network of train lines running both within and between Japan's cities. JR is also the company running the Shinkansen (bullet train) lines.

Tokyo's Railway System Explained

If you have a JR Rail Pass, you can use it to travel very cost-efficiently on all the JR lines, including the Shinkansen lines, in any area of the country.

Let's see what are the main lines run by JR within the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Next Page: Introducing the Main JR lines operating in the Tokyo area.
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Author & Translator

MATCHA's English language editorial board. We are bringing you the latest travel information on Japan. Yoroshiku!
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