Written by MATCHA_En
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.
Other Surface Railways Operating in the Tokyo Area
The Odakyu lines are extremely convenient if you want to travel to Enoshima and Kamakura, to Hakone, to the Lake Kawaguchi area (Mount Fuji), or to the Izu Peninsula area. The Odakyu trains depart from the Odakyu Railway platforms of Shinjuku Station.
By taking the Odakyu line trains, you can reach Enoshima (Katase-Enoshima Station) in 65 minutes, Hakone-Yumoto Station in 85 minutes and Ito Station (in Izu) in 120 minutes.
Odakyu also offers several types of economical excursion tickets and convenient freepasses, which are worth checking out. If you are planning to go on a day trip from Tokyo to any of the areas mentioned above (Enoshima, Hakone, Mount Fuji, Izu), check out the Odakyu Railway map.
The two main lines operated by Keio Railway from Tokyo are the Keio Line, whose trains depart from Shinjuku Station toward Hachioji, the town where Mt. Takao is located, and the Inokashira Line, whose trains depart from Shibuya Station heading to Shimokitazawa, Eifukucho and Kichijoji.
For a detailed map of the Keio Railway lines, please refer to their official website.
The Tobu Railway lines are very convenient if you wish to travel northeast of Tokyo, to Nikko, Kawagoe (Saitama prefecture), Utsunomiya (Tochigi prefecture) or Gunma prefecture. Tobu Railway operates a total of 13 lines, with some of them connected to underground lines. These lines are mostly used by the locals who commute from and to the suburbs.
Of particular interest to travelers to Japan might be Tobu's Nikko Line, which runs a Limited Express train that brings you in the shortest time to Nikko from Asakusa. Find more details about it in our article: How To Travel From Asakusa To Nikko.
If you want to go by train from Asakusa to the Tokyo SkyTree, you can use the Tobu Skytree Line whose trains depart from the Tobu Asakusa Station. You can find information on the Tobu Railway lines and on their convenient discount passes, which are available only on the Tobu lines, on their official website.
If you plan to visit the tradition-rich and picturesque Chichibu or Kawagoe areas in Saitama prefecture, you will be taking the Seibu Railway trains. There are two main lines operated by Seibu Railway: the Seibu Shinjuku Line with trains departing from Seibu-Shinjuku Station (Shinjuku) toward Hon-Kawagoe, and the Seibu Ikebukuro Line with trains departing from Ikebukuro Station toward Seibu-Chichibu Station.
Keisei Electric Railway
Keisei Electric Railway operates the Skyliner, as well as the Access Express and Limited Express lines connecting Tokyo (Nippori Station or Keisei Ueno Station) with Narita Airport. From Narita Airport, the fastest way to get to Tokyo is taking the Skyliner.
For more information on the routes and services of the Keisei Electric Railway, please refer to their official website.
The Keikyu Main Line connects inner Tokyo (Asakusa, Shinagawa) with Yokohama, Yokosuka and Haneda Airport International Terminal. The Keikyu Line also offers convenient discount tickets, so check out the information on their official website.
There is a total of nine lines operated by the Tokyu Corporation, among which the Tokyu Toyoko Line, which connects Shibuya to Yokohama, is a major line used by many people every day. Please refer to this Tokyu railway map for details on all the Tokyu lines.
These are the major private railway companies operating surface trains in the Tokyo area. Please note that, although the JR Rail Pass cannot be used on these lines, they each offer discount tickets and convenient passes which are worth checking out.
From here on, we will be introducing the two major underground railway networks operating in the Tokyo area - Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway.