JR East

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JR East (JR東日本) or the East Japan Railway Company (東日本旅客鉄道株式会社) operates the bulk of Japan’s passenger railways. As one of seven JR companies, JR East is the single largest railway company in the world for passenger transit and handles almost all above ground rail transit in Tokyo.



Incorporated in April, 1987, JR East was developed after being split from the Japanese National Railways – a government run agency. The company, though technically now private, was still a subsidiary of JNR Settlement Corporation, a government owned company. JNR was eventually broken up into multiple companies and sold to the public in 2002. After the breakup, JR East grew larger by taking over the operation of all JNR lines in the Tokyo region, Tohoku, and all surrounding areas.

JR East Lines

JR East’s railways currently serve the primary Kanto and Tohoku regions, along with some nearby parts of Nagano, Niigata, Yamanashi, and Shizuoka prefectures.


The Shinkansen lines operated by JR East North of Tokyo include:

Tokyo Area Lines

The following lines operate within the Greater Tokyo Area, either wholly or partially:

JR East Subsidiary Companies

Companies that operate under the same umbrella of businesses as JR East include:

In addition, JR East sponsors and funds the East Japan Railway Culture Foundation, to develop a culture of railway history. Various projects include events, school days, and the Railway Museum in Saitama.

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