Tokyo Metro

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Tokyo Metro (東京メトロ) is one of the two primary metro systems in place in the Tokyo Subway System in Tokyo, Japan. Operating alongside Toei, the other of the two metro systems, Tokyo Metro is privately owned but is jointly held by the Tokyo and Japanese Governments, making it a hybrid of public and private works.


History and Organization

The Tokyo Metro was formed on April 1, 2004, replacing the once uniform Teito Rapid Transit Authority or Eidan, which had been run by the government Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport and had been unified in 1941, with lines as old as the Tokyo Subway itself in 1927.

The second metro operation in Tokyo, Toei, is run directly by the larger Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation. Because they are operated by separate entities, Toei and Metro trains are on different networks, requiring separate tickets for transfers between the two.

Multi-Lingual Support

The Tokyo Metro takes special effort to be friendly to multiple language speakers and foreigners, including the use of both English and Japanese announcements and signs, multi-lingual ticket machines and stations, and signs posted in both Chinese and Korean in addition to English and Japanese.

In addition, trains are numbered and color coded to make it possible for someone who does not speak one of the languages supported and used by the Tokyo Metro to still traverse the city.

Tokyo Metro Cards

Tokyo Metro users, especially those who live or work in Tokyo will often purchase the universal Tokyo Metro Cards as they are much easier than buying tickets from any of the multiple ticket machines available. These cards are purchased at prepaid amounts of up to 5,000 Yen and can be used on almost any other private railway or PASSNET train in the region.

Future of Tokyo Metro

Tokyo Metro is still building and expanding with ongoing construction on lines like the Hanzomon and the recently opened Fukutoshin Line. However, the company has publicly declared that building will cease when work on the now open Fukutoshin Line is completed as expected in 2010.

Tokyo Metro Lines

  • Ginza Line – Shibuya to Asakusa – Orange
  • Marunouchi Line – Ogikubo to Ikebukuro/Nakano-sakaue to Honancho – Red
  • Hibiya Line – Naka-Meguro to Kita-Senju – Silver
  • Tozai Line – Nakano to Nishi-Funabashi – Sky Blue
  • Chiyoda Line – Yoyogi-uehara to Kita Ayase - Green
  • Yurakucho Line – Wakoshi to Shin-kiba - Gold
  • Hanzomon Line – Shibuya to Oshiage - Purple
  • Namoku Line – Meguro to Akabane-iwabuchi – Green/Blue
  • Fukutoshin Line – Kotake-mukaihara to Ikebukuro – Brown (currently constructing Ikebukuro to Shibuya extension)

Major Stations

There are multiple major stations in the Tokyo Metro network, with the biggest being the Ikebukuro Station with 465,000 passengers per weekday on 3 lines, followed by Kita-senju station, Otemanchi Station, and Ginza Station. Other stations in the network include:

  • Akasaka-mitsuke
  • Hibiya
  • Kasumigaseki
  • Kudanshita
  • Nagatacho
  • Omotesando
  • Tameikie-Sanno
  • Yotsuya

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