Tokyo Subway

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The Tokyo Subway system is located in Tokyo Metropolitan area. Known as the most extensive and highest trafficked subway in the world, the Tokyo Subway is made up of more than 282 Subway Station and 14 lines in Tokyo alone. Multiple outside lines stretch into suburban centers and connect to outside cities through private railways. Opened on December 30, 1927, the Tokyo Subway today carries more than 7.8 million passengers each day between both major networks.


Tokyo Subway Networks

The Tokyo Subway is made up of two primary networks – Tokyo Metro and Toei. The two are largely separate but overlap throughout the lines and stations of the city and provide service to the largest subway in the world. However, despite being the world’s largest subway, the Tokyo Subway makes up only 282 of the 1,558 railway stations in Tokyo. There is one additional line that runs throughout the Tokyo Subway as well, run by the Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit network and connected to 8 stations.

In addition, many people confuse the Yamanote Line, which is considered an above ground commuter line run by JR East with the subway because it is often marked on Tokyo Subway maps. It is however an integral part of the system.

Outside Connections

Currently, the Tokyo Subway does not directly connect to the neighboring Yokohama Subway despite its close proximity within the Greater Tokyo Area. However, the two are occasionally connected on holidays and special weekends when the Tokyo Metro Hibiya and Namboku Lines operate all the way through to Yokohama’s Minatomirai Line. Additionally, starting in 2012, the Fukutoshin Line of Tokyo Metro will operate regularly, connecting to the Minatomirai Line.


The Subway systems in Tokyo’s metropolitan area are all operated by a system of line colors, codes and station numbers to make it easier for administration, use by visitors, and maintenance. To pass between systems, an additional 100 yen charge is often charged regardless of the distance being traveled. However, there is a PASSNET system which allows a SF card to be used for all of the subway networks without paying transfer fees.

Sarin Gas Attack of 1995

The Tokyo Subway sarin gas attacks of 1995 have become well known around the world as a symbol of the dangers of such a massive transit system. The particular incident involved Aum Shinri Kyo using sarin nerve gas in Kasumigaseki Station, killing 12 riders and injuring more than 1,034 as a result. Many of today’s security measures in the Tokyo Subway are due to this attack.

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