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Subway Lines in Tokyo

Tokyo has an excellent subway and rail system. It may appear complicated - and it is - at first glance, but there are many English publications available to help you. A free subway map in English is usually provided near the ticket wickets at each subway station.

The available map is this one provided by Tokyo Metro

As the map shows, each station has a station number, distinguished by colors which represent the subway lines. This helps you find which lines to take to reach your destination, maybe. Since subway trains in the city center run every 2 minutes or so during daytime on weekdays, it would not be a serious trouble even if you take a wrong train, as long as you realize quickly. The point is, check the color of the line and the direction when you get on the train.

How to use the Tokyo Subway

Subway lines in Tokyo are operated by 2 companies; Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway (= Tokyo Metropolitan Government), On their official web site, they offer detailed information on how to ride subway and the fares. They also provide a leaflet "Tokyo Metro Guide" in Japanese English, Chinese and Korean languages, available at each subway station.

Subway lines connected to railways

Most of the subway lines in Tokyo extend far out via extensive through services onto suburban railway lines, due to the trackage rights agreement. For example, the Hibiya Line (H) basically runs between Nakameguro(H1) and Kitasenju subway station(H21), but the line is connected to the Tokyu Toyoko Line bounds for Kikuna Station and the Tobu Skytree Line bounds for Tobu Dobutsu-koen (Zoo) Station, to where some Hibiya line trains allow passengers to reach without changing trains.

One Day Tickets (Ichinichi Jousha Ken)

For both Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines, a few types of one-day open tickets are available. Be aware that each ticket differs from conditions so you need to be careful to decide which one to buy.

Tokyo Metro 1-day Open Ticket (Tokyo Metro Ichinichi Jousha Ken)
Price: 600 JPY for Adults 300 JPY for Children
Valid trains: All Tokyo Metro lines * Not valid for Toei Subway lines.

Tokyo Travel 1-Day Pass (Toei Marugoto Kippu) 
Price: 700 JPY for Adults 500 JPY for Children
Valid trains: All Toei Subway lines, Toei buses, Toden tram (Arakawa Line), and the Nippori-Toneri liner
* Toei Subway operates only 4 lines (Asakusa-line, Mita-line, Shinjuku-line, and Oedo-line). This one-day ticket is suitable for those who use Toei bus often.

Common One-day Ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway
(Tokyo Metro Toei Chikatetsu Kyoutsu Jousha Ken)
Price: 900 JPY for Adults 450 JPY for Children
Valid trains All Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines

Tokyo Combination Ticket
(Tokyo Free Kippu)
Price: 1600 JPY for Adults 800 JPY for Children
Valid trains: All Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines, Toden tram, Toei bus, Nippori skyliner, and all JR lines within the metropolitan district.

Prepaid and rechargeable transportation cards

The prepaid e-money card (=IC card) "Suica" and "Pasmo" are usable to pay subway fares. These prepaid and rechargeable transportation cards can be used when going through a ticket gate, instead of buying tickets from a ticket vending machine.

Started from 1.April 2014, subway fares have raised in accordance with the rise in consumption tax canged from 5% to 8%. For passengers who use IC cards, cut-rate fare is applied which is somewhat less than the regular fare.

Related Websites

Tokyo Metro

Toei Subway (Tokyo Metropolitan Government