Japanese Trains & Subways

The Shinkansen obviously remains the most popular train above its frontiers. It is a high speed train (bullet train) inaugurated in October 1964 by the national Japanese railway company JR.

Its very precise functioning and very high quality level both contribute to its flawless popularity but, beyond the Shinkansen, there is a vast railway network extremely dense in Japan, as well as very local ones. This broad web, managed by tens of private railway companies, build a smart coverage all across the archipelago.

In 2017, Japanese trains were still the fastest of the world. If their commercial velocity is 320 km/h, the Japanese SC Maglev reached a speed record of 603km/h.

It is therefore not surprising that taking the train remains one of the favorite transportation mean of Japanese inhabitants. For the foreign visitor, the ideal option is to order a Japan Rail Pass to enjoy the train during a trip in Japan.

Note that Japan is home to 45 out of the 50 most crowded train stations in the world, including the 23 first of the ranking. Here is the top 5:

  1. Shinjuku (Tokyo): 1,26 billion travelers every year
  2. Shibuya (Tokyo) : 1.09 billion
  3. Ikebukuro (Tokyo) : 910 million
  4. Umeda (Osaka): 820 million
  5. Yokohama : 760 million

Finally, here is an impressive video of the Shinkansen's cleaning, done in exactly 7 minutes.

In September 2015, Japan Railway announced the ban of selfie sticks inside of 1,200 of its stations, for safety reasons.

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電車と地下鉄 (densha & chikatetsu)