Dissecting the railway system in metro Tokyo area #2


I apologize for delayed post.

In the former post, I believe you guys can access to/from the two airports, and can travel across the metro Tokyo area.

Tier 6: Keihin-Tohoku line and Saikyo line

A lot of business people need to live not in metro Tokyo area, rather than in suburbs.  So much neccesity evolved to establish train lines to/from the north and the south.

Keihin-Tohoku line (displayed in cyan) is one of them.  They runs from the north to the south (off course, vise versa).  Also off course, they hop several station compared to Yamanote(light green) line.  The line is valuable is you want to go especially the south, like Yokohama and Kawasaki.

Saikyo line(deep green line) is another choice.  Saikyo means the mixture of Saitama and Tokyo, so you can imagine where the line runs.  Off course, the purpose of the train is to carry a lot of bussinessperson to/from Saitama to Tokyo central.  If you want to visita Saitama prefecture, this line is a choice.


Tier 7: Faster way??

I am sorry I do not use these lines as usual.

In the JR era (after 1987, before the year, these lines had been operated by Japan Government), a lot of new “RAIN (=lines)” had beed established because of the business in commuter trains.  These two lines had been born based on there needs.  These line run to/from the north from/to the south, sharing the same stations and hops some stations.

Ueno station has been famous for the starting point for the northern Japan, such as Sendai, Aomori and so on.


Tier 8:  Potential need for accessing the airport

N’ex or Narita expresses are the express trains especially for those who want to go to/come from Narita airport.  JR made a lot of originating stations, such as Takao, Omiya, Yokohama, Shinagawa and Tokyo.  Even they stop at Shinjuku station.  You can see JR uses special train for N’ex, so it is easy to see what N’ex.  Simply, the express trains run by JR to Narita airport are Narita express.

All seats on N’ex are reserved.  HOWEVER, IF YOU MISSED TRAIN AND/OR THE TRAINS ARE DELAYED OR SUSPENDED BY ANY REASONS, YOU CAN TAKE THE EARLIEST N’EX TRAIN TO/FROM THE AIRPORT WITHOUT THE SEATS(OR USE EMPTY SEATS) USING YOUR ORIGINAL TICKET.  Don’t wait for your reserved trains/seats if the train delayed a lot (mainly due to the weather issue…  I believe the punctuality of trains in Japan haha).  I checked this in several official JR websites.

Another private companies, such as Keisei(京成)and Keikyu(京急)manage trains to/from Narita and Haneda respectively.


For next step, I will try the most complex subway system in metro Tokyo area.  Keep tuned!  My idea to explain the system is to explain the history of subway system in Japan, and the shallowness/deepness of the lines, however, I need to study a lot…  Please let me know if you guys have ideas about it!

(The bottom line is to use Google map.  It is SO useful to utilize the metro in Tokyo)

Enjoy your stay in Tokyo.  Hope you guys meet me somewhere in Japan.


Dissecting the railway system in metro Tokyo area

Hi guys,

# I am currentry working on the additional part of this post.  Keep tuned!  IMHO, JR system is pretty easy and understandable, however, metro system is too difficult to explain.  Feel free to contact me if you are in trouble.  Thanks!

In the Tokyo area, the public transportation system is extremely efficient. More than 20 seconds of delay is regarded as “delay,” and all trains run in time within 15seconds of the time window. At the same time, the railway matrix is too complicate to understand even if you are a native Japanese speaker. When I visit Akihabara area to buy some electronics materials, I always see a lot of foreign people are standing in front of a ticket vending machine to look for their destination.
So I will try to dissect Tokyo railway systems and explain all of you. Please Feel free to ask me your questions and let me know your ideas.

Basic rules

  • Several companies are engaged in train systems. JR lines, formerly JNR (Japan national railways) are now divided into six different private companies. In Tokyo area, all trains are run by JR East., except Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet trains bound for Osaka, Nagoya and Hakata – west region of Japan, are run by JR Tokai.)
  • Two corporations, which are the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (Toei lines) and Tokyo Metro Corporation, manage subway lines.
  • Other private companies run different trains such as Keisei, Keio, Odakyu, Tokyu, Seibu, and Tobu. Some of them are overlapped; others are not.
  • The colors ARE important.  JR East uses different colors to different lines.


Fare rules

The easiest way is to buy a prepaid card such as Suica or Pasmo. These two cards are almost identical. Only the difference is the issuer. You can get Suica card at JR station, Pasmo card at subway and private company’s train station. If you don’t like to purchase any of these cards and try to buy tickets by cash, it is tough to find the correct fare to your destination. If you are not sure after a few minutes’ struggling, you can purchase the cheapest ticket and go through the gate, and go to the destination directly. You can pay the rest of the fare at the side of the exit of your destination station (by vending machines or in person.) However, if you need to change trains to different companies, you need to pay each gate at the exit.
We will begin with JR lines and other trains bound for two airports in the Tokyo area. I am thinking to add subways. However, subways network is too complicated to explain. Stay tuned to update the page. Thanks!


Tier 1: begin with a clock

At first, draw a circle in green and put some station names.  I believe these stations are very important for tourists.  Basically you can trip wherever around Tokyo area by using Yamanote line.


  • Nippori(1′) : if you want to use Keisei line (to Narita airport), this station is important.
  • Ueno(2′) : Northbound rapid lines, Ueno zoo, museums
  • Akihabara(3′) : Anime things, electric towns
  • Shinagawa(6′) : For Yokohama, Kanagawa and Shizuoka pref
  • Shibuya(7′) : Shibuya.  crossing, Hachi-dog.
  • Harajuku(8′) : Takeshita street, kawaii things
  • Shinjuku(9′) : Dungeon
  • Ikebukuro (11′) : Sunshine museum, Otome road


Tier 2: making a horizontal line

Draw two long horizontal lines from 3o’clock to 9’o clock.  An orange line represents Chuo line, whereas yellow line represents Sobu line.  You can jump Tokyo station(4′) to Shinjuku station(9′) by using Chuo line.  Chuo means “central” in Japanese.  Of course you can go to Akihabara(3′).  Nakano broadway sits 4 minutes distance from Shinjuku(9′).  Mitaka station is six stations far away from Nakano, which is the nearest station if you want to visit Ghibli museum.   Note Chuo line hops several stations compare to Sobu line.  Sobu line(yellow) usually runs between Mitaka/Nakano and Chiba.

Edit: add comments about Mitaka station, where Ghibli museum is.


  • Nakano
  • Ochanomizu


Tier 3: want to go to Narita and Yokohama??

Drawn a blue line from top-right to down-left, named Sobu line rapid service.  Shares the same route with yellow(Sobu) line and separated at Kinshicho station.  This is rapid service – so you will pass several stations.  It stops at Tokyo station (again, 4′), Shinagawa (6′), then towards Yokohama station.


  • Narita airport
  • Chiba
  • Kinshicho
  • Yokohama


Tier 4: another airport?

You can take a monorail from Hamamatsucho(5′).


  • Haneda airport


to be continued if you give me a feedback…








飛騨牛、米国へ初輸出 高山米穀協業組合(https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXLASFD17H0P_X10C16A3L91000/)








アメリカにいるのでLevi’s 501を買ったよ



501っていうのはリーバイスのもっとも(世界的に)有名なジーンズのモデル名です。今となってはちょっと古くさい感じもする、というのと、そのせいかさらに番号が同じでも年代ごとにシルエットが違ったりして、さらにはもちろん番号ごとにシルエットが違ったりして買う人はいろいろ考えなければいけないという点で素人には意味不明です。まあジーンズというのは作業着でそんなに難しいことを考えてはいけない、というと合点がいきます。年代を通じての特徴としてはジッパーが発明される前(ないし、生地が縮むのでジッパーだとフロントが意味不明にのたうつ)だったのでボタンで前を留めなきゃいけないということと、使われている綿の防縮加工ができない時代だったので洗って乾かすと縮む、ということです。それを逆手に取ってshrunk to fit youなど宣伝がなされています。最近は防縮加工やらポリエステル混やら、その原則も破られつつあって本当に何がなんだかわかりません。


アメリカ人のなかでも”made in America”にこだわっているひとは結構多いらしく、2003年以降も米国産のジーンズを探している人がいるようです。もともとリーバイスの生地をつくっていたのはコーンミルズという会社で、ノースカロライナ州にあった工場はリーバイスのジーンズが外注になったあともその生地を生産していました。過去形で書いたのはノースカロライナにある工場は昨年で閉鎖になったからです。外注工場であれどこであれ、伝統的なリーバイスの生地のジーンズは今後もう手に入りません。実はデニム生地に関しては日本の岡山県の児島やら倉敷が国際的にも有名で、マニアな人はそのあたりのジーンズを買い求めるようです。私は個人的にはSOMETを応援しています。

ノースカロライナって近いじゃん、というあたりで今回の話が始まりました。が、私が買おうとした時点でコーンミルズのデニムをつかったジーンズはもう普通には売っていません。というわけで安直にAmazonにあった一番安い501を購入しました。確か$20以下だったと思う。そう、日本ではリーバイスのジーンズは結構高いですが(私の中学生のときの記憶で501は11,800円だったと思う。)、こっちではちょっと探せば$50以下で買える普段着です。大金をはたく買い物ではありません。私が購入した501ですが、私のはパキスタンで生産されていたようです。とんでもなく遠くから運ばれてきたアメリカのジーンズです。残念ながら、購入して半年ほどで、フロントのボタンのあたりがほつれてきました。普通に(もちろん他の服も着ていたので、実際は20%位の使用率でしょう)穿いていたのですが、まあ2000円もしないしこんなもんだろう、と思っていたのですが、ある日levi.comのサイトでwarranty claimというところを見つけ、まあこれも何かの経験だろうということで製品を送ってみました。購入時のamazon.comの記録を添付して、郵送してみたところ、なんと。

Thanks for reaching out and sending us your Levi’s for review. First off, sorry for any problems you may have had with our garments. We try our best to make products that last, but this time we fell short. We promise to do better next time.

In the meantime, we’ve taken a look at your garments and have requested a replacement to be sent to you. You should receive a package from us within three weeks.

なるメールが届き、新しいのを送ってくれるそうです。今度はmade in Egyptの501(マニア向けにいうけど501-0000でいわゆるrigidなメジャーなやつだ。501-01と0000の違いはよく知らねぇ)が届きました。あらゆる製造業がアウトソーシングの時代にあって、国を代表するブランドとしての矜持をみた気がします。


ちなみに全部アメリカ製のジーンズっていうのもまだ結構あって、bluer denimというところのも安かったので購入しました。ここはKickstarterで始まった新しいブランドで、全部アメリカ製、っていうのを正面に出しています。Gerogia製のコットンを使用しており、Cone millesのデニムだそうです。かたちは奇をてらってなく私のようなおじさんでも対応可能です。多分米国外の発送も引き受けてくれます。でもって安い。他にはtexas jeansというやつを買いましたが、どちらかというとコレは good old jeansという感じがしました。





DS-2019の更新とともに運転免許証の更新も必要になりました。Georgiaの運転免許証は確か8年くらい有効で、residentは郵送とかオンラインでも免許更新ができるそうなのですが、われわれnon-residentは米国滞在を許可されている期間しか免許証は有効でなく、なおかつ更新は直接department of driver services(DDS)に行くしか方法がありません。必要なもちものは以下の通り。




ちなみに新規取得の際もJ-2は1週間ちょっと待たされたと思います。渡米直後で何だかわからないところで何かのフラグ立てわすれたかと一瞬やたら不安になったけど1週間くらいして再度DDS訪問したらしれっと解決してよかったです。SSNがない人はsocial security officeで発行してもらった(言わないと発行してくれない!)denial letterを持っていくのをお忘れなく。