any modern multi-million urban conglomerate is unimaginable without the metro
(underground, subway). Underground is the most convenient and fastest means of
public transport. Over the last century there were created well developed
underground metro systems in most megapolises of the world. And Japanese
was no exception.
Underground Railway Company was established on August 29, 1920; and it had
begun building the first section of Tokyo
underground in late September 1925. Tokyo Metro was launched and became
operational in December 1927, when a tunnel of just over two kilometers long
tied together two stations: Ueno and Asakusa. Thus, Japan became the first Asian
country that had launched metro.
length of today lines of Tokyo metro is the
third in the world with London and New York having the
lead. Nowadays Tokyo Metro has 13 lines. Many people, especially foreigners,
believe that the scheme of Tokyo
subway is too complicated and it is easy to get confused.
development of Tokyo
metro system was stipulated by applying the principle of "reasonable cost”
during construction. This resulted in that many subway lines are connected to
the ground railways. In addition, due to the fact that construction was carried
out right from the surface and directly in places where the roads were running (which
was associated with reluctance "to disturb" the foundations of nearby
houses), most of the subway stations are not deep under the surface. And upon
completion of construction, the tunnels had been covered by steel sheets which
subsequently were used as roadway by ground transport. Therefore, in case of an
accident or any emergency situation it is very easy to get quickly to the place
- just to remove the steel sheets.
Tokyo metro holds the
first place in terms of annual passenger traffic in the world. During the morning
rush hours Tokyo
metro system carries unbelievably huge number of passengers. According to
various sources daily morning passenger traffic is about 6-8 million people.
Shinjuku Station has tremendous passenger load: about two million passengers a
day, while being the largest in terms of number of passengers and the second
largest station in terms of size and capacity in the world. It should also be
noted that the transition passways from one line to another are combined with a
string of shopping malls, restaurants and cafes. For example, at Shibuya
station the trains stop on the fourth floor of a big shopping mall.
are not only beautiful passages when changing lines in Tokyo underground, but almost
everything is very convenient and, as they say, "Designed for passengers".
Announcements of stations and metro schemes are required to be spoken and written
in two languages - Japanese and English. If you are going to change the
line, then the schemes for sure will show you the cars that are the closest
thing to go to another line. Each car has an electronic indicator board with
"human intuitive interface", so to know Japanese is not
at all necessary.
http://www.tokyometro.jp/en/subwaymap/pdf/routemap_en.pdf - Map of Tokyo Metro in English
http://www.tokyometro.jp – Tokyo Metro official website.