Friday, July 18, 2014

JR Yamanote Loop Line (Tokyo)

First time travellers to Tokyo could be overwhelmed by the complicated train system in the city.
There are not only many train lines, but there are also many different train companies operating those lines. 

For example...
Tokyo Subway Metro map. See larger version: here

Tokyo's JR map. See larger version: here

If things get too complicated for you, then the JR Yamanote Loop line is a good start for you to familiarize yourself with.  
JR Yamanote Loop line highlighted in light green.

This train line connects most of Tokyo's major stations and during peak hours, train frequency is about 1 train every 2 mins. The trains on this line runs in 2 direction...clockwise and counter clockwise.
Since this is 1 of the busiest train lines in Japan, so it is best to avoid taking this line with your luggage during peak hour since the trains would be PACKED.

Here is a closer look at the stations along JR Yamanote Loop line.
diagram borrowed from another blog

Stations along the JR Yamanote Loop line with direct train access to Narita Airport:
Tokyo station: via Narita Express train 
Shinagawa station: via Narita Express train 
Shibuya station: via Narita Express train
Shinjuku station: via Narita Express train
Ikebukuro station: via Narita Express train
Nippori station: via Keisei Skyliner train and Keisei Main Line train
Ueno station: via Keisei Skyliner train and Keisei Main Line train from nearby Keisei-Ueno station within 2mins walk from Ueno station.

Stations along the JR Yamanote Loop line with direct train access to Haneda Airport:
Shinagawa station: via Keikyu Airport line (about 13-20mins, 410yen)
Hamamatsucho station: via Tokyo monorail (about 20mins, 490yen)


More about each station:

JUMP shop selling One Piece, Naruto, Dragonball products at Tokyo station's basement character street
Pokemon shop at Tokyo station's basement character street
Connections: Tokaido ShinkansenTōhoku Shinkansen, Jōetsu Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Nagano Shinkansen, Keihin-Tōhoku LineTōkaidō Main Line, Chūō Line, Yokosuka Line, Keiyō LineSōbu Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line.

What's here: 
Character street at the basement of Tokyo station (Calbee store, Miffy store, Rilakkuma store, Hello Kitty store, Jump store, NHK Character shop, Snoopy store, Rascal shop, Moomin/Totoro store, TV Tokyo shop, Kyurutto shop, Ultraman shop, Lego shop, Pla Rail shop, Tomica shop...)
Ramen street at the basement of Tokyo station
- Tokyu Hands Tokyo store (8th to 10th Floor of Daimaru dept store)
- Imperial Palace (about 10mins walk from Tokyo station)
- Transfer at this station to take either JR Keiyo line or JR Musashino line to go to Maihama station (gateway to Disneyland/Disneysea) 
- Access to all Shinkansen lines within Tokyo. 
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Tokaido line or JR Yokosuka line to go Yokohama.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)
- Access to Narita Airport via Narita Express train
- Takashimaya department store (about 10mins walk)
Transfer at this station to take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line to Korakuen for Koishikawa Korakuen and Tokyo Dome City.




Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku LineTokyo Metro Yūrakuchō LineTokyo Metro Hibiya LineTokyo Metro Chiyoda LineToei Mita Line. 
What's here:
- Ginza (about 10mins walk)
- Tokyo International Forum (venue for various conventions, events, concerts, exhibitions)
- Tokyu Hands Ginza store (about 5mins walk)
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)



Transfer to Yurikamome monorail at Shimbashi to go to Odaiba

Connections: Tōkaidō Main Line, Yokosuka Line, Keihin-Tōhoku LineTokyo Metro Ginza LineToei Asakusa LineYurikamome.

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the Yurikamome monorail across rainbow bridge to Odaiba.
- Shiodome City Center
- Hama Rikyu Gardens (about 10mins walk)
- Nippon TV Tower (ATV goods shop and Anpanman cafe also located here)
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Tokaido line or JR Yokosuka line to go Yokohama.
- Transfer at this station to take the Toei Asakusa line to go Sensoji Shrine (Asakusa), and Tokyo Skytree (Oshiage)
Tsukiji market (walk about 20mins)
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)



Hamamatsucho station
View from World Trade Center Observatory
Zojo-ji temple and Tokyo Tower during Sakura season.
Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku LineTokyo Monorail, Toei Asakusa Line, Toei Ōedo Line

What's here:
- Zojo-ji (about 10mins walk)
- Tokyo Tower (about 15mins walk)
- World Trade Center observatory  (nice view of Tokyo Tower)
- Walk about 2mins to nearby Daimon station and take Toei Subway Oedo line to Tsukiji-shijo station for Tsukiji market.
- Walk about 2mins to nearby Daimon station and take the Toei Asakusa line to go Sensoji Shrine (Asakusa), and Tokyo Skytree (Oshiage)
- Transfer at this station to take Tokyo Monorail to Haneda Airport.
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Keihin-Tohoku line to go Yokohama.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)



Tamachi station
Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku Line

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)




Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku LineTōkaidō Main LineYokosuka Line, Tokaido Shinkansen, Keikyū Main Line

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Tokaido line, JR Yokosuka line or JR Keihin-Tohoku line to go Yokohama.
- Transfer at this station to take Keikyu Airport line to Haneda Airport.
- Transfer at this station to take Narita Express train to Narita Airport
- For those taking Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) to stations like Odawara (Hakone), Atami (Izu Peninsula), Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka (Osaka), staying near this station might be a good choice since this is 1 of the 2 stations with access to Tokaido Shinkansen within Tokyo (the other station is Tokyo station, but hotels near Tokyo station are usually more expensive). 
- Epson Aqua Stadium (located at Shinagawa Prince hotel)
 - Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)



Osaki station
Connections: Shōnan-Shinjuku LineSaikyō Line, Rinkai Line

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the Rinkai Line to go Odaiba.
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to Yokohama



Gotanda station
Connections: Tōkyū Ikegami Line, Toei Asakusa Line 

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the Toei Asakusa line to go Sensoji Shrine (Asakusa), and Tokyo Skytree (Oshiage)



Meguro station
Connections: Tokyu Meguro Line, Tokyo Metro Namboku LineToei Mita Line 

What's here:
- Meguro Parasite museum (about 15mins walk)



Ebisu station
Connections: Shōnan-Shinjuku LineSaikyō Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line 

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the Saikyo Line to go Odaiba.
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to Yokohama
- Yebisu Garden Place (where Beer Garden Yebisu is also located at)



Shibuya's famous traffic crossing, just outside JR Shibuya station's Hachiko exit.
One Piece's official Mugiwara store located at Parco about 5-7 mins walk from Shibuya station.

Connections: Shōnan-Shinjuku LineSaikyō Line, Keiō Inokashira Line, Tōkyū Den-en-toshi LineTōkyū Tōyoko Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza LineTokyo Metro Hanzōmon LineTokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line

What's here:
- Tokyu Hands store (about 15mins walk)
- Loft
- Hachiko dog statue
- Famous Shibuya traffic junction (opposite JR Shibuya's Hachiko exit)
- Love hotel hill
- Transfer at this station to take the Saikyo Line to go Odaiba.
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to Yokohama
- Transfer at this station to take Narita Express train to Narita Airport
- One Piece Mugiwara store (located at Parco)




Takeshita Dori, located just opposite JR Harajuku station.
Connections: Chiyoda Line

What's here:
- Kiddyland (about 10mins walk)
- Daiso (100yen store, along Takeshita dori)
- NHK Studio Park (about 15mins walk)



Yoyogi station
Connections: Chūō-Sōbu Line, Toei Ōedo Line 

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take JR Chuo-Sobu line local train to Iidabashi station for Koishikawa Korakuen.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Chuo-Sobu line local train to Suidobashi station for Tokyo Dome City.



1 of the shopping streets near JR Shinjuku station
Connections: Chūō Main LineChūō LineChūō-Sōbu Line,Shōnan-Shinjuku LineSaikyō Line, Keiō LineKeio New Line, Odakyū Odawara Line, Seibu Shinjuku LineTokyo Metro Marunouchi LineToei Shinjuku LineŌedo Line

What's here:
- Tokyu Hands store (located inside Takayama dept store)
- Shinjuku Gyoen (about 10mins walk from "New South Exit" of Shinjuku station)
- Kabukicho (red light district)
- Isetan dept store (about 5mins walk)
- Transfer at this station to take the Saikyo Line to go Odaiba.
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to Yokohama
- Transfer at this station to take the Odakyu Odawara Ltd Exp train to Hakone (Hakone-Yumoto).
- Transfer at this station to take Narita Express train to Narita Airport
- Transfer at this station to take Keio line to Sanrio Puroland (Keio Tama Center station)
- Transfer at this station to take JR Chuo-Sobu line local train to Iidabashi station for Koishikawa Korakuen.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Chuo-Sobu line local train to Suidobashi station for Tokyo Dome City.



Shin-Okubo station
What's here:
- Korean town



Takadanobaba station
Connections: Seibu Shinjuku Line, Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line 

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the Tokyo Metro Tozai line to Iidabashi for Koishikawa Korakuen
- Transfer at this station to take the Tokyo Metro Tozai line to Nakano station for Nakano Broadway



Mejiro station



Near Ikebukura station, while walking towards Sunshine City
J-World (One Piece, Naruto, Dragonball..etc) inside Sunshine City, about 7mins walk from Ikebukuro station.
Connections: Saikyō LineShōnan-Shinjuku Line, Seibu Ikebukuro Line, Tōbu Tōjō Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi LineTokyo Metro Yūrakuchō LineTokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line 

What's here: 
- Transfer at this station to take the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line to Korakuen for Koishikawa Korakuen and Tokyo Dome City.
- Transfer at this station to take the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to Yokohama
- Transfer at this station to take the Saikyo Line to go Odaiba.
- Transfer at this station to take the Tobu Tojo line to Kawagoe
- Sunshine City (observation deck, Namja Town, J-World One Piece/Naruto/DragonBall, Sunshine Aquarium)
- Yamada Denki



Otsuka station
Connections: Toden Arakawa Line (tram)



Sugamo station
Connections: Toei Mita Line 

What's here:
- Jizu dori (also known as old ladies' shopping street)



Komagome station
Rikugien, during sakura season.
Connections: Tokyo Metro Namboku Line 

What's here:



Tabata station
Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku Line



Nishi-Nippori station
Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku LineTokyo Metro Chiyoda LineNippori-Toneri Liner

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)



Nippori station
Sakura trees at Yanaka Cemetary, located opposite Nippori station.
Connections: Jōban LineKeihin-Tōhoku Line, Keisei Main Line, Nippori-Toneri Liner

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take Keisei Skyliner to Narita Airport
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)




Uguisudani station
Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku Line

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)




Ueno station
Ueno Park located opposite Ueno station, during sakura season.
Ameyoko, near Ueno station.
Connections: Tōhoku ShinkansenJōetsu ShinkansenYamagata ShinkansenAkita ShinkansenNagano Shinkansen,Jōban LineKeihin-Tōhoku LineUtsunomiya Line(Tōhoku Main Line), Takasaki Line, Keisei Main Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza LineTokyo Metro Hibiya Line.

What's here:
Ameyoko (between Ueno station and Okachimachi station) 
- National Science Museum
- Tokyo National Museum
- Ueno Zoo
- Transfer at this station to take the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Asakusa (Sensoji shrine)
- Transfer at this station and walk to nearby Keisei-Ueno station to take Keisei Skyliner to Narita Airport
- Transfer at this station for Tohoku Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen and Nagano Shinkansen. *not the Shinkansen that goes to Kyoto/Osaka.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)



Okachimachi station
Connections: Keihin-Tōhoku Line

What's here:
- Ameyoko (between Ueno station and Okachimachi station) 
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)




The large Yodobashi Camera store located just opposite JR Akihabara station.

Connections: Chūō-Sōbu LineKeihin-Tōhoku Line, Tsukuba ExpressTokyo Metro Hibiya Line

What's here:
- Akihabara
- Gundam cafe
- AKB48 cafe
- Transfer at this station to take JR Chuo-Sobu line local train to Iidabashi station for Koishikawa Korakuen.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Chuo-Sobu line local train to Suidobashi station for Tokyo Dome City.
- Transfer at this station to take JR Sobu line to Ryogoku station for Edo-Tokyo Museum and Kokugikan (Sumo wrestling)
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)




Kanda station

What's here:
- Transfer at this station to take the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Asakusa (Sensoji shrine)
- Transfer at this station to take JR Keihin-Tohoku line to Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokohama's Chinatown (Ishikawacho)


7 comments:

  1. Hi Sam, I understand that peak hours is from 7 to 9. Would it be safe to travel with luggage shortly after 9? I'm departing from shinjuku to shinagawa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's still going to be pretty crowded even if it's 9:30am-10am though.
      You will be going Shinagawa for? Taking Shinkansen to Kyoto/Osaka direction?
      Or going to Haneda airport?

      If you are going to take Shinkansen to Kyoto/Osaka direction at Shinagawa station, and that you have a JR railpass, then you can consider taking the Narita Airport Express train from Shinjuku station to Shinagawa station instead of taking the local subways.

      How many other people are you travelling with? If it's just you and 1 other person, maybe you can manage squeezing into the subways. But if its too big a group and you'd still need to take the subway, then consider splitting up the group and only 1 or 2 person enter each train door.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for the info! I'll be going to Tohoku this summer and back to Tokyo for few days. I intend to fully utilized my JR Pass so planning to ventures Tokyo within Yamanote Line xD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you only be visiting Tohoku + Tokyo?
      You could either use a 7 days JR railpass or the JR-East railpass...depending on whichever's more suitable for you.

      Unless u have some leftover days from the railpass after your visit to Tohoku, otherwise, it is not economical to use the railpass on just the JR trains within Tokyo since these are inexpensive.

      That said, there are many JR lines within Tokyo other than JR Yamanote loop line, just that Yamanote Loop line is the easiest and most convenient to use.

      Delete
  3. hi..will visiting Tokyo coming July. only Tokyo, for 7D6N, with a 22months baby gal. this is our first time visiting tokyo and had a little bit confuse abt what type of ticket do we need to buy..emm..maybe can share your opinions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are flying in and out of Tokyo, and only visiting Tokyo and maybe nearby places like Yokohama, then you won't really need any railpasses.
      Just get either a SUICA card or PASMO card and top up the cards when their values go low. This way, u don't need to queue up to buy tickets every time u need to take the subway.

      Delete
  4. thanks sam..i think by reading through your blog and itenaries..at least i get idea to start frm where.. >.<

    ReplyDelete