Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Yamanote Train Line in Tokyo

Happy New Year everyone! Hello all, I am blogging for a while about my train trips in Japan for the last 3 weeks! I travelled on a lot of different trains!

To start with on Day 1 in Japan, I was in Tokyo and travelled on the Yamanote line, the circle loop train line in Central Tokyo which is heavily used by commuters. But today I was treated to a special treat, I travelled on a 50th Anniversary repainted Yamanote line train!

Originally the Yamanote line trains were painted all green, but in recent years have a green stripe along the train to make it clear which train line it is for.

It was great to see this, but even better when I discovered that JR has gone to the trouble of putting pictures of Yamanote line trains over the years on the carriage standing room hooks!

As I have mentioned before, my first train experience in Japan was on this line back in 2005, so riding it always brings back plenty of memories of my time spent working (and for a while living) in Japan.

The journey today starts in Shibuya Station, at the Hachiko entrance:

Great statue here, and Australia is easy to see:

Outside the Shibuya Station Hachiko entrance there is an old train being used as a information booth:

The view of Shibuya from the Hachiko Exit across the busy crossing:

Once inside Shibuya Station, I waited at the Yamanote line platform:

This being Tokyo, it didn't take long for the next Yamanote line train to arrive - less than 2 minutes. 12 carriages on every train:

As mentioned, this was an anniversary train I was riding to Akihabara station. The train is coloured fully in green with old Yamanote trains pictured inside the train too on the grip handles:

Here is some video footage I took inside the train enroute to Akihabara to give you a feeling for what it is like to ride it (hosted on YouTube):

The Yamanote line train really does look quite striking in full green colouring. Here it is after arriving at Akihabara Station:

As it was leaving the station I could make out the 50th logo on the end of the train, and another (normal silver and green stripe) Yamanote line train is arriving on the other platform going the other way:

At Akihabara Station I saw an advertisement for the new Hayabusa and Akita Shinkansen trains which go to northern Japan - more about Hayabusa in another posting as I rode this train as well:

I thought I would take a few photos around Akihabara Station to show the station itself:

Just outside the station gates you can see the ticket machines to buy a ticket or recharge a Suica contactless card (which I use):

This is another entrance into Akihabara Station:

Akihabara has something for anyone remotely interested in Electronics or Anime - and for me, I spend a lot of time here when in Tokyo. So many stores to explore:

Even below the Train platforms at Akihabara you can find Gundam (Anime) Cafe and AKB48 (J-Pop) Cafe. AKB48 is a music group originally from Akihabara:

And at the far exit to Akihabara Station you will find the big daddy of electronic stores, Yodabashi Akiba (Akihabara is shortened to Akiba by the locals):

Inside is any electronics you ever dreamed of, over 10 floors of it! In there I browsed the extensive Blu-ray and DVD train selection, which also included a poster about the recently started train called the "Seven Stars of Kyushu". Amazing train (very expensive), and unfortunately was not able to get a ticket for it this time in Japan, but it is very expensive train to ride:

After finished shopping, and on my way back to Shibuya Station on the Yamanote line. I came across this fascinating statue on the platform at Hamamatsucho Station. I had to stop to take some pictures:

How cool, and something I have never seen in Australia! Anyway, I then headed back to Shibuya Station:

Helpfully, JR includes a lot of maps and guidance when using their trains - maps, which carriage you should ride for quickest transfer at a later station, where the station exits are, transfer information and more. This one shows how long it will take to reach various stations on the yamanote line from Shibuya station:

Anyway, plenty more to blog about - I hope you enjoyed seeing some pictures of the Yamanote line in Tokyo!

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