Tokyo Subway Route Map Explained by a salaryman who commutes a lot ( numbering in the post is wrong. Tech glitch )
This post is going to tell you about my own experiences riding on these lines, and some input on places of interest that I feel showcase some of Tokyo's charms. A good point I would like to suggest is that often times places that are off the beaten track and that are not in travel magazines are the best places to visit. Sometimes, it is okay to get lost in Tokyo and explore the place without having to worry so much about if you can find your way back to your hotel or not. You will be amazed at what you discover if you take a step out and explore new places.
List of Train Lines in no particular order:
- Asakusa Line : Clean and comfortable carriage cars. Plush seating with good suspension and clean. Trains come often so no long wait times. Fares are cheaper than JR. Asakusa Line is both surface and underground and connects you to Oshiage Tokyo Sky Tree, the highlight of this line. However, there's another place of interest at Sengakuji Station that has a historical temple dedicated to 47 Ronin. My personal experience riding this line is during my evening commutes to work to Magome Station via Keikyu changeover at Sengakuji Station....
- Mita Line: Frequency of stops is good. This train line connects you to major business and commerce areas in downtown Tokyo. Uchisaiwaicho Station is where you can reach companies like Japan Steel and other heavy industries, even banking. Places of interest would be Jimbocho Station if you love curry and books. Suidobashi Station for Tokyo Dome. Sugamo Station if you like visiting the "Harajuku for Grannies" district and getting a taste of old Tokyo. I frequently use this line when working because it connects me to either the Hibiya Line or the Chiyoda Line. You could easily spend the afternoon riding around on this line if you have extra time during your visit.
- Shinjuku Line: From Shinjuku Station to Motoyawata Station you may be able to sit down depending on the time of day of course. This line is completely sub-surface and efficient. When this train is not moving, most if not all station will have free Wifi < code > ( Toei_Subway_Free_Wi-Fi ). Free Wi-Fi service is available in all Toei Buses and subways stations. This service is available in both English and Chinese. Station concierges are useful for basic train lines informations, but don't hold your breath! You will probably do better on your own. Places of interest. Shinjuku Station of course, but it's a bit of a walk from the JR Lines along with West Exit route. The best way to reach Shinjuku if you are inbound from Kanagawa Prefecture would be via the JR Lines. Kudanshita Station will put you off near major religious places like Yasukuni Shrine and the Yushukan Museum. Ichigaya Station will put you in the governmental offices district. If you want to see Japan's twin towers and the central government building you can get off at Tochomae Station. If you decide to tour the government building there's an observatory deck at the top... Don't remember if there was a fee or not. From the top on a clear day is beautiful.
- Oedo Line: One of my favorite lines will take you to Tsukuji Fish Market... This is like a loop line. You can reach Oedo Line from Tochomae Station from Shinjuku Station. The line itself is clean, efficient, comfortable and subsurface. Stops worth mentioning would be Roppongi Station - foreigner district. Azabu-Juban, one of my favorite stops if you want to experience culinary heaven such as American-style BBQ, tequila bars, and super markets that cater to the long-term expat community. Continuing down this line would be Shiodome Station. This station has a lot of good places to enjoy good food and good shopping. There is also a Tower Records just outside the exit.( Not sure if it's still in business as of 2015...?). This station also has a McDonalds which I used to stop through for breakfast on my way to Shimbashi. Overall. This is one of my favorite transit stations in all of Japan. Oedo Line will also take you to an old historic drinking district called Monzen-Nakacho Station where you can stop in the many standing bars and experience meeting and drinking with the locals in the community. Afterwards you can go out for sushi. Next station would be Ryogoku Station where sumo wrestling events can be seen. I also recommend stopping through Akabanebashi Station to check-out Shiba Park near Tokyo Tower and Zojo-ji Temple.
Tokyo Metro Lines
- Ginza Line: By far the cleanest and coolest carriages. Great connections to places like Asakusa, Ueno, Kanda, Ginza, and Toranomon. Omotesando and Shibuya are the top stops on this line - one stop from each other. Ginza Line exits are also placed well in stations. The only improvement I could recommend would be to have more ticket machines for buying ticket placed in more places. The ticket machines at Shibuya station look outdated and a lot of foreigner travelers feel a bit intimidated on how to use the ticket machines. Ginza Line is by far one of the best local commuter lines in Tokyo and you can visit so many places.
- Marunouchi Line: If we start from Ikebukuro we can work our way down through Ochanomizu Station, Awajicho, and then Tokyo Station. This line also stops in Ginza, but the highlight of this line is Kasumigasaki Station where the National Diet Bldg. is located. It's called the Kokkai-Gijidomae. Here you can see planery sessions conducted by Japanese congress. Next stop I recommend is Shinjuku.
- Hibiya Line: This is a line I used to frequent last summer and it stops through Hiro-o Station - one stop from Ebisu Station. Here at Hiro-o you have a Red Cross Hospital and many small clinics and pharmacies that can be accessed through this station. Ebisu Station has a New York burger chain called Shake Shacks!
- Tozai Line: From Nishi-Funabashi to Nakano this line will take to such stops as Waseda Station, site of the famous Waseda University. Urayasu Station where Disneyland is located. Nihombashi and Takebashi Station. In terms of history, if you are interested, Nihombashi Station street was the mother road of all of Japan, the gateway to the capital.
- Chiyoda: This line connects you to Yoyogi Park, Meiji-Jingumae, Omotesando, Akasaka, Kasumigaseki, Nishi-Nipppori, and Kita-senju. I skipped over a bunch of other stations on this line because I have never been to areas around those station. Kita-Senju should be explored deeply. There are alot of interesting shops around there. My experience riding on the Chiyoda Line is rather ordinary. It's still a convenient line though. I could easily see someone having breakfast in Omotesando at the famed Ansel Bakery, then heading over to Meiji-Jingu Shrine to walk off breakfast; maybe grabbing a coffee on the walk. For lunch I could see you heading over to Kita-Senju for lunch at some posh bistro with a dozen different arabica on menu with a newspaper in your hand.
- Yurakucho Line: This is another line that I love with stops in Toyosu, Ginza, Yurakucho, Nagatacho, Ichigaya, Ikeburkuro and Heiwadai. I left out a few other stops. If you have a German beer and sausage fetish and love it cold and hot then I recommend stopping through Yurakucho for German fair. There are a few very good places for sausages and potatoes and pints of frothy beer. This station is also the salaryman paradise as it has a lot of good places for ramen and beer.
- Hanzomon Line: This is a very good line. I used to ride this line to Kinshicho Station then transfer to JR ( surface train) bound for Chiba. On the inbound to Tokyo from Chiba, even the green seats are full. Very easy and simple connections because I was able to get a seat. Those familiar with this commute and who live in Chiba know that the trains are jam-packed from Chiba to Tokyo, both ways, almost every morning. If you reach Kinshicho Station you can go down the the Hanzomon subway and ride it to central Tokyo to places like Shibuya for shopping. Hanzomon Line stations are spacious and and are never overcrowded, plus you get free Wi-Fi. Most surface stations on the JR Lines so not offer authentically free Wi-Fi. You'd need to be on some sort of carrier service. One more place very worthy of mention would be Kiyosumi-Shirakawa Station where you can visit Kiyosumi Gardens for a nice stroll in a classical Meiji Period garden.
- Namboku Line: Connects the Saitama Railway Line and its people to Tokyo. It runs straight through Tokyo and makes connections with all the major train lines on both the Toei Lines and Tokyo Metro Lines. . Some places you may want to explore would be Oji... Don't ask me why, you may want to discover it on your own. Like I said in the beginning. The best part of Tokyo, is exploring off the beaten track paths that are not known.
13: Fukutoshin Line: This is the newest of all the lines and is excellent. This is because it connects you through to Motomach-Chukagai Station via the Tokyo Toyoko Lines! You can stay on the same train without having to change. This line runs through 3 prefectures: Kanagawa, Tokyo, and Saitama prefectures. It is one of the most frequent long distance lines in Japan with excellent connections to Chinatown in Yokohama, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro.
You can get Tokyo Subway Tickets for overseas tourist for unlimited rides on both Tokyo Metro and Toei Lines. Phone number is #03-3816-5700 I'm an experience businessman with years of experience riding the rails in Japan's vast and expansive rail network. I have more ass miles than foot miles.