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Public Transportation in Tokyo

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I just took a look onto the maps of the public transportation in Tokyo...

Of course I knew that there are lot of different metro lines in the japanese capital, but I wasn't aware that there are only two railway lines, which tap the areas of the "Tokyo Bay Zone" cluster...

One railway line is the "Yurikamome Transit System", which is an automated transport system (comparable with the DLR in London) - this system seem to have a medium capacity system (according a website it is good for less than 15,000 passenger per hour)... This line is linked with the metro system by three stations: Shimbashi, Shiodome and Toyosu

And the second railway line is the Rapid Transit line "Rinkai", which is linked by four stations with the metro system: Osaki, Oimachi, Tennozu Isle and Shin-kiba.

Both railway lines are linked with each other by two stations.

I can imagine, that it become very busy during the games in these two underground lines, since the venues of the "Bay Cluster" are strung together like the pearls of a pearl necklace along the "Yurikamome" and "Rinkai" line...

That means that there are no other transport systems available, which can remove the masses of spectators very fast like in London...

I wonder if they build another metro-line, which connect the city directly with the Bay Cluster...

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Games planners target airport access

Before hosting the 1964 Summer Olympic Games, Tokyo carried out an unprecedented upgrade of its transportation system that gave the capital a bullet train system, elevated highways and a monorail connecting the city with Haneda airport.

Giving a similar boost to the infrastructure before the 2020 Games may be tricky, as the metropolis today has little space available for major new infrastructure projects. But a new subway line and an expansion of Haneda airport are some of the projects being pitched for development over the next seven years.

Touching on how preparations for the Olympics alone will have a positive influence on the economy, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said that “efforts to end deflation will gain a big momentum.”

“There is no doubt that things will start rolling for the better” once projects related to the Olympics move forward, he added.

One of the keywords Tokyo rolled out while it was bidding for the Olympics was “compact,” as the city proposes to fit 28 of the major Olympic venues within an 8-km radius. But in addition to the 13 million residents the city now is home to, estimates forecast somewhere in the region of 10 million visitors will arrive in Tokyo to attend the event.

A major makeover being considered by the government and the land ministry will include both Haneda and Narita airports. According to the ministry, a panel is to meet within this fiscal year to discuss feasible ways of increasing the capacity of the two facilities, including the possibility of building a fifth runway at Haneda and easing restrictions for takeoffs and landings at the two international airports.

Improving access from the two airports to the downtown area, which has long been an inconvenience for travelers, is also being discussed.

Under the latest blueprint, a subway station tentatively named New Tokyo will be build in the Marunouchi area. A new rail line going through it will connect Sengakuji and Oshiage stations, effectively shortening the time it takes to get from Haneda to the heart of Tokyo from over 30 minutes to just 18.

The journey from Narita to central Tokyo will also be less time-consuming, taking less than 40 minutes compared with the current 50 minutes or more.

In regards to transportation in the city, building a new subway line in southeast Tokyo, where many of the Olympic events will be held, is being discussed.

“We are going to make Koto Ward the ‘Olympic city,’ ” ward, Mayor Takaaki Yamazaki said after Tokyo was selected to host the games. “Our plans for the Hachigo-sen subway will take a huge step forward as well,” he predicted.

The 5.2-km-long subway line, which will be called Hachigo-sen (No. 8 Line), was under consideration even before Tokyo was named the host of the prestigious event. It is scheduled to connect Toyosu Station with Toyocho Station and head north to Sumiyoshi Station, thereby providing new access routes between northern and southern Tokyo.The plan has been around for years, with the waterfront area known for having easy access from the east and west but lacking any routes from north to south. The trip from Sumiyoshi to Toyosu will be halved to less than 10 minutes once the line is complete, the ward said.

Yet, while the to-do list keeps growing, pundits warn the price tags for many of the projects cannot be ignored. For example, construction of the Hachigo-sen subway line is expected to cost ¥120 billion, according to Koto Ward estimates. Building the New Tokyo station to connect Haneda with Narita, meanwhile, will cost about ¥400 billion, some say.

Lack of time is also a problem.

Although 2020 would have given Central Japan Railway Co. the perfect stage for launching its state-of-the-art maglev train, President Yoshiomi Yamada has ruled out the possibility as impossible.

Land minister Akihiro Ota said Sept. 17 that the process of digging just the tunnels for the maglev route between Tokyo and Nagoya will take at least 10 years.

Tokyo is also already crisscrossed with 13 subway lines and about 300 stations, not to mention the complex underground levels of high-rise buildings across the city. Dodging such areas or digging deeper to avoid obstructions will add more money and time to vast projects like the Hachigo-sen subway line.

In that case, starting a new bus service between the Ginza shopping district and the Olympic venues appears to be the most cost effective and feasible plan. The so-called Bus Rapid Transit will use buses that can carry over 100 people at the same time.

So far, Chuo Ward, which will be the main entity running the project, seems to be in the early stages of development and has not revealed the specifics of the BRT plan. Reports say there could be about 600 shuttle services a day between Ginza, the Olympic venues and the accommodation sites where the athletes will stay.

Constructing a new loop route connecting the Toyosu area with Minato Ward has also been raised as a possibility.

As spending on reconstruction in the Tohoku region starts to wind down two years after the 2011 megaquake and tsunami, hosting the 2020 Olympics gives the government the perfect excuse to keep pumping cash into public projects.

But Hisashi Yamada, chief economist at Japan Research Institute, advised the government not to be swayed by the momentum and not to embark on a spending spree without considering the outcome.

“Japan is already a developed country and there isn’t the need for spending big on massive construction projects,” he recently told The Japan Times. “It’s not a bad thing to modernize the city’s infrastructure, but it’s crucial that the investment is worth it for the years beyond 2020.”

According to a report by JRI, 25.5 percent of Tokyoites will be 65 or older by 2020, compared with 21 percent in 2010. By 2035, it has been estimated that that age group will make up 30 percent of the capital’s population.

Since Tokyo is also expected to experience a population drop in the years after 2020, investing in compact and efficient buildings and infrastructure, complete with barrier-free designs, should be one of the main goals, Yamada said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/09/23/national/games-planners-face-compact-infrastructure-limits/#.UkCO5uUdiM0

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Tokyo Metro Co.launches new mobile application and tourist passes ramping up for the 2020 Olympic Games

(SFC) Tokyo Metro Co. released a new smartphone application - Tokyo Subway Navigation for Tourists – for Android phones Tuesday, with the iOS version for Apple products “coming soon,” Tokyo Metro spokesperson Seiichi Yoneya told The Japan Times.

“We have heard complaints from foreign tourists that Tokyo’s network is very complicated and thus difficult to use,” Yoneya said. “The number of foreign travelers is expected to rise in light of the 2020 Summer Games. We have to offer a guide that enables them to travel the capital easily.”

The news of the application comes less than a year after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government updated road signs with English translations.

The application will provide instructions to the user for travel between stations, including transfer points, on all of its nine lines and the four lines operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It will also be made available to use offline in the languages of English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

Users will be able to search by station names – either by typing the name or selecting the station from a diagram – and search for stations and sightseeing spots, including Tokyo Skytree, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and Shibua’s “scramble crossing.”

The Tokyo Subway Ticket, consisting of three new types of subway passes, will be jointly-launched by Tokyo Metro and the Tokyo transportation bureau.

“We currently have a one-day pass at ¥1,000, but we decided to offer discount passes,” Yoneya said.

Available at half-off for children 12 and younger, the passes will cost ¥800 for one day, ¥1,200 for two days, and ¥1,500 for three days

http://www.sportsfeatures.com/olympicsnews/story/50894/tokyo-metro-co.launches-new-mobile-application-and-tourist-passes-ramping-up-for-the-2020-olympic-games

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There will probably be GPS-type apps that will guide you on how to get whichever venue at a specific time.

Well predicted!

Tokyo Metro Co.launches new mobile application and tourist passes ramping up for the 2020 Olympic Games

(SFC) Tokyo Metro Co. released a new smartphone application - Tokyo Subway Navigation for Tourists – for Android phones Tuesday, with the iOS version for Apple products “coming soon,” Tokyo Metro spokesperson Seiichi Yoneya told The Japan Times.

“We have heard complaints from foreign tourists that Tokyo’s network is very complicated and thus difficult to use,” Yoneya said. “The number of foreign travelers is expected to rise in light of the 2020 Summer Games. We have to offer a guide that enables them to travel the capital easily.”

The news of the application comes less than a year after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government updated road signs with English translations.

The application will provide instructions to the user for travel between stations, including transfer points, on all of its nine lines and the four lines operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It will also be made available to use offline in the languages of English, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

Users will be able to search by station names – either by typing the name or selecting the station from a diagram – and search for stations and sightseeing spots, including Tokyo Skytree, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and Shibua’s “scramble crossing.”

The Tokyo Subway Ticket, consisting of three new types of subway passes, will be jointly-launched by Tokyo Metro and the Tokyo transportation bureau.

“We currently have a one-day pass at ¥1,000, but we decided to offer discount passes,” Yoneya said.

Available at half-off for children 12 and younger, the passes will cost ¥800 for one day, ¥1,200 for two days, and ¥1,500 for three days

http://www.sportsfeatures.com/olympicsnews/story/50894/tokyo-metro-co.launches-new-mobile-application-and-tourist-passes-ramping-up-for-the-2020-olympic-games

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Really complicated.I hate to use subways in Tokyo. Some transfer points force you to walk of hundreds of meters to get to another point.Too many stations with so many numbers and a lot of exits like A1,A2,A3....A10. The price they offer sounds ok.

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I've never had any issues with the Tokyo subway/train/light rail/monorail network. Yes - there are long walks involved at times - but more often than not you go down an escalator and are on the platform for another line.

Beijing is hellish - changing lines there is quite a slog. Quite easy to get your 10,000 steps a day in the big Beij'.

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Japan’s transportation companies beefing up public WiFi access ahead of 2020 Olympics

Japanese public transportation operators are responding to the huge tourist demand of free Internet access by increasing WiFi access services at train stations and on airplanes. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablet devices, foreign tourists have been requesting that Internet access be improved in Japan, especially with the tourist jackpot of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics just a few years away.

Japan Airlines (JAL), the nation’s official carrier, had initially offered onboard Internet access via WiFi starting in July 2012, but only on some of its international flights. The access is through satellite broadband internet, available at all times during the flight except during takeoff and landing. JAL now plans to expand the service to domestic flights in July, while rival carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) also launched a similar service for its international flights in March.

Trains and train stations are also favorite haunts of tourists, especially those who want to stick to a budget. Railway operators are now also offering WiFi hotspots, mostly targeting foreign tourists. West Japan Railway Co. is set to broaden its WiFi service to a total of 26 stations and related facilities in western Japan on Thursday. East Japan Railway Co. has installed WiFi service equipment at 18 stations mainly in central Tokyo.

All this is a reaction across the board to a 2011 survey by the Japan Tourism Agency. The data showed that some 24 percent of tourists in Japan cited the lack of WiFi and other free Internet access services to be the most inconvenient aspect of their stay in Japan. The agency now believes that Japan can attract more foreign tourists if free Internet connections allow them to post information, including ones that highlight tourist spots on social networking platforms.

http://japandailypress.com/japans-transportation-companies-beefing-up-public-wifi-access-ahead-of-2020-olympics-2847850/

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Tokyo’s Yamanote Line to get 30th station by 2020 Olympics

The Yamanote Line, central Tokyo’s main train line, will get its 30th station before the 2020 Olympics open in the capital, an official from East Japan Railway Co. said Saturday.

The first new station to be built on the loop line since 1971 will be inserted between Shinagawa and Tamachi stations on the Minato Ward waterfront, with construction beginning as early as next spring, the JR East official said.

The plan is part of a redevelopment project involving about 10 to 15 hectares of the 20-hectare Shinagawa rail yard. The project will be spurred by a rail interlink slated in March to connect lines from Tokyo with those going to Tohoku and with the Tokaido bullet train line stretching west.

The area, close to Haneda airport, is expected to become the nation’s new gateway to Tokyo, with a new rail line linking the airport to the capital’s central areas being mulled along with a proposal to set up a special economic zone nearby to attract foreign companies, according to the project.

The project is being undertaken by a panel led by JR East, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Minato Ward office.

News source:The Japan Times. May 31,2014

Link to this article: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/31/national/tokyos-yamanote-line-get-30th-station-2020-olympics/#.U6Z6ArGA718

Extra station to serve Shinagawa redevelopment

10 Jun 2014

tn_jp-shinagawa-newstation_7c945c0387.jp

JAPAN: East Japan Railway has announced plans to build a 50th station on its busy Yamonote Line circular suburban railway in southern Tokyo.

As yet un-named, the station is intended to spur urban development on a 13 ha site currently occupied by stabling sidings for the 1 067 mm gauge Tokaido Line. JR East is in consultation with the government and Tokyo Metropolitan Government about redeveloping this land.

Expected to open in 2020 to coincide with the city’s hosting of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, the new station will split the current 2·2 km section between Tamachi and Shinagawa stations. It will be located in the Konan district of Minato-ku, 1 300 m south of Tamachi and 900 m north of Shinagawa, which provides an important interchange between the Yamanote Line and the monorail to Haneda International Airport.

According to JR East, the Yamanote, Keihin-Tohoku and Tokaido lines would be realigned to the east, closer to the Tokaido Shinkansen stabling sidings, to free up land on the western side of the site where it can be accessed from the Daiichi-Keihin road. The double-deck suburban station would have two island platforms and four tracks, serving both the Yamanote Line and the north-south Keihin-Tohoku cross-city line. The main entrance will be located in a public square above the tracks.

The development zone would also be served by Sengakuji station on Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation’s 1 435 mm gauge Asakusa metro line, which runs under the main road. This line is shared by through trains from the Keikyu Main Line and Keikyu’s Haneda airport service.

News source:Railway Gazette. 10 June 2014.

Link to this article:http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/infrastructure/single-view/view/extra-station-to-serve-shinagawa-redevelopment.html

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Tokyo Station to get expanded squareDTMANAGE.000000020140702222809362-1.jpg?

Courtesy of JR East

A computer-generated image of the new square to be created outside Tokyo Station. The south exit is on the right side, and the north exit is on the left. The Marunouchi side of the station faces the Imperial Palace.

East Japan Railway Co. has announced a large-scale renovation of the square on Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi side, to create a new look worthy of the capital landmark ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

Renovation work is scheduled to be completed in summer 2017 and will also involve the station’s basement area on the Marunouchi side, JR East said Wednesday.

According to the railway company, it will refurbish the square in front of the station’s Marunouchi building. Work to preserve and restore the building was completed in 2012. The metropolitan roads that cross the square will be rerouted, creating a space for pedestrians of about 6,500 square meters that has been temporarily named the “city square.” Two “traffic squares” on the north and south sides will also be established.

According to the design, the city square will be paved mainly with white granite, and zelkova trees will be planted leading toward Gyoko-dori avenue, which extends to the Imperial Palace. In addition to grassy areas, sections filled with shallow water during summer will be created to ease seasonal temperature increases on the roads. The traffic squares will be used as taxi stands and bus stops.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001397832

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^The theme and color palette looks more fitting for a luxury goods (eg. jewelry) company. But it still looks really nice. I envy Japan for having Bullet Trains >.<

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JR East eyes new, faster access to Haneda airport from central Tokyo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- East Japan Railway Co. is considering building a new access line to Haneda airport from central Tokyo, a project that would shorten the travel time to roughly 20 minutes, company officials said Tuesday.

The project will connect Shinjuku and Haneda in 23 minutes, compared with 41 to 46 minutes at present, while the travel time from Tokyo station will be cut to 18 minutes from 28 minutes. Shinkiba in eastern Tokyo will be linked to the airport in 20 minutes, down from 41 minutes.

Hoping to make the new line partially operational in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and complete the roughly 320 billion yen project in the middle of the 2020s, the regional train operator plans to consult with the national and Tokyo metropolitan governments about how to pay for it, according to company officials.

JR East is considering using a freight line extending southward from near the Yamanote Line's Tamachi Station to the Tokyo Bay area and connecting it with Haneda through a 5.7-kilometer tunnel to be built under the sea, according to the officials.

On Tuesday, a JR East official briefed a meeting of a transport ministry panel studying the nation's future railway networks on the plan.

August 20, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

Link to this article;http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20140820p2g00m0bu031000c.html

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New Tokyo Metro station planned ahead of 2020 Summer Games

The Hibiya Line of the Tokyo Metro subway system will be getting a new station in time for the 2020 Summer Games in the Japanese capital, Tokyo Metro and the Urban Renaissance Agency (UR) announced on Oct. 14.

The as-yet unnamed stop will be between the Hibiya Line's Kasumigaseki and Kamiyacho stations, by the new Toranomon Hills business and commercial complex and a planned bus terminal. Hibiya Park and the U.S. Embassy are also nearby.

The UR public development agency will be in charge of the overall subway station project, while Tokyo Metro will handle design and construction. The total cost is expected to reach tens of billions of yen, which will be covered by central government funding and support from local developers.

The next step is to see the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's long-term city planning finalized and draw up construction plans. UR and Tokyo Metro are expected to break ground for the new stop -- the first built on an existing line since the Ginza Line's Tameike-Sanno Station was finished in September 1997 -- next fiscal year or later.

The new bus terminal next door, meanwhile, is being planned by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as the core of a high-speed bus system to get Olympic spectators to and from the middle of the city and venues on the coast. Tokyo is also planning underground pedestrian walkways to connect Toranomon Hills -- opened in June this year -- with the new metro station and Toranomon Station on the Ginza Line.

Both the metropolitan and national governments are looking to harness explosive growth in the business and tourism sectors expected with the Tokyo 2020 Games to boost redevelopment of the area.

Mainichi

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20141015p2a00m0na011000c.html

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On 09/09/2013 at 8:12 PM, Citius Altius Fortius said:

I just took a look onto the maps of the public transportation in Tokyo...

I can imagine, that it become very busy during the games in these two underground lines, since the venues of the "Bay Cluster" are strung together like the pearls of a pearl necklace along the "Yurikamome" and "Rinkai" line...

That means that there are no other transport systems available, which can remove the masses of spectators very fast like in London...

I wonder if they build another metro-line, which connect the city directly with the Bay Cluster...

I'm having the same thoughts as you. How do they plan to get the spectators to and from the Tokyo Bay area venues?

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