The Yamanote Line   山手線

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A Yamanote Line train with its unmistakable green stripes!

Shimbashi station is the 29th station on the Yamanote Line

A map of the Yamanote Line in Tokyo

All Aboard!

With its circular route connecting most major railway stations in the Japanese capital, the Yamanote-sen is the best way to get around Tokyo. All aboard!

Opened in 1885, the Yamanote Line (Yamanote-sen in Japanese) remains, even 130 years after it was first commissioned, essential to the smooth running of Tokyo.

This circular "loop" line covers​ Tokyo from north to south and east to west with a total of 29 stations, many of them also connected to Tokyo Metro subway lines.

Each station is also distinguishable by its original music that announces the arrival of a train, for example with a version of the theme from the anime Astro Boy!  

The line of excess

Yamanote line trains travel 34.5 km in one hour, with trains departing every two minutes during the day... and every 30 seconds during rush hour!

The line carries a daily average of 3.55 million people, and over the course of a year... 1.3 billion passengers!

A TIP: avoid it during peak travel times, unless of course you want to experience the "rush" in the same way a Japanese salaryman does!

Exploring Tokyo on the Yamanote Line

The Yamanote Line lets you easily visit some of the most well-known districts of Tokyo:

  • Shibuya: the trendy spot for Japanese youth
  • Harajuku: the mecca of Tokyo street fashion
  • Shinjuku: for its thousands of izakaya bars and night life 
  • Ikebukuro: offering a great mix of shopping and popular culture
  • Ueno: experience a charming, more retro Tokyo 
  • Akihabara: high-tech and known for its otaku culture
  • Tokyo: the historical, cultural, business, and shopping district!

So, ready to board?

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