Ride On! Introduction to Trains That Stop at Shibuya Station
Shibuya Station is one of the busiest train stations in Japan as well as the world, a vital transportation hub for millions of people in Tokyo, whether they’re just traveling through the 23 wards or commuting to and from nearby Kanagawa and Saitama. With crowds of people rushing in and out of it from morning until late at night, navigating can be quite intimidating at first.
Here are the train lines which service Shibuya Station, one of the epicenters of youth culture, fashion, entertainment, and business in Tokyo.
JR East – East Japan Railway Company
Yamanote Line (山手線) – JY – This line loops through Tokyo in clockwise and counterclockwise directions, stopping at 29 stations over 34.5km. Because it connects with many major stations, it is one of the most crowded despite stopping at a station every 2 minutes. This is also one of the latest running lines, which is important to know if you don’t plan to stay out all night long. This is the JR line closest to Shibuya Scramble Intersection and Hachiko.
Saikyo Line (埼京線) – JA – This line goes from Omiya Station, one of the major transport hubs in Saitama, to Osaki in Shinagawa Ward, sometimes switching over to the Rinkai Line (Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit) and stopping off at Odaiba, Tokyo Big Sight, and Shin-Kiba. This is a faster alternative to the Yamanote Line for travel between Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ebisu, and Osaki although it does not run as often.
Shonan-Shinjuku Line (湘南新宿ライン) – JS – This line which also originates at Omiya Station goes out to the popular Shonan seaside of Kanagawa Prefecture on the edge of Kamakura. Just like the Saikyo Line, this one skips over several stations between Shibuya and Shinjuku/Ikebukuro.
Narita Express (成田エクスプレス) – NEX – One of the two main rail options for people arriving or departing from Narita International Airport, the Narita Express stops in Shibuya using the same platforms as the Shonan-Shinjuku Line and the Saikyo Line.
JR East – East Japan Railway Company Official site (English): http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/
Tokyo Metro (東京メトロ)
Ginza Line (銀座線) – G – This bright orange train runs on the oldest subway line in Asia (service began in 1927), and snakes through Tokyo from Asakusa to Shibuya. As the oldest line, it is one of the shallowest lines and actually arrives at the 3rd floor of Shibuya Station, providing easy access to the Tokyu department store connected to the main building.
Hanzomon Line (半蔵門線) – Z – This purple train connects Shibuya to the newly developed Tokyo Sky Tree area via its terminus at Oshiage Station and services a mix of old and new with stops in Jinbocho, Hanzomon (Imperial Palace), Kudanshita (Yasukuni Jinja, Nippon Budokan), and Omotesando.
Fukutoshin Line (副都心線) – F – This brown-accented train is the newest and deepest line in the Tokyo Metro network, originates at Wakoshi in Saitama Prefecture and connects 3 of Tokyo’s major subcenters (“fukutoshin” means “city subcenter”) in Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Shibuya.
Tokyo Metro Official site (English): http://www.tokyometro.jp/lang_en/index.html
Tokyu Dentetsu (東急電鉄)
Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line – DT – This line originates in Shibuya and extends out to southwestern Tokyo and northern Kanagawa Prefecture, terminating at Chuo-Rinkan. It is also serviced by trains running on the Hanzomon Line.
Tokyu Toyoko Line – TY – This line provides an alternative to JR East for those looking to get out to Kanagawa’s Yokohama Chinatown and Minatomirai. It is also serviced by trains running on the Fukutoshin Line.
Tokyo Dentetsu Official site (English): http://www.tokyu.co.jp/global/english/index.html
Inokashira Line (井の頭線) – IN – This line runs from Shibuya to Kichijoji Station out in the suburban Musashino City just west of Tokyo’s 23 wards, providing access to Shimo-Kitazawa, and Inokashira Park. The platform for the Inokashira Line is located in the Shibuya Mark City building at the western end of the station.
Keio Official site (English): https://www.keio.co.jp/english/index.html
Hopefully, the different train lines that stop at Shibuya Station have become less confusing to understand. In the near future we will attempt to address all the different exits there to help you get around a little easier.
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