A Guide To Train Lines in Japan

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The main train company in Japan is the Japan Railways Group (JR Group). It is the successor of the Japanese National Railways (JNR), which was privatized in 1987. The JR Group is made up of six regional passenger railway companies, which are JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Shikoku and JR Kyushu, and one nationwide freight railway company, JR Freight. Together they operate a nationwide network of urban, regional and interregional train lines and of course the Shinkansen (bullet trains).

 

Private railway companies:

Dozens of private railway companies exist in Japan. The smaller ones operate just a single line, while others operate extensive networks. Below are some of the major private railway companies:

 

Greater Tokyo

 

Tobu (approx. 460 km)

https://www.tobu.co.jp/ 

Tobu operates an extensive network of railway lines into the suburbs and prefectures north of Tokyo. Of interest to tourists: access to Nikko and Kawagoe.

 

Odakyu (approx. 120 km)

https://www.odakyu.jp/ 

Odakyu operates three lines from central Tokyo to western Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture. Of interest to tourists: access to Hakone and Enoshima.

 

Tokyu (approx. 100 km)

https://www.tokyu.co.jp/ 

Tokyu operates a network of two main lines and several shorter lines in the south of Tokyo. Of interest to tourists: access to Yokohama.

 

Keisei (approx. 100 km)

https://www.keisei.co.jp/ 

Keisei operates a main line and several branch lines from Tokyo to Chiba Prefecture. Of interest to tourists: access to Narita Airport.

 

Seibu (approx. 180 km)

https://www.seiburailway.jp/ 

Seibu operates a network of suburban railway lines west of central Tokyo. Of interest to tourists: access to Chichibu and Kawagoe.

 

Keikyu (approx. 90 km)

https://www.keikyu.co.jp/ 

Keikyu connects Tokyo with Yokohama and southern Kanagawa Prefecture. Of interest to tourists: access to Haneda Airport and Yokohama.

 

Keio (approx. 80 km)

https://www.keio.co.jp /

Keio operates a network of railway lines west of central Tokyo. Of interest to tourists: access to Takaosan.

Greater Nagoya

 

Meitetsu (approx. 450 km)

https://www.meitetsu.co.jp/ 

Meitetsu operates an extensive railway network around Nagoya. Of interest to tourists: access to Inuyama and Central Japan Airport.

 

Greater Osaka

 

Kintetsu (approx. 500 km)

https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/ 

Kintetsu operates the largest network among non-JR companies, connecting Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Ise and Nagoya.

 

Nankai (approx. 170 km)

http://www.nankai.co.jp/ 

Nankai operates a network of railway lines in southern Osaka and Wakayama Prefecture. Of interest to tourists: access to Kansai Airport and Koyasan.

 

Hankyu (approx. 150 km)

https://www.hankyu.co.jp/ 

Hankyu operates several lines in northern Osaka and connects Osaka with Kobe and Kyoto.

 

Keihan (approx. 90 km)

https://www.keihan.co.jp/ 

Keihan operates one main line, connecting Osaka with Kyoto and several shorter lines.

 

Hanshin (approx. 50 km)

https://www.hanshin.co.jp/ 

Hanshin operates one main line between Osaka and Kobe, and a few short branch lines.

 

Greater Fukuoka

 

Nishitetsu (approx. 120 km)

http://www.nishitetsu.jp/ 

Nishitetsu operates a network of railway lines in Fukuoka Prefecture around the city of Fukuoka. Of interest to tourists: access to Dazaifu.

 

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