Thursday, January 8, 2009

56. Transportation Review: Toden Arakawa Line

The Toden Arakawa Line, which originated in 1913, is one of only two remaining streetcars in Tokyo. It operates from Waseda Station in Shinjuku Ward, cutting through Toshima Ward and Kita Ward; before terminating at Minowabashi Station in Arakawa Ward.
On most of the 12 kilometer journey it runs along its own tracks; but it also runs along Meiji Dori between Asukayama Station and Oji Eki-mae Station. The entire ride takes about 50 minutes. It is a slow, and leisurely ride through some interesting sections of Tokyo's 'Shita-machi' (the traditional 'downtown').
Some interesting stations for explorations include:

*Waseda - home of Waseda University, one of the top private universities in Japan. The campus is open to the public and is covered with many trees.

*Zoshigaya - Zoshigaya Cemetery and Gokokuji Temple

*Koshinzuka - Sugamo, the 'Harajuku' of the elderly

*Asukayama - Asukayama Park and it's museums

*Arakawa-yuenchimae - Children's amusement park

*Minowabashi - very 'downtown' atmosphere with once popular shotengai covered shopping arcade

A ride along the Arakawa Line costs a flat 160 yen, no matter how far you go. I recommend buying the 'Ichinichi Josya Ken' for 400 yen. With this ticket, you can hop on and off the train as much as you like for one day.

To see a map of the streetcar (with connecting train lines), use this link:
Exploring along the Arakawa Line is a great, inexpensive way to spend the day!


3 comments:

Alberta Oil Sands Investor Abroad said...

There is so much great information here! We used to go all over the place in Japan but now with a new baby and just business we can't get around so much.

I had to say I had a chuckle at the "harajuku for the elderly" What do they get up to there?

There is a show on Saturday nights (sorry don't know the channel) called Adamatic - it picks one part of Tokyo and looks at the best thirty shops there. I recommend it maybe something might enter your next blog post!

Thanks for the great info,
Danielle

Todd F. said...

I really appreciate the work you've done reviewing all these places. We're visiting Tokyo for 5 weeks and plan to make good use of the GRUTT pass. Your site has the best information on all the museums and attractions!

I love the history of Tokyo also and hope I can learn more during our stay there this summer. Thank you again for this great blog!

S said...

Thank you Danielle and Todd!

The show,'Admatic Tengoku', on TV Tokyo Saturday nights from 9pm - 10pm is my absolute favorite Japanese program. I highly recommend it to everyone!

The GRUTT pass is Tokyo's best bargain. The pass is renewed year after year. See my previous blog for details. I recommend it to anyone who lives in Tokyo, or plans to visit more than two museums/zoos/aquariums in Tokyo while visiting.