Yamanote Line

The Yamanote Line (山 手 线Japanese, Yamanote - sen) is one of the main JR train lines in the districts of Tokyo. 2005 drove an average of 3.5 million passengers every day with this line (for comparison, in about as much as the entire Berlin public transportation together). The hallmark of the Yamanote Line is their lines characteristic color, a bright green ■. One finds the green as stripes on all trains on the line, signs, markings and marking the line in the network map. Also the color of the platforms is based partly on the Green.

It was built in 1885-1925, is ring-shaped and connects the major city centers of Tokyo. Every day go to their 667 trains. A train of eleven cars and need 61-65 minutes to travel the 34.5 km long line with 29 stations. Except for the stations Shin- Okubo and Mejiro a transfer to another train and subway lines at each station is possible.

The Yamanote Line is operated by the East Japan Railway Company and for tourists the most convenient way to quickly reach (outside rush hours in the morning and evening) to most attractions in the central city area.

Almost every station has its own theme song when entering the train. Some stations have one tune for trains going clockwise (外回り, soto - mawari; " outer circle " ), and for trains running counterclockwise (内回り, uchi - mawari; " inner circle ").

Route data

  • Track length: 34.5 km Tokaido Line ( Tokyo - Shinagawa ): 6.8 km
  • Yamanote Line ( Shinagawa - Shinjuku - Tabata ): 20.6 km
  • Tohoku Line ( Tabata - Tokyo ): 7.1 km


The Yamanote line was initially built as Shinagawa Shinagawa - line of about Shibuya and Shinjuku in 1885 after Akabane, along the newly developing neighborhoods of the expanding city of Tokyo. They served to create a link between the Tōhoku Main Line, which ended in Ueno, and the Tōkaidō Main Line, which at that time ended in Shinbashi, and was the first North - South connection in Tokyo.

The upper part of the ring between Ikebukuro and Tabata was completed in 1903 and was called Toshima- line (豊 岛 线, Toshima- sen) known. 1909 was the amalgamation of the two lines Yamananote line and the electrification of the line. The circuit was not closed at this time, the trains operated in conjunction with the guidelines of the Chūō Main Line from Nakano coming over the South Ring to Tokyo, or Keihin - Tohoku Line Coming On Shinagawa and then clockwise on the Yamanote line to Tabata.

Density residential development prevented the closure of the circle on the eastern north-south axis. Only after the Great Kanto Earthquake was completed in 1925 with the completion of the last missing section between Kanda and Ueno the circle. A parallel to the passenger train route freight line was also completed in 1925 and runs on the west side of the loop between Shinagawa and Tabata.

Before the outbreak of the Pacific War, the Ministry of Railways unapproved private suburban railway companies to cross the Yamanote line and thus to move from their end stations to the stations of the inner-city districts. This policy led to the emergence of new urban centers at the nodes of the Yamanote Line, above all the stations Ikebukuro and Shinjuku (which nowadays, in terms of passenger numbers, the largest railway stations of the world count).

The current range of the Yamanote Line was created in 1956, when they no longer used the tracks of the Keihin - Tohoku Line and instead got their own tracks between Shinagawa and Tabata on the eastern side of the circle. However sailed trains the Yamanote Line continue periodically the tracks of the Keihin - Tohoku line, especially during the holidays and on public holidays, but also outside of rush hour, until in 1988, a fast train service to the Keihin - Tohoku Line was introduced.

A large explosion on the Yamanote line goods in Shinjuku in 1967 led to a transfer of goods transport to more distant Musashino Line. Due to a serious shortfall in capacity on other lines the tracks of the freight line were concomitantly soon after trains of the Saikyo line and the Shonan -Shinjuku Line. Furthermore, they traveled some express trains Narita Express the tracks. Furthermore, there are plans to extend the Tōhoku Main Line to Tokyo Station to relieve the day 's busiest part of the route, the section to the south between Ueno and Okachimachi.

In 2005, the Yamanote line from an average of 3.55 million passengers a day was used, which corresponds to 1.3 billion passengers per year.


In trains of series E231, the announcement of the next maintenance is performed acoustically as well as visually. The acoustic announcement is made each one Japanese and English announcement of the next stop as well as interchanges and direction. The visual display is in this series LC monitors mounted on each door. Here each next station on the route map, the current direction of travel and the travel time are alternately in Japanese and English, to the following Holding displayed. In addition, current information such as delays, construction on the track and the like can be viewed here. Sometimes the display is also used to play short commercials.


The line is operated by the trains located between the stations Ōsaki and Shinagawa depot. The counting of the stations therefore begins clockwise when Ōsaki station, counterclockwise at Shinagawa Station.


The Yamanote line is probably the most famous railway in Japan. So in Japan several computer games are offered (including Densha de Go! ) In which you control the Yamanote Line trains on time. Also exists in Japan a popular drinking game in which participants have to enumerate one after the other stations of the Yamanote Line. Once someone makes a mistake, he must drink a penalty a sip of an alcoholic beverage.