Matsumotos Corner Vol.12

Tokyo Subway

One of the Most Complicated in the World, but Convenient

I’ve lived in Tokyo for about 25 years, but I’m still not sure. The subway and railway route map of Tokyo has been drawn with great ingenuity to make it easy to understand, but it still seems to be proud of its complexity. Cities
such as Seoul, Paris, London, and New York also have complicated subway route. But even if you compare to them, Tokyo is by no means defeated.

Despite this complexity, the subways and railways in Tokyo are very convenient.

And in the last few years, they have become more and more convenient for people from abroad. Yes, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is a big reason for this. There are a lot more English signs and announcements, and some of them are multilingual. If you use English apps, you can find not only the route, but also the transfer time and fare. Some IC cards can be used for railways and buses nationwide. You can also use it for shopping at convenience stores and coffee shops, and buying cold drinks at vending machines.

But it’s not just convenience that’s improved. Platform doors are also being installed for safety. We are f inally catching up with Malaysia. What impressed me recently is that the toilets at many stations have become surprisingly clean. I would like people f rom abroad to use the subways and railways that have been developed so much. I hope the pandemic is coming to an end by the time this article comes out.