How to Read Train Route Maps in Japan

Never lose your way again.

Reading the train route maps in Japan can be very confusing for tourists. However, if you learn how to make sense of these route maps, you should be able to navigate your way around the city without any trouble.

In this article, we'll be using the Tokyo Metro Map as an example.

Above the ticket machines, in the circled area, route maps and fare information are displayed.

This is the route map. Stations along each route are indicated here, and the number displayed is the fare required to reach that station from your current station. To determine the fare, look at the number next to the station you wish to go to.

The station that has been colored or highlighted is your current station.

As the photo shows, we are currently in Shinjuku.

The lines are color coded, and the map legend tells you which line is which color. For the Tokyo Metro lines, look at the area surrounded by a red line.

As you can see, the red line is the Marunouchi Line, the light blue one is the Tozai Line, and purple one is the Hanzomon Line.

The route map also displays fares for children.

Note that there are two rows of fares, one for a printed ticket and one for an IC card. The upper black numbers are for printed tickets, and lthe ower black numbers are for IC cards. The red numbers under the black numbers indicate children's fares. So following the Tokyo Metro example, a printed ticket that costs ¥170 for adults would be ¥90 for children.

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