Visiting Tokyo? Get familiar with the Tokyo Metro subway lines
If you visit Tokyo, you could just ride the JR line the entire time. But there is a whole other part of the city that can only be accessed on the Tokyo subway. There are different subway companies, but the Tokyo Metro has the most riders and goes to several of the major stations.
Jul 08 2014 (Sep 09 2020)
What is the Tokyo Metro?
Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. (東京メトロ Tōkyō Metoro), most commonly known as Tokyo Metro, is a rapid transit system in the special wards of Tokyo Prefecture. Although it is not the only rapid transit system operating in Tokyo, it has the highest ridership.
At first glance, and the first few times, the Tokyo subway system can be extremely confusing, and if you have the JR visitor pass you won't be able to use that on the subway lines (though you can use an IC card such as Pasmo or Suica). However, if you plan ahead through a service such as the directions feature on Google Maps, you'll be able to get to your destination with little trouble, and you'll get to see another side of Tokyo. The Tokyo Metro also connects to the JR line as well as other subway companies.
How do I know if it's a Tokyo Metro station?
If the station has the symbol on the left on the main sign with the station name, then you are at a Tokyo Metro subway station. The name of the station will also be accompanied by the subway lines that service the station.
Lines of the Tokyo Metro
Ginza Line (Orange)
Major stations: Shibuya, Omotesando, Shimbashi, Ginza, Ueno, Asakusa
Marunouchi Line (Red)
Major stations: Shinjuku, Yotsuya, Ginza, Tokyo, Otemachi (for transfer), Korakuen (for Tokyo Dome), Ikebukuro
The Marunouchi line also has a branch line with four stations.
Hibiya Line (Silver)Nishitoko/Wikimedia Commons
Major stations: Ueno, Akihabara, Tsukiji, Ginza, Roppongi, Ebisu
Tozai Line (Light blue)
The Tozai line runs from East to West, hence its name (East-West line). It also goes into Chiba.
Major stations: Nakano, Takadanobaba, Iidabashi, Otemachi (for transfer)
This line connects to every other Tokyo Metro subway line (except for the Fukutoshin line) at most of its stops.
Chiyoda Line (Green)
Major stations: Yoyogi-koen (Yoyogi Park), Meiji-jingumae (Harajuku), Omotesando, Akasaka, Otemachi (for transfer)
Yurakucho Line (Gold)
Major stations: Ikebukuro, Iidabashi, Tsukishima
Hanzomon Line (Purple)
Major stations: Shibuya, Omotesando, Otemachi (for transfer), Oshiage (Skytree)
Namboku Line (Emerald/Teal)
Major stations: Korakuen (Tokyo Dome), Iidabashi, Yotsuya, Roppongi-itchome
Fukutoshin Line (Brown)
Major stations: Ikebukuro, Shinjuku-sanchome, Meiji-jingumae (Harajuku), Shibuya
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.