Largest Railway Stations in Japan


Shibuya Station ©hirotomo/Flickr

Railways and rail transport are very important in Japan. Japanese National Railways carry more than 15 billion passengers every year. Shinkansen, or the high speed bullet trains connect the large metropolitan areas of the country, rushing with more than 300 km/h (186 mph) between the major cities.

Japan has more than 27,000 kilometers of rail all around the country. The trains are extremely crowded in the morning and in the afternoon as well, because the majority of the population uses rail transport every day. This is the main reason why the busiest train stations of the world are all located in Japan. In the following sections, you will find information about the largest railway stations of Japan.

Shinjuku Station, Tokyo

Shinjuku station

Shinjuku Station at night ©Yoshikazu TAKADA/Flickr

Shinjuku is definitely the most crowded station both in Japan and on the world: more than 3.6 million people use the station on a single day. Metro lines, inter-city rails and commuter rails converge here as well. Shinjuku Station has a total number of 36 platforms.

The following railway systems are available here: JR East (Yamamoto Line, Chuo-Sobe Line, Chuo Main Line, Chuo Rapid Line, Saikyo Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line), Odakyu Electric Railway (Odakyu Odawara Line), Keio Corporation (Keio Line, Keyo New Line), Tokyo Metro (Marunouchi Line), Toei Subway (Toei Shunjuku Line, Toei Oedo Line).


Shibuya Station, Tokyo


The statue of Hachiko at Shibuya Station © David Offf/Flickr

Shibuya Station is Tokyo’s second largest railway station. About 2.4 million passengers use the station everyday. Private railways and subways merge here as well. Passengers can use here the JR East lines (Saikyo Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Yamamoto Line), private railways such as Keio Inokashira Line, Tokyu Den-en-toshi Line, Tokyu Toyoko Line. The following subways are crossing Shibuya Station: Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toky Metro Hanzomo Line and Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line.

Probably the most popular story about Shibuya Station is related to a dog called Hachiko, an Akita dog, who was waiting for his owner at the station, even after his death. More than ten years passed and the dog was still waiting for his owner every afternoon. There is a statue at Shibuya Station, memorizing the loyalty of Hachiko.


Ikebukuro Station, Tokyo


Front of Ikebukuro Station ©Pistachio Maplewood/Flickr

The station is located in the Ikebukuro district of the city. The station has approximately 2.7 million passengers every day. Here people can travel on the following lines: JR East (Saikyo Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line, Yamanote Line), Seibu Railway (Seibu Ikebukuro Line), Tobu Railway (Tobu Tojo Line), Tokyo Metro (Tokyo Metro Maurnouchi Line, Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line, Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line).


Umeda Station, Osaka


Umeda Station in Osaka ©matsuyuki/Flickr

Umeda Station is located in the central part of Osaka and it is the biggest and most crowded station in the Western part of Japan. 2.3 million passengers occur in Umeda on a single day. The following railways are available here: Hankyu Railway (Takarazuka Line, Kobe Line, Kyoto Line), Hanshin Electric Railway (Main Line) and Osaka Municipal Subway (Midosuji Line; M16).


Yokohama Station, Yokohama

Yokohama Station

Trains at Yokohama Station © MIKI Yoshihito (´・ω・)/Flickr

Yokohama Station is located in the Nishi-ku district and it is the busiest station in Kanagawa Prefecture. More than 2 million people use the railways of this station every day. Compared to the other stations presented in this article, it is the smallest one, but still, it is the fifth busiest and largest station of Japan.

The following lines cross Yokohama Station: JR  East (Tokaido Main Line, Yokosuka Line, Negishi Line, Yokohama Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line, Shonan-Shinjuku Line), Keihin Electric Express Railway (Main Line), Sagami Railway (Main Line), Yokohama Municipal Subway (Blue Line), Tokyu Corporation (Toyoku Line), Yokohama Minatomirai Railway Company (Minatomirai Line).



Shibuya Station ©hirotomo/Flickr



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