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A lineup of Tōzai Line trains
Tozai Line

The Tōzai Line (東西線 Tōzai-sen ?) is a 30.8 km subway line of Tokyo Metro in Tokyo, Japan. Its name literally means East-West Line, the route running in the centre of Tokyo. The western terminus is Nakano Station in Nakano Ward with inter-operating westward to the East Japan Railway Company's Chūō Main Line (Chūō-Sōbu Line Local trains). The eastern end is Nishi-Funabashi Station in the city of Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, also inter-operating to JR East Chūō-Sōbu Line and the Tōyō Rapid Railway. On maps and signboards, the line is shown in sky blue; stations on the Tōzai Line carry the letter T followed by a two-digit number.

The official name, which is scarcely used, is the Line 5 Tōzai Line (5号線東西線 5gōsen Tōzai-sen ?).

The Tōzai Line is the second most-ridden subway line in Japan (after the Midōsuji Line in Osaka), and according to a 2007 study[1], is the country's most crowded during rush hours. Women-only cars were introduced on the line during morning rush hours starting on November 20, 2006.



  • Length: 30.8 km
  • Gauge: 1,067 mm
  • Number of stations: 23 (including ends)
  • Track: double (quadruple track through Kasai, Myōden and Baraki-Nakayama)
  • Power: 1,500 V DC
  • Block system: Automatic
    • Eidan WS-ATC (Wayside Signal Type) (until March 2007)
    • CS-ATC (from March 2007)
  • Underground segment: Nakano - Minami-Sunamachi
  • According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation, as of June 2009 the Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line was the most crowded subway line in Tokyo, at its peak running at 199% capacity between Kiba and Monzen-Nakachō stations.[2]


The first section between Takadanobaba and Kudanshita opened on December 23, 1964. The subsequent progress of the line was as follows:

  • March 16, 1966: The line is extended at both ends. It now runs between Nakano and Takebashi.
  • April 28, 1966: Through service to the Chūō Line of JNR commences as far as Ogikubo.
  • October 1, 1966: Takebashi to Ōtemachi section opens.
  • September 14, 1967: Ōtemachi to Tōyōchō section opens.
  • March 29, 1969: Tōyōchō to Nishi-Funabashi section opens and Rapid service begins (non-stop between Tōyōchō and Nishi-Funabashi).
  • April 8, 1969: Through service on the Chūō Line is extended to Mitaka, and through service begins on the Sōbu line to Tsudanuma.
  • April 8, 1972: Through service on the Sōbu Line is withdrawn except during rush hours.
  • 1975: Another type of Rapid service is introduced, calling at Urayasu between Tōyōchō and Nishi-Funabashi.
  • October 1, 1979: Nishi-Kasai station opens.
  • March 27, 1981: Minami-Gyōtoku station opens.
  • 1986: Commuter Rapid service is introduced, running non-stop between Urayasu and Nishi-Funabashi.
  • (April 1, 1987: JNR is privatised. The Chūō and Sōbu lines become the property of JR East.)
  • (March 20, 1995: The Tokyo subway Sarin gas attack occurred on the Chiyoda, Marunouchi, and Hibiya lines.)
  • 1996: The Rapid service that runs non-stop between Tōyōchō and Nishi-Funabashi ceases.
  • April 27, 1996: Tōyō Rapid Line opens between Nishi-Funabashi and Tōyō-Katsutadai. Through service begins.
  • January 22, 2000: Myōden station opens.
  • (April 1, 2004: Teito Rapid Transit Authority (TRTA or Eidan) becomes Tokyo Metro.)
  • November 20, 2006: Women-only cars are introduced during morning rush hours.


This is the first Tokyo Metro line on which Rapid trains run (Three types of Rapid trains skip some stations east of Tōyōchō); The Fukutoshin Line began services on June 14, 2008 and also features express services.

The Tōzai Line features inter-running with JR East at Nakano over the Chūō Main Line west to Mitaka; at Nishi-Funabashi over the Tōyō Rapid Railway to Tōyō Katsutadai all day; and over the Sōbu Main Line to Tsudanuma in the morning and evening peaks.


The Tōzai Line was planned by a review committee of the then Ministry of Transportation in 1962 and numbered Line 5. Its name literally means "East-West Line," and it was primarily planned to relieve traffic on the busy Sōbu Main Line as well as provide a straight crosstown connection through north-central Tokyo. Although this corridor is now served by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei) Shinjuku Line and JR Keiyō Line as well, the Tōzai Line continues to operate beyond capacity due to its accessibility to other lines, as well as to growing condominium developments in eastern Tokyo.

The Takadanobaba to Kudanshita section opened in 1964, and the remainder opened in stages until its completion in 1969. Through service with the then Japan National Railways began in 1969 connecting the Chūō and Sōbu lines.

The Tōyō Rapid Railway Line, effectively an eastward extension of the line, opened in 1996.


The Tōzai Line is currently the only subway line in Tokyo that has at least one direct connection to every other subway line. The Fukutoshin Line, crosses the Tōzai Line, but doesn't have a direct connection to it.

  • ▲: Tōyō Rapid, Rapid and Commuter Rapid trains pass
  • ■: Tōyō Rapid and Rapid trains pass
Station Distance (km) Transfers Location
T-01 Nakano 0.0 Nakano Tokyo
T-02 Ochiai 2.0   Shinjuku
T-03 Takadanobaba 3.9
T-04 Waseda 5.6 Toden: Arakawa Line (1 km walk)
T-05 Kagurazaka 6.8  
T-06 Iidabashi 8.0
T-07 Kudanshita 8.7 Chiyoda
T-08 Takebashi 9.7  
T-09 Ōtemachi 10.7

At Tokyo Station for JR lines

T-10 Nihombashi 11.5 Chūō
T-11 Kayabachō 12.0 Tokyo Metro: Hibiya Line (H-12)
T-12 Monzen-Nakachō 13.8 Toei: Ōedo Line (E-15) Kōtō
T-13 Kiba 14.9  
T-14 Tōyōchō 15.8  
T-15■ Minami-Sunamachi 17.0  
T-16■ Nishi-Kasai 19.7   Edogawa
T-17■ Kasai 20.9  
T-18 Urayasu 22.8   Urayasu Chiba Prefecture
T-19▲ Minami-Gyōtoku 24.0   Ichikawa
T-20▲ Gyōtoku 25.5  
T-21▲ Myōden 26.8  
T-22▲ Baraki-nakayama 28.9   Funabashi
T-23 Nishi-Funabashi 30.8

At Keisei-Nishifuna

Rolling stock



Tōzai Line trains are 20 m long 10-car formations, with four doors per side and longitudinal seating. The maximum operating speed is 100 km/h.


  • Tokyo Metro
  • JR East
    • 301 series
    • 103-1200 series
  • Tōyō Rapid

Train depots

05N series EMU at Fukagawa Workshop
  • Fukagawa depot (深川検車区)
  • Gyōtoku depot (行徳検車区)
  • Fukagawa workshop (深川工場)


  • Shaw, Dennis and Morioka, Hisashi, "Tokyo Subways", published 1992 by Hoikusha Publishing
  1. ^ "主要路線の混雑率". Retrieved on 7 October 2008. (Japanese)
  2. ^ Metropolis, "Commute", June 12, 2009, p. 07. Capacity is defined as all passengers having a seat or a strap or door railing to hold on to.

External links

Simple English

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