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No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo

Most of Rapid trains have double decker Green car. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Most of Rapid trains have double decker Green car. (C) Sonic Rail Garden

Japan Railway operate Rapid trains throughout Japan. Especially lots of Rapid trains are operated in urban area, such as Greater Tokyo. In Tokyo, these trains are operated basically for commuters. But there are many operation routes. Of course you can use these trains for your exploring in surrounding Tokyo area. These trains connect Tokyo (=東京) and Shinjuku (=新宿) with Yokohama (=横浜), Kamakura (=鎌倉), Odawara (=小田原) (for Hakone (=箱根)), Utsunomiya (=宇都宮) (for Nikko (=日光)), Mito (=水戸), Narita airport (=成田空港) and even Atami (=熱海) (Izu peninsula hot springs (=伊豆半島)). These trains are fully covered by Japan Rail Pass. If you have Japan Rail Pass Green, most of Rapid trains in Greater Tokyo have double decker Green cars. You will feel same type of atmosphere in a commute train.



View Urban Rapid train network in Greater Tokyo in a larger map

There are several routing in Greater Tokyo. Tokyo, Shinjuku and Ueno are terminal stations in Tokyo. All lines connect these stations with major cities in Kanagawa pref., Saitama pref., Chiba pref., Ibaraki pref., Gunma pref., Tochigi pref, Yamanashi pref. and Shizoka pref.

Yokosuka-Sobu line

This line is operated between Chiba and Kurihama via Tokyo and Yokohama. Many trains depart and arrive at Narita Airport. Especially the train to Narita airport is called “Rapid Airport Narita” (快速エアポート成田). If you need more informations about this line, please check the post, Yokosuka-Sobu line.

Shonan-Shinjuku line

Shonan-Shijuku line connects Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Shibuya with Yokohama, Kamakura, Odawara, Omiya, Takasaki and Utsunomiya. If you stay in Shijuku, Ikebukuro or Shibuya, this line is very convenient to use. Especially if you go to Nikko via Utsunomiya, this line might be faster than Tohoku Shinkansen. If you need more informations about this line, please check the post, Shonan-Shinjuku line.

Tokaido line

This line connects Tokyo with Kawasaki, Yokohama, Kozu (for Gotenba), Odawara (for Hakone), and Atami (fro Izu Peninsula). Shinkansen does not have any stations in downtown Yokohama. Shinakansen’s station, Shin-Yokohama is a few stations away from Yokohama. This line is more convenient than Shinaksen when you go to Yokohama from Tokyo. If you need more informations about this line, please check the post, Tokaido line.

Utsunomiya line

All trains depart from Ueno and go to Utsunomiya mostly. Some of these trains depart and arrive at Koganei and a few trains are extended to operate to Kuroiso. This route is completely same as Tohoku Shinkansen. So unless you go to small city along this line, take Tohoku Shinkansen from Ueno or Tokyo. This is much faster and more comfortable.

Joban line

This line connects Ueno with some major cities in Ibaraki Pref, such as Tsuchiura, Mito.

Chuo line

This line connects Tokyo and Shinjuku with Hachioji, Takao and Otsuki. Some trains go through Fuji Kyuko line to Kawagchiko (Lake Kawaguchi in Mt. Fuji). Rapid trains on Chuo line do not have any Green cars.


These Rapid trains are operated as a commute train. Please do not expect a luxury atmosphere. The standard seats are long bench seat and some box seats. You have to expect to stand up in the train when you take this in peak hours. But if you have Japan Rail Pass Green, it is a different story. All Rapid trains except Chuo line have double decker Green car. It gives you completely different comfortability. The Green seat in Rapid trains is non reserved seat. But Rapid train is operated very frequent.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations below.


Green seat
Rapid train Rapid train Rapid train Rapid train

Ordinary seat
Rapid train Rapid train Rapid train Rapid train

Sanitary space
Rapid train Rapid train

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12 Comments to “No express surcharge! Fast, economical and convenient! Rapid service network in Greater Tokyo”

  1. Andrew says:


    I am arriving on 28 Sep at Narita. I need to travel to kyoto that night. I will return to Tokyo city on 2 Oct. I then need to go to Hitachi (Joban line, Omika station), on 3 Oct and return the same day. Then i need to go to Narita on 4 Oct to catch my flight. Will the Japan Rail Pass work for all of these train rides?


  2. Alan says:

    I will be arriving at Haneda airport next saturday 9th August 2014 from the UK ,i would like to know the easiest way to reach Sakuragicho station . I will be getting a 7 day JR pass at the airport on arrival. Many thanks for any help you can provide.

  3. SCho says:

    Dear Takeshi,

    I have a question which i hope you can help me, it has been confusing me searching online.
    I arrive into Toyko Narita International airport on the 28th at 530pm (Most likely 7pm by the time we get out of the airport), and need to get to Nagasaki before the morning of 29th for a wedding.
    What is the best and easiest way to get there?

    Then from Nagasaki, we plan to make our way back to Tokyo slowly seeing the sights of Japan via Osaka and Kyoto.

    One question can we do this using only JP rail?

    Many thanks for your help in advance.


    • JPRail says:

      Hi SCho,

      You have to take the domestic flight next morning. There are several flight that depart in early morning from Haneda.

      As I saw the link above, the last flight to Nagasaki departs at 19:05. Haneda is 2 hours away from Narita. So you need to stay in Tokyo on arrival day and take a domestic flight on next morning. Ask your travel agent about domestic flight ticket. Otherwise access flight company’s website and book it by yourself. I have no idea about deals of flight.

      Regarding the last question, do you mean you want to use JR Pass? If so, you can use it. If you complete from Nagasaki to Tokyo via Osaka and Kyoto in 7 days, 7 days pass will work. 14 days pass is more expensive than single ticket.


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Gunawan Hidajat says:

    My point is if I had the JR Kanto Area Pass 3 days ago from Tokyo to Yokohama to Odawara using Tokaido line with the Shonan Train, if I can use the train or have to use other train JR?, Thanks

    • JPRail says:

      It is covered by the pass, Gunawan. Only Tokaido Shinkansen is not covered. Shonan train or any trains on Tokaido line is covered.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  5. Mary Blyth says:

    Does the Keikyu Main Line Rapid Ltd Express leave from Yokohama or Shin-Yokohama to Asakusa.

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