"Discover Japan" Map of Japanese Rail Routes, May 2012
A handsome diagrammatic map of rail services throughout Japan, this one from an issue of the “Discover Japan” magazine (Vol. 21, Issue 4) that seemed to deal mainly with seeing Japan by train.
Without the benefit of a translation for the map’s legend, I’d guess that the thick green lines are Shinkansen lines, blue ones are regional trains and brown lines are local/other services (Update: @suldrew has let me know that it’s Green = Shinkansen, Blue = JR Rail routes, Brown = Other non-JR Rail routes).
Some of the route lines are a little unnecessarily wiggly for my liking, but there’s no doubt that this is a very accomplished piece of map design. Cleverly implemented insets for the greater Tokyo area and other islands make very effective use of the space on the page. I also really like the subtle wave pattern in the ocean/sea areas of the map, and the adorable little icon representing Mount Fuji.
Related: This isometric map of JR West rail services, one of my favourite transit maps ever!
Tokyo Metro: Trains of the Passnet Companies Collectible Farecard
Not a transit map, but too darn cute to not share with you.
From the same series of collectible Passnet cards as this nifty Tokyo Metro map, this card shows an adorably stylised train for each of the (22!) rail companies that participated in the Passnet program.
(Source: Rob Ketcherside/Flickr)
Historical Map: Tokyo Metro Map on a Passnet Fare Card, 2005
Certainly solves the problem of having to read a map over someone’s shoulder on a crowded train (or resorting to wearing one on your tie).
Passnet was a magnetic-stripe fare card in use in the Kanto region from 2000 to 2008: it’s since been replaced by the contactless Pasmo card.
(Source: Rob Ketcherside/Flickr)
Infographic: Circle Loop Lines of the World by Matthew Lew
Very aesthetically appealing infographic that compares 18 circle railway lines from around the world. The top part of the graphic displays the lines in a schematic fashion, representing each by its average diameter. The stations that comprise each line are then simply spaced evenly around the circumference to create a very striking pattern. Stations that interchange with other lines are represented by placing a small white dot in the centre of a station’s marker.
Below, information about each line — the number of stations, number of interchanges with other lines, the line’s length and radius, etc. — is displayed, along with a list of all the stations that make up each line. The colour-coding of the lines is designed to create a pleasing visual effect —working its way in order through the colour spectrum — rather than using each line’s “traditional” colour from their respective maps. While this is an understandable design choice, it’s still a little weird to see London’s Circle Line represented by a lovely shade of lime green.
For those who can’t quite make it out, the Circle lines represented (in ascending order of diameter) are:
Overall, this graphic looks great and provides an interesting, easily digestible, comparison between all these loop railroads. It would be interesting to see a version that plotted the actual routes and stations accurately against each other, rather than this heavily stylised view.
(Source: Matthew Lew’s Behance portfolio)
A lovely little slice of Tokyo life, complete with a very compact but informative strip map for the Yamanote Line: current station, connecting services (both in two languages), and estimated time to other stations on the line. It’s basically the analogue version of the digital map that’s on the trains themselves, as seen in this post.
Lost in Tokyo
Love this photo!
(Source: mark justin harvey/Flickr)
Keio Railway Map Bath Towel
Submitted by Jeffery Bridgman, who says:
A bath towel with the different services (different types of local/express trains) that run on the Keio lines in Tokyo. Hilarious!
Transit Maps says:
Oh, those crazy Japanese! Still, one can’t help but think that Douglas Adams — whose 61st birthday would have been two days ago — would have approved. Because, after all, a towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Especially one with a railway map on it.
Official Maps: In-Car Strip Maps for Loop or Circle Lines
An anonymous follower asks: “Do you have any examples of a line map for a loop/circle line? I’m curious as to how those are implemented.”
Transit Maps says:
Generally, a strip map for a loop or circle line follows much the same principles as a usual one, although the available space may have to be used a little more creatively in order to fit things in. Above are a few interesting examples.
London’s Circle Line: With recent additions, this line is no longer a true loop — for which the travelling public is sincerely thankful, as any problems on the Circle used to impact the District and Hammersmith & City lines terribly, throwing much of the Underground into chaos. From the picture above, it can be seen that the Circle Line’s strip map utilises a much deeper space above the doors than many Underground strip maps do. Often, they run in a single, shallow line above the windows of the carriage. The other lines that share track with the Circle Line are also shown, but not lines that cross it: these are shown as standard interchanges instead.
Chicago’s Orange Line: This line runs around Chicago’s central Loop and returns back the way it came. The map handles things in a pretty straightforward way, although, interestingly, the thickness of the route line halves while it’s going around the loop. The direction of travel around the loop is clearly indicated with arrows.
Tokyo’s Yamanote Line: Of course, the Japanese use technology to display information about their famous circle line! Each car on the Yamanote Line has LCD displays that indicate the current station (the red box), as well as the estimated time to the next few stations. The display alternates between Japanese and English information.
Glasgow Subway: Well, the whole subway is a loop — earning the system the nickname “The Clockwork Orange” — so all their maps look like this. Despite the inner and outer loops travelling in opposite directions, this map neglects to point out which one goes where!
Hand Drawn-Map of Japanese Rail System by Wyton Chu
Okay, this is nothing short of amazing.
Drawing a complex transit system map is hard enough, even with computers and the precise drawing/drafting tools they offer. To draw something like this by hand and have it look so clean and accurate beggars belief. Love love love.
Click through to view a whole set of images of this remarkable piece on Flickr.
On Our Way to Asakusa
Here’s a dreamy shallow depth of field photo from Tokyo’s Ginza Line. Yum.
(Source: Eric Flexyourhead/Flickr)