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)
Yarn Tokyo Subway Map
Created by long-time Transit Maps follower, Zac Landis, this is exactly the sort of thing a transit nerd should do with a blank wall. Using just yarn and push-pins, Zac has recreated the Tokyo subway map in all its complexity. Looks great, and (only) took him 15 or so hours to do. Love it!
(Source: Zac Landis/Flickr)
Turn on the Bright Lights…
Still in Tokyo, but can I just say how much I adore this wayfinding system? Bright and attractive floor-to-ceiling illuminated signs with simple, easy-to-understand iconography and impossible to miss directional arrows (note how they’re located above head height, so they’re always visible, even in a crowd). And there’s a nice big locality map, too! Stuff like this makes a transit system fun and pleasant to use, but its worth often seems to be underestimated.
Simply lovely photo. Although… is that a Mickey Mouse pattern on her kimono?
Historical Map: Tokyo by Richard Saul Wurman, 1984
Thanks to Twitter follower @chrishelenius for bringing this amazing map by Richard Saul Wurman (founder of the TED Conference amongst other things) to my attention. In the course of research for this post, I also discovered that Mr. Wurman was responsible for these beautiful maps of Philadelphia from the book Man-Made Philadelphia: still the most-visited post on Transit Maps by far.
But onto the map itself.
Firstly, this is not a map of the Tokyo subway, as many commentaries that I have come across state. It actually shows two lines of the JR East rapid transit network that very cleverly help to define “Tokyo”: the circular loop Yamanote Line, and the cross-town Chūō-Sōbu Line. The stations along the Yamanote Line all have points of interest listed, while the Imperial Palace complex is shown for reference within the circle.
Secondly, this is beautiful. Abstracted, clarified, simplified information. Five stars.