Osaka Metro

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Osaka Metro
Top: 21 series and 30000 series trains on the Midōsuji Line. Bottom: A 400 series train on the Chuo Line.
Top: 21 series and 30000 series trains on the Midōsuji Line.
Bottom: A 400 series train on the Chuo Line.
Native name大阪メトロ[a]
OwnerOsaka Municipal Government through Osaka Metro Co., Ltd
LocaleKeihanshin region, Japan
Transit typeTram[1] and rail[b] (de jure)
Metro; AGT (de facto)
Number of lines8 (+ 1 People Mover)
Number of stations123[2]
133 (incl. People Mover)[2]
Daily ridership2,464,000 (FY2013)[3]
Began operation20 May 1933; 90 years ago (1933-05-20)
Operator(s)Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau (1933–March 31, 2018)
Osaka Metro Co. (April 1, 2018–present; 100% owned by the Osaka Municipal Government)
System length129.9 km (80.7 mi)[2]
137.8 km (85.6 mi) (incl.
People Mover)[2]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC third rail
1,500 V DC overhead catenary (Sakaisuji, Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi and Imazatosuji lines)
600 V 3-phase AC 60 Hz third rail (Nankō Port Town Line)
Top speed70 km/h (43 mph)
System map

The Osaka Metro (大阪メトロ[a], Ōsaka Metoro) is a major rapid transit system in the Osaka Metropolitan Area of Japan, operated by the Osaka Metro Company, Ltd. It serves the city of Osaka and the adjacent municipalities of Higashiosaka, Kadoma, Moriguchi, Sakai, Suita, and Yao. Osaka Metro forms an integral part of the extensive mass transit system of Greater Osaka (part of the Kansai region), having 123[2] out of the 1,108 rail stations (2007) in the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto region.[4] In 2010, the greater Osaka region had 13 million rail passengers daily (see Transport in Keihanshin) of which the Osaka Municipal Subway (as it was then known) accounted for 2.29 million.[5]

Osaka Metro is the only subway system in Japan to be partially legally classified as a tram system,[b] whereas all other subway systems in Japan are legally classified as railways. Despite this, it has characteristics typical of a full-fledged metro system.[1]


The network's first service, the Midōsuji Line from Umeda to Shinsaibashi, opened in 1933.[6] As a north–south trunk route, it is the oldest and busiest line in the whole network.[7][8][2] Both it and the main east–west route, the Chūō Line, were later extended to the north and east, respectively. These extensions are owned by other railway companies, but both Osaka Metro and these private operators run their own set of trains through between the two sections.

All but one of the remaining lines of the network, including the Yotsubashi Line, Tanimachi Line, and Sennichimae Line, are completely independent lines with no through services. The lone exception is the Sakaisuji Line, which operates through trains to existing Hankyu Railway lines and is the only line to operate through services to existing railway lines that are not isolated from the national rail network (which is the case with the Midōsuji and Chūō Lines). As such, it is not compatible with the rest of the lines.

Nearly all stations have a letter number combination, the letter identifying the line served by the station and the number indicating the relative location of the station on the line. For example, Higobashi Station on the Yotsubashi Line is also known as Y12. This combination is heard in bilingual Japanese-English automated next-station announcements on board all trains, which also provide information on local businesses near the station. Only Hankyu stations served by the Sakaisuji Line do not follow this convention.


Osaka Metro Co., Ltd
Osaka Metro
Native name
Ōsaka-shi Kōsoku Denki Kidō kabushiki gaisha
lit. "Osaka Municipal Rapid Electric Tramway Share Company"
Company typePrivate (Municipally owned kabushiki gaisha)
PredecessorOsaka Municipal Transportation Bureau
FoundedJune 1, 2017; 6 years ago (2017-06-01) (incorporation)
April 1, 2018; 6 years ago (2018-04-01) (effective corporatization of Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau)
FounderOsaka Municipal Government
Area served
OwnerOsaka Municipal Government (100%)
Number of employees
4,936 (2019)
SubsidiariesOsaka City Bus Corporation

The network is operated by a municipally owned stock company trading as the Osaka Metro Company, Ltd.[c] The Osaka Metro Co. is the direct legal successor to the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau, which operated the subway as the Osaka Municipal Subway[d]; under the Bureau's management, the subway was the oldest publicly operated subway network in Japan, having begun operations in 1933. A proposal to corporatize the Osaka subway was sent to the city government in February 2013 and was given final approval in 2017. The rationale behind corporatization is that it would bring private investors to Osaka and could help revive Osaka's economy. The Osaka Metro Co. was incorporated on June 1, 2017, and took over operations on April 1, 2018.

The Osaka Metro Co. also operates all city buses in Osaka, through its majority-owned subsidiary, the Osaka City Bus Corporation.


"moving M"

Osaka Metro stations are denoted by the Osaka Metro Co.'s corporate logo, a white-on-dark-blue icon placed at ground-level entrances, depicting an "M" (for "Metro") based on a coiled ribbon, which would form an "O" (for "Osaka") when viewed from the side (this symbol is officially called the "moving M"), with the "Osaka Metro" wordmark set in the Gotham typeface. "Osaka Metro" (in Latin characters) is the official branding in Japanese, and is always represented as such in official media. (News outlets have been seen to use 大阪メトロ, presumably to better flow with article text.) Individual lines are represented by a public-facing name (e.g. “Midōsuji Line” for Rapid Electric Tramway Line No. 1) and a specific color, as well as a single Latin letter, which is paired with a different number at each station for easy identification (see below). Icons for each line (featured in station wayfinding signage) are represented by a solid roundel in the line color, superimposed with the line's letter-designation in the Parisine typeface.

Former logos used by Osaka Metro predecessor (Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau)
Mio-den (still used in rolling stock exteriors and staff uniforms and retained by Osaka Metro as its monsho corporate emblem)
Maruko used from 1933 to 2020

An older branding (also used on the original tram network run by the city until 1969) is the "Mio-Den" mark, which depicts an old-fashioned depth-marker, (澪標, mio-tsukushi), the logo for Osaka City, over the kanji for electricity (, den), short for “electric train” (電車, densha). This mark is still present on newer trainsets and staff uniforms as Osaka Metro retained it as its monsho, as well as a connection to the subway network's roots.

When it was run by the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau, the subway used a logo known as the “Circle-Ko” (マルコ, Maru-Ko) symbol, which is a katakana “ko” () for “Urban rail transit” (高速鉄道, kōsoku tetsudō) superimposed over a circular capital “O” for “Osaka” (see infobox, above). This remained on many older trainsets and at stations, until it was completely replaced by the Osaka Metro logo by 2020.


Currently, there are eight lines, operating on 129.9 kilometers (80.7 mi) of track and serving 123 stations; there is also a 7.9-kilometer (4.9 mi)-long, 10-station automated people mover line known as the "New Tram".[2]

Mark Line
Name Japanese Opened Last extension Length[2] Stations[2] Train


Red align="center" Via trackage rights Kitakyū Namboku Line 北大阪急行電鉄 1970 2024 8.4 km (5.2 mi) 6[Note 1] 10 cars
Line 1 Midōsuji Line 御堂筋線 1933 1987 24.5 km (15.2 mi) 20
Purple align="center" Line 2 Tanimachi Line 谷町線 1967 1983 28.1 km (17.5 mi) 26 6 cars
Blue align="center" Line 3 Yotsubashi Line 四つ橋線 1942 1972 11.4 km (7.1 mi) 11 6 cars
Green align="center" Line 4 Chūō Line (Yumehanna) 中央線 1997[Note 2] 2024[Note 3] 2.4 km (1.5 mi) 1[Note 4] 6 cars
1961[Note 5] 1985 15.5 km (9.6 mi) 13
C Via trackage rights Keihanna Line (Yumehanna) 近鉄けいはんな線 1986 2006 18.8 km (11.7 mi) 8[Note 6]
Pink align="center" Line 5 Sennichimae Line 千日前線 1969 1981 12.6 km (7.8 mi) 14 4 cars
Brown align="center" Via trackage rights Hankyu Senri Line 阪急千里線 1969 13.6 km (8.5 mi) 11[Note 7] 8 cars[Note 8]
Hankyu Kyoto Main Line 阪急京都本線 1969[Note 9] 41.1 km (25.5 mi) 22[Note 10]
align="center" Line 6 Sakaisuji Line 堺筋線 1969 1993 8.5 km (5.3 mi) 10 8 cars
Lime align="center" Line 7 Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line 長堀鶴見緑地線 1990[9] 1997[9] 15.0 km (9.3 mi) 17 4 cars
Orange align="center" Line 8 Imazatosuji Line 今里筋線 2006 11.9 km (7.4 mi) 11 4 cars
TOTAL Total Length Total Stations
TOTAL (Subway only – not incl. trackage rights portions): 129.9 km (80.7 mi) 123
Subway incl. Kitakyu and Keihanna trackage rights portions): 154.6 km (96.1 mi) 133
Automated people mover
New Tram Nankō Port Town Line 南港ポートタウン線 1997[Note 11] 0.7 km (0.43 mi) 1[Note 12] 4 cars
1981[Note 13] 2005 7.2 km (4.5 mi) 9
TOTAL (Subway, incl. People Mover): 137.8 km (85.6 mi)[2] 133[2]
Table notes
  1. ^ Including Esaka Station
  2. ^ Owned by Osaka Port Transport System between Cosmosquare Station and Ōsakakō Station
  3. ^ One-station extension to Yumeshima, in preparation for Expo 2025
  4. ^ Including Ōsakakō Station
  5. ^ Between Ōsakakō Station and Nagata Station
  6. ^ Including Nagata Station
  7. ^ Including Tenjimbashisuji Rokuchōme Station
  8. ^ All through trains onto the Sakaisuji Line are 8 car trains. Trains on the Hankyu lines terminating at Hankyu Umeda can be 7 or 8 cars.
  9. ^ Between Awaji Station and Kawaramachi Station
  10. ^ Including Awaji Station
  11. ^ Owned by Osaka Port Transport System between Cosmosquare Station and Trade Center-mae Station
  12. ^ Including Trade Center-mae Station
  13. ^ Between Trade Center-mae Station and Suminoekoen Station

Planned line and extensions[edit]

In addition, there are five line extensions and one entirely new line that are planned. However, on August 28, 2014, the Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau met about creating the extensions of the later five of the six lines listed below, and have stated considering the current cost of the new extensions (and the possibly of privatization at the time), the government has also considered using light rail transit or bus rapid transit instead.[10] Osaka Metro is now experimenting with bus rapid transit on the route of the Imazatosuji Line extension, with “Imazato Liner” service between Imazato and Yuzato-Rokuchōme slated to begin in April 2019.

With Osaka being the host of Expo 2025, there are also plans to extend the Chuo Line northwest onto Yumeshima (the event's planned site), with a terminus on Sakura-jima north of Universal Studios Japan. Provisions were put in place for such an extension when the existing road tunnel between Cosmosquare and Yumeshima was built, but the current state of the artificial island (with only industrial facilities and a single convenience store for the workers) meant it would have been unlikely to proceed had Osaka not won the bid.

Mark Line
Name Start Terminus Length
  align="center" Line 3 Yotsubashi Line Nishi-Umeda Jūsō, later towards Shin-Ōsaka 2.9 km (1.8 mi) (to Jūsō)
  align="center" Line 4 Chūō Line Cosmosquare Yumeshima 3.2 km (2.0 mi)
Morinomiya Morinomiya Depot 0.8 km (0.50 mi)
  align="center" Line 5 Sennichimae Line Minami-Tatsumi towards Mito (TBD)
  align="center" Line 7 Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line Taishō Tsurumachi Yonchōme (vicinity) 5.5 km (3.4 mi)
  align="center" Line 8 Imazatosuji Line Imazato Yuzato Rokuchōme 6.7 km (4.2 mi)
(TBD) - Line 9 Shikitsu–Nagayoshi Line (provisional) Suminoekōen Kire-Uriwari 6.9 km (4.3 mi)

Technology and rolling stock[edit]

Osaka Municipal Subway rolling stock use two types of propulsion systems. The vast majority of lines use trains with conventional electric motors, but the two newest lines, the Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line and Imazatosuji Line, use linear motor-powered trains, which allow them to use smaller trains and tunnels, reducing construction costs. These two lines have half-height automatic platform gates installed at all station platforms, as does the Sennichimae Line, the Midosuji Line, and the Sakaisuji Line.[11][12]

Also, unlike most other rapid transit networks in Japan (but like the preceding Tokyo Metro Ginza Line [the only rapid transit line in Asia at the time], and the subsequent Marunouchi line, the early lines in Nagoya and the Blue line in Yokohama), most Osaka subway lines use a third rail electrification system for trains. Only three lines use overhead catenary: the Sakaisuji Line, to accommodate through services on Hankyu trackage; and the linear-motor Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi and Imazatosuji Lines. Also unusually, all lines use standard gauge; there are no narrow gauge sections of track due to the network being almost entirely self-enclosed (although Kyoto and Kobe also have entirely standard gauge metros with through services to private railways).

Conventional motored[edit]

Linear motored[edit]


Ticket machines and fare maps at Shinsaibashi Station

Osaka Metro charges five types of fares for single rides, based on the distance traveled in each journey.[13] Some discount fares exist.

Rates (in yen)[13]
Adult Child
1–3 km ¥190 0¥100
4–7 km ¥240 ¥120
8–13 km ¥290 ¥150
14–19 km ¥340 ¥170
20–25 km ¥390 ¥200


On April 8, 1970, a gas explosion occurred during the construction of the Tanimachi Line at Tenjimbashisuji Rokuchōme Station, killing 79 people and injuring 420.[14][15] The gas leaked out from a detached joint and filled the tunnel and exploded, creating a fire column over 10 metres (33 ft) tall and destroying 495 houses and buildings.[16]

Network map[edit]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b The official name of the network in Japanese is still written as Osaka Metro (in English).
  2. ^ a b The Osaka Metro Company de jure operates transit that is subject to both the Tram Act and Railway Business Act.
  3. ^ in Japanese: Ōsaka-shi Kōsoku Denki Kidō kabushiki gaisha (大阪市高速電気軌道株式会社, lit. "Osaka Municipal Rapid Electric Tramway Share Company"). The "rapid electric tramway" (高速電気軌道, kōsoku denki kidō) part is used due to the fact that Osaka Metro lines are officially named "Rapid Electric Tramway Line No. X" (with X referring to the line number); see individual line articles for example
  4. ^ 大阪市営地下鉄, Ōsaka-shiei chikatetsu


  1. ^ a b Kokudo Kōtsū Shō Tetsudō Kyoku (2005). Tetsudō Yōran (Heisei 17 Nendo) (in Japanese). Tokyo: Denkisha Kenkyūkai. p. 228. ISBN 4-88548-106-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k 営業線の概要 [Overview of operating lines] (in Japanese). 大阪市営交通局 [Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau]. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "交通局の予算・決算について" [For budget and balance sheet of Transportation Bureau] (in Japanese). 大阪市営交通局 [Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau]. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  4. ^ MiSoL ASP会員サービス・アプリケーション概要 Archived 2007-10-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2011-10-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "公営地下鉄在籍車数ビッグ3 大阪市交通局 (One of the big three public subway operators: Osaka Municipal Subway)". Japan Railfan Magazine. Vol. 49, no. 576. April 2009. pp. 88–99.
  7. ^ Rogers, Krista. "The most crowded train lines during rush hour in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya are…". Rocket News 24. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  8. ^ 大阪府内で働く人の通勤時間は「52分」――理想の路線は?. (in Japanese). September 9, 2014. Archived from the original on September 7, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Subway 2018, p. 44.
  10. ^ 地下鉄4線延伸「採算厳しい」 有識者審議会. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). August 29, 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Osaka subway's Sennichimae Line to have platform screen doors installed in every station Chinese translation to follow". Asian Public Transport. February 13, 2014. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  12. ^ "【堺筋線】日本橋駅にホームドア設置開始 |". (in Japanese). 2022-08-14. Retrieved 2024-03-20.
  13. ^ a b "Tickets". Osaka Metro. Retrieved December 16, 2023.
  14. ^ 市会のあゆみ. Osaka City Council Website (in Japanese). Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  15. ^ Pulvers, Roger (November 4, 2012). "Beware the parallels between boom-time Japan and present-day China". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
  16. ^ "Gas Explosion at a Subway Construction Site". Failure Knowledge Center. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2014.


External links[edit]