Tokyo Metro Tozai Line

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Tokyo Metro Tozai Line
A Tozai Line 15000 series train
Other name(s)T
Native name東京メトロ東西線
OwnerThe logo of the Tokyo Metro. Tokyo Metro
Line number5
LocaleTokyo, Chiba prefectures
Color on map     Sky blue (#009BBF)
SystemTokyo subway
Operator(s)Tokyo Metro
Depot(s)Fukagawa, Gyōtoku
Rolling stockTokyo Metro 05/05N series
Tokyo Metro 07 series
Tokyo Metro 15000 series
Tōyō Rapid 2000 series
JR East E231-800 series
Daily ridership1,642,378 (2017)[1]
Opened23 December 1964; 59 years ago (1964-12-23)
Line length30.8 km (19.1 mi)
Number of tracksDouble-track
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Minimum radius200 m (660 ft)
Electrification1,500 V DC (overhead line)
Operating speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Train protection systemNew CS-ATC
Maximum incline4.0%
Route map

Ōshima River
Kawanishi tributary
Main Line
Fukagawa Depot
and workshop
Shiohama Canal
JR Freight Sōbu Main Line
Etchūjima Freight Branch
Arakawa-Nakagawa Bridge
Naka River
Gyōtoku Depot

Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line train pulling into Waseda Station in 2015

The Tokyo Metro Tozai Line (東京メトロ東西線, Tōkyō Metoro Tōzai-sen) is a rapid transit line in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, Japan, owned and operated by Tokyo Metro. Its name translates to "East-West Line". The line runs between Nakano in Nakano-ku, Tokyo and Nishi-Funabashi in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture. The Tōzai Line was referred to as Line 5 during the planning stages; the seldom-used official name is Line 5 Tōzai Line (5号線東西線, Go-gō-sen Tōzai-sen). The line carries an average of 1,642,378 passengers daily (2017), making it the busiest line on the Tokyo Metro network.[1] On maps, diagrams and signboards, the Tōzai Line is shown using the color "sky blue" and its stations are given numbers using the letter "T".


The line runs through central Tokyo from east to west via Takadanobaba, Waseda, Ōtemachi, Nihombashi, Kiba and Urayasu. It was opened as a bypass route for the Chuo Rapid Line and the Sobu Line, which had been incredibly congested at the time. It is the only Tokyo Metro line to extend into Chiba Prefecture (although the Shinjuku Line operated by Toei also extends into Chiba Prefecture.) It also runs above-ground for 14 km (8.7 mi) from Minami-Sunamachi to Nishi-Funabashi, nearly half of the line and longer than any other railway line in the Tokyo subway network.

The Tōzai Line features through services at both ends of the line. Trains run onto the JR East Chūō-Sōbu Line for Mitaka at the western (Nakano) end, and onto either the Chūō-Sōbu Line for Tsudanuma or the Tōyō Rapid Railway Line for Tōyō-Katsutadai at the eastern (Nishi-Funabashi) end.

According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation in 2018, the Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line continues to be most crowded subway line in Tokyo, and the most crowded train line in all of Japan, with its peak running at 199% capacity[a] between Kiba and Monzen-Nakachō stations.[2][3] Women-only cars were introduced on the line for use during morning rush hour on November 20, 2006.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, peak ridership dropped from a rate of 199% in 2019 to 123% in 2020.


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 also served by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei) Shinjuku Line and JR Keiyō Line, 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 Japanese National Railways (today part of the JR Group) – a first for a Tokyo subway line – began in 1969 connecting the Chūō and Sōbu lines. This is a rare situation in Tokyo, as the only other subway line with through services onto JR lines is the Chiyoda Line.

The Tōyō Rapid Railway Line, effectively an eastward extension of the line, opened in 1996. It nevertheless remains a private entity to which the Tōzai lines offers through services.


  • 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.)
  • 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.[4]
  • November 20, 2006: Women-only cars are introduced during morning rush hours.


The Tōzai Line was the first Tokyo Metro line on which express services run: two types of rapid trains skip some stations east of Toyocho. The Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line began services on June 14, 2008, and also features express services.

Through services to Mitaka via the JR East Chūō Line and Tōyō-Katsutadai via the Tōyō Rapid Railway run all day. During the morning and evening peak periods, through services run to Tsudanuma via the JR East Sōbu Line.

Station list[edit]

  • Local trains stop at every station. Rapid trains stop at stations marked "●" and do not stop at those marked "|". Some weekday westbound trains do not stop at stations marked "↑".
No. Station Japanese Distance (km) Comm. Rapid Rapid Transfers Location
From Nakano
Through-services to/from Mitaka via the JB Chūō-Sōbu Line
T01 Nakano 中野[* 1] 0.0 Nakano Tokyo
T02 Ochiai 落合 2.0 2.0   Shinjuku
T03 Takadanobaba 高田馬場 1.9 3.9
T04 Waseda 早稲田 1.7 5.6 Toden Arakawa Line (Waseda)[* 2]
T05 Kagurazaka 神楽坂 1.2 6.8  
T06 Iidabashi 飯田橋 1.2 8.0 Chiyoda
T07 Kudanshita 九段下 0.7 8.7
T08 Takebashi 竹橋 1.0 9.7  
T09 Ōtemachi 大手町 1.0 10.7
T10 Nihombashi 日本橋 0.8 11.5
T11 Kayabachō 茅場町 0.5 12.0 H Hibiya Line (H-13)
T12 Monzen-Nakachō 門前仲町 1.8 13.8 E Ōedo Line (E-15) Kōtō
T13 Kiba 木場 1.1 14.9  
T14 Tōyōchō 東陽町 0.9 15.8  
T15 Minami-Sunamachi 南砂町 1.2 17.0 |  
T16 Nishi-Kasai 西葛西 2.7 19.7 |   Edogawa
T17 Kasai[5] 葛西 1.2 20.9 |  
T18 Urayasu 浦安 1.9 22.8   Urayasu Chiba
T19 Minami-Gyōtoku 南行徳 1.2 24.0 |   Ichikawa
T20 Gyōtoku 行徳 1.5 25.5 |  
T21 Myōden[5] 妙典 1.3 26.8 |  
T22 Baraki-Nakayama[5] 原木中山 2.1 28.9 |   Funabashi
T23 Nishi-Funabashi 西船橋[* 3] 1.9 30.8 * TR Tōyō Rapid Railway Line
Through-services to/from Tōyō-Katsutadai via the TR Tōyō Rapid Railway Line


Through-services to/from Tsudanuma via the JB Chūō-Sōbu Line

  1. ^ Nakano is shared by Tokyo Metro and JR East; JR East manages the station.
  2. ^ Both the Tokyo Metro and Toei stations are displayed on station maps as being distant from one another, and they are not announced as transfer points for one another.
  3. ^ Nishi-Funabashi is shared by Tokyo Metro, Tōyō Rapid Railway, and JR East; JR East and Tokyo Metro manage the station.

Rolling stock[edit]


Tōzai Line trains are 10-car formations of 20-meter (65 ft 7 in)-long cars, with four doors per side and longitudinal seating. The maximum operating speed is 100 km/h (62 mph). Newer trains feature wide doors to allow for faster boarding times.



05N series EMU at Fukagawa Workshop
Fukagawa Depot, April 2021
  • Fukagawa Depot (深川検車区)
  • Gyōtoku Depot (深川検車区行徳分室)
  • Fukagawa Workshop (深川工場)


a. ^ Crowding levels defined by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism:[6][7]

100% — Commuters have enough personal space and are able to take a seat or stand while holding onto the straps or hand rails.
150% — Commuters have enough personal space to read a newspaper.
180% — Commuters must fold newspapers to read.
200% — Commuters are pressed against each other in each compartment but can still read small magazines.
250% — Commuters are pressed against each other, unable to move.


  • Shaw, Dennis and Morioka, Hisashi, "Tokyo Subways", published 1992 by Hoikusha Publishing
  1. ^ a b Tokyo Metro station ridership in 2017 Train Media (sourced from Tokyo Metro) Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  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.
  3. ^ "Amount and a congestion rate of passengers who got on" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-09-20.
  4. ^ "「営団地下鉄」から「東京メトロ」へ" [From "Teito Rapid Transit Authority" to "Tokyo Metro"]. Tokyo Metro Online (in Japanese). 2006-07-08. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  5. ^ a b c The local train stops to let the Rapid pass at this station.
  6. ^ "混雑率の推移".
  7. ^ Kikuchi, Daisuke (6 July 2017). "Tokyo plans new effort to ease commuter hell on rush-hour trains". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017.

External links[edit]