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Ishihara opens Tokyo's newest subway line

21 Comments
By Taro Fujimoto

Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara on Friday officiated at an opening ceremony for the Tokyo Metro 's new Fukutoshin line at Shinjuku-sanchome station, taking the opportunity to promote the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics.

Ishihara said, “Compared to the other four Olympic candidate cities, Tokyo's transport system has the highest profile in the world for its functionality and punctuality. The new subway line will satisfy not only people living in the Tokyo area but also foreign visitors.”

Ishihara stressed the new line will help bring shoppers to Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya as well as reduce traffic congestion.

More than 120 national and local politicians and 500 media and other guests attended the ceremony. The Fukutoshin line will officially start operating for the public on Saturday. It will travel 8.9 kilometers from Ikebukuro to Shibuya, with six stations in between.

The line will connect to the Tobu Tojo line via Wakoshi, and the Seibu Yurakucho and Ikebukuro lines via Kitake-mukaihara. Through service is planned with the Tokyu Toyoko line at Shibuya for 2012, completing a broad rail network linking southwestern Saitama with central Tokyo and Yokohama.

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21 Comments
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Go Ishihara go. Or something along those lines.

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'Now if we could only build a subway that goes back in time to the glory days of the Empire...'

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Yeh, great. But all the posters promoting this new line in the Metro stations are just in Japanese -- including the stops. So, this wonderful Olympic city with the most "functional and punctual" transport system, once again displayed that it has no sense when becoming tourist friendly.

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Learn Japanese?

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Ikebukuro to Shibuya?? What is that, like an hour's walk? Besides, isn't it easy enough to get from one place to another with the JR? It's on the same Yamanote line afterall.

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jerseyboy said, "Yeh, great. But all the posters promoting this new line in the Metro stations are just in Japanese -- including the stops. So, this wonderful Olympic city with the most "functional and punctual" transport system, once again displayed that it has no sense when becoming tourist friendly."

Altria said, "Learn Japanese?"

Ishihara said, “The new subway line will satisfy not only people living in the Tokyo area but also foreign visitors.”

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Ishihara dropped the 'Olympic' word in when making his speech at the ceremony. So I wonder if this was constructed for the Tokyo public or constructed for the Olympic bid ?

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tourists are not in a rush, they like to y'know...walk. How much shopping does he expect exactly? Anyway that's not the point, he wanted to mention Tokyo's Olympic

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Gotta admit, it is a pretty pointless line...if you're riding to Shibuya on the Seibu or Yurakucho lines, it's still just as quick to transfer to JR at Ikebukuro.

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Sounds like a waste of money to me...

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help bring shoppers to Ikebukuro, Shinjuku and Shibuya

Yes, they were on the verge of becoming ghost towns . . .

Now there's a pricier underground alternative to the Yamanote Line. Worth all those years of Meiji Dori clogged up because of the construction.

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zanza123

I sincerely doubt your average person can walk from Ikebukuro to Shibuya in an hour. Besides, why in the world would they want to? The biggest draw for this line is the fact that shoppers from all over (particularly the Saitama Suburbs) can now access the best department stores, like Takashimaya, Isetan, Seibu, Tobu) without changing lines or having to walk outside at any of the stops. This is especially true in Ikebukuro where shoppers used to have to walk a distance from the JR station to any of the big depatos but can now get off this new subway and walk directly into the department store entrances, buy what they came for, and get right back on the subway.

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I just can't believe the photographer caught Mayor Blinky with his eyes open!

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The other thing it is meant to join up with the Tokyu Toyoko (I think that is the name) line that goes to Yokohama in the future. This will make the trip to Yokohama from Saitama and Ikebukuro much more convenient.

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this still hasn't fixed the problem of getting to Nishi Azabu. place is still very isolated :(.

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I don't think its a pointless line, its designed to offer better convience especially for those who live out north or south, reduce transfers with direct through service trains via different companies, and reduce some congestion on the JR lines. Why transfer at Ikebukuro to JR, when you could just ride the whole way down without ever changing trains? The Toyoko Line in 2012 is moving underground from its current position (above ground), pretty much smoothing the way all the way down to Yokohama, Toyoko Line+Minato Mirai line without ever needing to change trains.

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If you live in Shiki in Saitama and you're going to Shib/Shin it makes the trip a lot easier, changing in Ikebukuro is a real drag.

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I wonder if he said 'gaiKOKUjin' when referring to the incoming foreign tourists

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lipscombe,

Good question, I believe the term he used was "nanbanjin" (南蛮人).

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I agree with badge123. Have any of you wondered why there are 4 lines connecting Yokohama to Shinagawa (Keikyuu and Tokaido, Yokosuka, Keihin-Tohoku on JR)? And why ALL four of them are always jam packed during the rush hours? Sometimes, having one railway line connecting two locations just isn't enough in Japan. And changing trains at any of the large stations like Shibuya and Shinjuku can be a real pain.

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The new subway line will satisfy not only people living in the Tokyo area but also foreign visitors.

Since when does ishihara care about foreigners?

Ah, visitors .. as in those who will spend money and then leave. Sorry, got it!

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