All About Japan

3 Ways to Ride High Above Tokyo

| Transportation , Trains

Once thought to be the forefront of technology, monorails have been around since 1820. While they once looked to be a vision from the future, they slowly fell by the wayside, their massive rails making connection and track switching inefficient. Tokyo is still home to several such wonders, allowing you to explore the city above the busy streets.

3. Tama Monorail

The Tama Monorail reminds us of the time when monorails were going to be the next big thing in public transportation. Opening partially in 1998 and fully in 2000, it shuttles citizens over a 19-station, 10-mile (16-km) north/south route from Kamikitadai to Tama Center in Western Tokyo, offering an amazing view from roughly 15 meters (50 ft) up in the air.

2. Yurikamome Line

A Tokyo gem, the Yurikamome is the city's first fully automated transit system, controlled entirely by computers. Interestingly enough, while it's mistakenly called a monorail, the train runs with rubber-tired wheels on an elevated concrete track.

Offering a fantastic view of some of Tokyo’s most beautiful sights, this video will transport you to Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, the Fuji TV Building and more while cruising through Odaiba.

If you don't have 15 minutes to spare, you can check out the Hyperlapse experience here!

1. Tokyo Monorail

If it weren't for the wear and tear of the cars and tracks over time, you'd be forgiven for judging the Tokyo Monorail Haneda Airport Line as a technological marvel. However, it's been around for a long time! In fact, to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014, the Tokyo Monorail added the first new rolling stock (cars) in 17 years!

This stunning time-lapse video from Darwinfish105 takes us along the edges of Tokyo Bay as the monorail snakes between the skyscrapers, examining not the train itself, but the magnificent piers that continue to hold this wonder aloft between Hamamatsucho Station and Haneda Airport.