All About Japan

JR East to Use New Station Numbering System

Trains Tokyo

East Japan Railway Co (JR East) will introduce a numbering system for all its stations in Tokyo starting in October 2016 in a bid to to facilitate navigation for foreigners traveling within the capital ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The numbering system will incorporate the combination of two alphabet letters showing the railway line to which the station belongs and a two-digit number. It will also have the code and number of the station, enclosed in a box bearing the same color as that of the train line.

For example, Shinjuku Station on the Yamanote Line will be coded JY17—“J” for JR, “Y” for Yamanote Line and “17” for its unique number. It will be colored light green, symbolizing the color of the loop line.

JR East also said that hub stations where many lines stop will be coded with three-alphabet letters, including UEN and TYO for Ueno and Tokyo Stations, respectively. Akihabara Station will be coded AKB.

The railway operator will also translate station names into Chinese and Korean, in addition to the already existing English.

The station numbering system has already been introduced by Tokyo Metro, which operates a total of nine lines and the Toei subway, as well as other rail lines in Tokyo.

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