By Chris Glenn
Officially titled the “Nagoya City Rapid Railway Line 3”, Nagoya’s Tsurumai Line subway system opened in 1977 and links the Meitetsu groups busy Inuyama Line, Toyota Line and Mikawa Lines. Running 20.4 kilometers under the city streets, the line services 20 stations ranging from the north western suburbs Kami-Otai in Nishi-Ku via Nagoya City central through to Akiake in neighboring Nisshin City directly east of Nagoya.
Color tagged light blue on city maps, the 1,500 Volt DC overhead electric powered Tsurumai Line carries about 197,082 passengers daily. Each train has a capacity of 884 people, with peak times being between eight and nine AM and from five to seven PM. Original rolling stock ran in four car configurations until 1993 when stock was updated and reformed into six-car sets to better cope with passenger numbers. The entire route is double tracked with 1,067 millimeter gauge line. Left side rails run towards Toyohashi and Akiake Stations, right side rails head toward Kami-Otai station, making the system easy to understand and navigate.
All 58, or ten sets of Hitachi made rolling stock on the Tsurumai Line are fitted with ATC, a protective system used also by Japan’s Bullet Trains to ensure safe and smooth operation. Trains are overseen by trained drivers and reach a maximum speed of 75 kilometers per hour.
Alongside the station name, ach station carries the identifying letter “T” followed by a station stop number. The stations run in order;
T 01 Kami Otai
T02 Shonai Ryokuchi Koen
T03 Shonai Dori
T08 Osu Kannon
T16 Shiogama - Guchi
Prices of all subway tickets start from 200 Yen, the most expensive subway ticket prices in Japan, but the extensive network of lines makes traversing Nagoya easy. Along with single trip, standard tickets, the handy multi-fare card system called Manaca is now useable on all Nagoya subway lines. Manaca, taken from the Japanese word mannaka, meaning “central” due to Nagoya’s central Japan positioning, is a rechargeable, non-contact smart card. The cards are available at ticket vending machines at all city and Meitetsu bus, train and subway stations.
The Tsurumai Line is yet another affordable, comfortable and simple to navigate transportation system that will improve mobility and your enjoyment of Nagoya.
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Chris Glenn is an Australian born radio DJ, TV presenter, helicopter pilot, and advertising copywriter. A follower of samurai culture , he is a member of the Japan Armor and Weapons Research and Preservation Society, has black-belt in Kendo, 2nd black-belt in Chanbara sword fighting disciplines, and currently studies Shinkage and Enmei Ryu techniques. A long term resident of Japan, he is extremely passionate about preserving and promoting Japanese history and culture.