About trains in Chiba

Depending on where you live, it will seem like Chiba has a ton of train lines or very few. If you’ve never ridden the train in Japan, it can be a challenge, but mastering it will make your life a lot more convenient

Train lines in Japan are managed by companies, which you can identify by the name of the line. The biggest train company is Japan Railways (JR), but there are also Tokyo Metro, Keisei, etc. Within each company group, there are often several lines that you can easily transfer to without having to pay separately for each line. Each company sets its own rates and times and some lines are more expensive than others. Trains stop running at night (between 10PM-1AM depending on the line), so make sure you check your last train time (終電shūden or 最終saishū) before going out!

Riding the train

The three names to remember are your destination station (Station Name eki), the line or lines you will need to use to get there (Line Name sen), and the last station the train is bound for (Station Name行きyuki; this will be listed on signs so you know the direction you’re going). All stations are clearly marked in English and Japanese, with signs guiding through the station to transfer lines. Most train lines announce the next stop and transfer lines in English and Japanese.

IC Cards: If you ride the train frequently or plan to visit Tokyo, you might want to get an IC card like Suica or PASMO. You can charge your card with cash at the train station, then tap your card at the ticket gate to save yourself from having to buy a ticket every time you change lines. IC cards can be bought at machines at most major stations. Keep in mind that local private lines may not accept IC cards.

Etiquette: Once on board the train, general etiquette is to keep your voice low and your belongings stored at your feet or on the rack above your head. Give up priority seats for passengers that need it, and save sitting on the floor for drunk businessmen. Eating and drinking is not prohibited, but you may get strange looks if you pull out a full course meal.
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Map of trains in Chiba PrefectureChiba ENG map TRAIN NAMES LEGEND.png

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The below links are connected to the corresponding Wikipedia page.
  • JR East Japan
    • Sōbu Main Line(総武本線 Sōbu-honsen):Runs from Chiba Station to Chōshi Station.
    • Chūō-Sōbu Line (中央総武緩行線 Chūō-Sōbu-kankō-sen): Runs from Chiba Station to Mitaka Station (Tokyo). Major stops include Akihabara, Yoyogi, and Shinjuku.
    • Sōbu Line (Rapid) (総武快速線 Sōbu-kaisoku-sen): Runs from Chiba Station to Tokyo Station (Tokyo). Some trains connect to the Yokosuka Line, which travels through major stops such as Yokohama and Kamakura. Within Chiba, the Sōbu Line (Rapid) may also travel as far as Kazusa-Ichinomiya (Sotobō Line), Kimitsu (Uchibō Line), Narita Airport (Narita Line), Kashima-Jingū (Kashima Line), and Narutō (Sōbu Main Line).
    • Jōban Line (常磐線 Jōban-sen): Runs from Nippori Station (Tokyo) to Kita-Senju (Tokyo), Matsudo, Toride (Ibaraki), Tsuchiura (Ibaraki), or Mito (Ibaraki) stations.
    • Narita Line (成田線 Narita-sen): Runs from Chiba Station to Chōshi Station (main line), Narita Station to Abiko Station (Abiko branch line), or Narita Station to Narita International Airport (Airport branch line).
    • Uchibō Line (内房線 Uchibō-sen): Runs along the western (inner) shore of Chiba from Chiba Station to Awa-Kamogawa Station.
    • Sotobō Line (外房線 Sotobō-sen): Runs along the southeastern (outer) shore of Chiba from Chiba Station to Awa-Kamogawa Station.
    • Keiyō Line (京葉線 Keiyō-sen): Runs from Tokyo Station (Tokyo) to Soga Station along the coast of Tokyo Bay. Major stops include Maihama (Tokyo Disney Resort), Minami-Funabashi, and Kaihin-Makuhari.
    • Musashino Line (武蔵野線 Musashino-sen): Runs from Fuchū-Hommachi Station (Tokyo) to Nishi-Funabashi Station.
    • Tōgane Line (東金線 Tōgane-sen): Runs from Ōami Station to Narutō Station.
    • Kashima Line (鹿島線 Kashima-sen): Runs from Katori Station to Kashima Soccer Stadium Station (Ibaraki).
    • Kururi Line (久留里線 Kururi-sen): Runs from Kisarazu Station to Kazusa-Kameyama Station.
  • Keisei
    • Main Line (京成本線 Keisei Honsen): Runs from Keisei-Ueno Station (Tokyo) to Narita International Airport.
    • Narita Sky Access (成田スカイアクセス Narita-sukai-akusesu): A rapid train running from Keisei-Ueno Station (Tokyo) to Narita International Airport.
    • Chiba Line (京成千葉線, Keisei Chiba-sen): Runs from Keisei-Tsudanuma Station to Chiba-Chūō Station.
    • Chihara Line (京成千原線, Keisei Chihara-sen): Runs from Chiba-Chūō Station to Chiharadai Station.
    • Higashi Narita Line (京成東成田線 Keisei Higashi Narita-sen): Runs from Keisei-Narita Station to Higashi-Narita Station.
    • Shin-Keisei Line(新京成線 Shin-Keisei-sen): Runs from Matsudo Station to Keisei-Tsudanuma Station.
    • Hokuso Line (北総線 Hokusō-sen): Runs from Keisei-Takasago Station (Tokyo) to Imba-Nihon-Idai Station.
  • Toyo Rapid Line (東葉高速線 Tōyō Kōsoku-sen): Runs from Nishi-Funabashi Station to Tōyō-Katsutadai Station.
  • Shibayama Railway (芝山鉄道 Shibayama Tetsudō): Runs from Higashi-Narita Station to Shibayama-Chiyoda Station.
  • Tobu Noda Line (東武野田線 Tōbu Noda-sen): Runs from Ōmiya Station (Saitama) to Funabashi Station.
  • Tsukuba Express (つくばエクスプレス線 Tsukuba Ekusupuresu-sen): Runs from Akihabara Station (Tokyo) to Tsukuba Station (Ibaraki).
  • Tokyo Metro Tozai Line (東西線 Tōzai-sen): Runs from Nakano Station (Tokyo) to Nishi-Funabashi Station.
  • Toei Shinjuku Line (都営地下鉄新宿線 Toei Chikatetsu Shinjuku-sen): Runs from Shinjuku Station (Tokyo) to Moto-Yawata Station.
  • Nagareyama Line (流山線 Nagareyama-sen): Runs from Mabashi Station to Nagareyama Station.
  • Choshi Electric Railway (銚子電気鉄道 Chōshi Denki Tetsudō): Runs from Chōshi Station to Tokawa Station.
  • Kominato Railway (小湊鉄道 Kominato Tetsudō): Runs from Goi Station to Kazusa-Nakano Station.
  • Isumi Railway (いすみ鉄道 Isumi Tetsudō): Runs from Ōhara Station to Kazusa-Nakano Station.
People Movers
  • Chiba Urban Monorail (千葉都市モノレール Chiba Toshi Monorēru): Line 1 runs from Chiba-Minato Station to Kenchō-mae Station. Line 2 runs from Chiba-Minato Station to Chishirodai Station. Both lines stop at Chiba Station.
  • Yamaman Yūkarigaoka Line (山万ユーカリが丘線 Yamaman Yūkarigaoka-sen): A local people mover in the Yūkarigaoka district in Sakura City.
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By region:

To Tokyo

To Narita Airport

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

Block 4

Block 5

Sobu Main Line

Chiba ENG map TRAIN Sobu Main.png

Choshi Electric Railway
Chiba ENG map TRAIN Choshi Electric.png

Block 6

Togane Line
Chiba ENG map TRAIN Togane.png

Block 7

Sotobo Line
Chiba ENG map TRAIN Sotobo.png

Block 8

Uchibo Line
Chiba ENG map TRAIN Uchibo.png

How to look up train times

From a computer: Hyperdia(E/J), Jorudan(E/J) Yahoo Japan (J)
Smartphone apps: 乗換案内 norikae annai (JP), Hyperdia app, pre-installed app in Japanese phones
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How to look up train times using Hyperdia.com

Let’s use the English version of Hyperdia.com to go from Togane to Soga.
Type in your starting and ending points. It will automatically choose the current time, but you can also set it to what time you want to arrive by. Be careful with hyphenated station names and long o’s.
Sweet, there’s a Togane Line train that goes straight there! Take note of the time it will take, the cost, and of course the time the train leaves.
Don’t trust the computer too much!

Route 2 sends you on a route that takes twice as long, and Route 4 sends you on an express that costs a lot more. Sometimes Hyperdia and other train checkers get creative, so don’t trust them too blindly. Plan your trip in advance so you can take the best way there.
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How to check for train delays

Train lines may be delayed due to weather, safety checks, passenger injury, or a number of other reasons. Delays will be announced on TV, on train apps, and on certain websites.
If you use a Japanese train app like Jorudan's 乗換案内 or Navitime, delays will be announced next to a warning (!) icon. Some helpful Japanese words are listed below:
unkou jouhou
service information
unkou joukyou
service status
(ressha) chien
(train) delay/running late
unten miawase
service stopped and will resume as soon as possible
service is stopped, cancelled
unten saikai
service resumed
heijou unten
trains are running normally
jinshin jiko
passenger injury
taifuu no eikyou de
due to the typhoon

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