this week the Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Authority opened its long anticipated (since 1996) 2.7-mile extension to the Rinkai subway line. This extension completes the 7.6-mile route from the Shin-kiba lumberyards, on Tokyo’s far eastern waterfront, through Shinonome and Koksusai-tenjijio – station stop for the Tokyo Big Sight Convention Center and Tokyo Teleport – gateway to Palette Town, Mega Web and Venus Fort, then on through Tennozu Isle, Shinagawa Seaside (newly opened station), and Oimachi (newly opened station) to Osaki (newly opened station on this line).
Now Osaki Station, in Southern Tokyo’s ever developing Shinagawa ward, is directly connected to Tennozu Isle, the gateway to the bustling Odaiba shopping and entertainment district,
only an 18 minutes train ride away.
the same day, the Rinkai extension paved the way for Japan Rail’s Saikyo Line to also open an extended route. The JR Saikyo Line now connects Ebisu Station -- with access to Yebizu Garden Place, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and the Westin Hotel to Osaki Station -- adjacent to the New Otani Inn hotel
and walking distance to the fashionable shops and galleries in the Osaki New City
and Gate City Osaki malls.
In addition, the Rinkai Subway Line and the JR Saikyo Line are now connected to each other. This link enables passengers to reach all the shops and attractions of the Odaiba Waterfront on the Rinkai Line directly from JR Shinjuku Station in Western Tokyo (one of the city’s busiest train stations) without transferring
trains. Trains run on the connected route every 20 minutes on weekdays, except during rush hours.
Connections with other JR lines are
now also possible, travelers can now switch to the JR Keihin-Tohoku and Tokyu Oimachi Lines at the new Oimachi station. The new JR Keiyo link means the trip from Shinjuku to Maihama Station, the nearest station to Tokyo Disneyland, is now only 40 minutes, ten minutes shorter than the previous route using the JR Chuo Line.
Finally, new “IC” Intelligent Cards were introduced that are interoperable with the JR East “SUICA” Super Urban Intelligent Cards (prepaid train cards that function like metro cards to get you through the tollgates).