A Japanese railway operator plans to assign alphanumeric codes to hundreds of stations in and around Tokyo later this year. It is an effort to make it easier for foreign visitors to use the trains.
The numbers would be assigned to 276 of the East Japan Railway Company’s stations.
The stops are on 16 railway lines running through Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba and Ibaraki.
Company officials announced on Wednesday that each station will have a double-digit number, coupled with a 2-letter alphabetic code which refers to the train line. The codes will be in different colors to differentiate the lines.
For instance, Tokyo Station on the JR Yamanote Line will be signified as “JY 01” and have a light-green frame.
Major transfer stations will be given an extra code made of 3 letters, such as “TYO” for Tokyo and “AKB” for Akihabara.
Company officials also plan to show the station names in Chinese and Korean in addition to Japanese and English, the 2 languages which are currently used.
The president of the East Japan Railway Company, Tetsuro Tomita, says travelers from other countries have said they find the Tokyo railways hard to understand. He says compared to subways and other railways, his company is late in introducing new navigation guides.
The move comes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The games are expected to attract large numbers of visitors from abroad.
Source: NHK Image: Japan Times