Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Setagaya Train Line


How cute is this train?!
The Setagaya train line is my new favourite train line. Like its name states, it goes through Setagaya ward, between Shimo-Takaido and Sangenjaya. It's one of the only surviving tramway lines in Tokyo (the other one being the Toden Arakawa line). I had the chance to try it a few days ago, and it pleased my inner train geek.

It's quite slow and doesn't come very frequently, but I liked the scenery, which felt almost like the countryside. There are only a few individual seats on either side, so you have to be extremely fast or lucky to secure one. I sat on a seat that had a facing one next to it, and it remained empty for the whole ride as everyone felt too awkward to sit directly across from me, knees almost touching. I highly recommend making a beeline for that particular seat if you want to have extra space to yourself- ha!

In all seriousness, the Setagaya line is quite exciting, and there are good sights at many of the stops: the Shoin shrine, Gotokuji temple, and Setagaya Daikin Yashiki, an Edo-period farmhouse which now hosts the famous Boro-Ichi flea market, Tokyo's oldest. Also, the Setagaya City Hall is on that line if you ever need to go there to pay city taxes or whatnot.

Locals refer to the Setagaya line as the "chin chin densha" チンチン電車, relating to the bell sounds trolleys make- not the other meaning, if you speak Japanese! If you're ever around Setagaya and want a stress-free train ride, hop on that train- just make sure you have lots of time on your hands.

2 comments:

Eddie Marmolejo said...

Trams and trains are cool, particularly retro ones (like the original Japanese shinkansens) :)

Glad you geeked-out. It's been over a years since I've been to Japan and am missing the place (and my friends).

Cool blog. がんばって :)

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