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JR Chuo line in Tokyo
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JR Chuo line in Tokyo

The JR Chuo line (中央線), or simply JR Central line runs through Tokyo in an almost direct line and stops at important stations like Akihabara, Shinjuku and Tokyo station. Together with the JR Yamanote line, they make up the majority of JR transportation in central Tokyo.

Table of contents:
What is the JR Chuo line?
Train services on the JR Chuo line
Stations on the JR Chuo line in central Tokyo
Can I use the JR Pass on the Chuo line?
JR Chuo line map
Tips for travel on the JR Chuo line

There’s a very good chance that you’ll use the JR Chuo line on any trip to Tokyo, and understanding the line with help you travel around effectively.

What is the JR Chuo line?

The JR Chuo line is the central JR line crossing through Tokyo, is the fastest way to travel from Tokyo to Shinjuku and plays a key role in daily commuter traffic. In central Tokyo is services key stations, and outside central Tokyo connects to Nakano and Suginami on the west and almost 400 km to the east, where it terminates at Nagoya station.

Within central Tokyo the line runs from Nakano to Tokyo station(west to east). Outside central Tokyo the Chuo line runs an impressive 424.6 km, with 112 stations on the route.

Train services on the JR Chuo line

There are two main services on the JR Chuo line:

  • Rapid services (Kaisoku), orange coloured trains that only stop at the most important stations. Generally these are Shinjuku, Yotsuya, Ochanomizu, Kanda and Tokyo Station.
  • Local services (Futsu), yellow coloured train, stopping at every station on the JR Chuo line.

Stations on the JR Chuo line in central Tokyo

These are the stations within central Tokyo on the JR Chuo line, west to east.

  • Nakano
  • Higashi-Nakano
  • Okubo
  • Shinjuku
  • Yoyogi
  • Sendagaya
  • Shinanomachi
  • Yotsuya
  • Ichigaya
  • Iidabashi
  • Suidobashi
  • Ochanomizu
  • Tokyo
  • Can I use the JR Pass on the Chuo line?

    Yes, the JR Chuo line is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass, as there are no reserved seats on commuter trains. Just show your JR Pass when entering and exiting the station and hop on any train you want.

    JR Chuo line map

    Below is a map of the JR Chuo line map in central Tokyo. For a full map of the JR Chuo line and all of Japan see our interactive JR Pass Map

    Tips for travel on the JR Chuo line

    • The fastest way between Shinjuku and Tokyo stations is the JR Chuo line rapid service. Connecting in under 20 minutes.
    • The JR Central line connects to Takao-san, a great hiking day trip from Tokyo.
    • Rush hour can be very busy, try to avoid it where possible.
    • Service is very frequent throughout the day, with train services up to every 3 minutes.

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