Great transit city

Shibuya station, Ginza line, schedule on steps

A great transit system is essential for a walkable and livable city. This frees residents from owning or using cars for most trips, and allows streets and public spaces to be used for people rather than vehicles.

What makes Tokyo’s transit system truly great? Speed, reliability, convenience, and ubiquity are remarkable. On top of that you have remarkable signage, including the steps on the Ginza line’s Shibuya station which remind me you of the sequence of stations, minutes required to arrive, and the fare. And, at the end of this post, you can see an example of outstanding art in a transit corridor, whose delight, awe, and mild terror adds an emotional level to all the functional goodness of Tokyo transit.

Below you can see at the Eifukucho station in Suginami a typical sign on leaving the station. I realized for the first time that the grid is organized by 7-8 minutes walking distance. At a glance you know where you are, where you are going, and how long it will take.

Walking map, Eifukucho station, Suginami Walking map, Eifukucho station, Suginami

Lastly, there are occasionally monumental art works in heavily trafficked transit corridors, such as this Shibuya Mark City link between the Keio Inokashira line and the JR , Ginza and Hanzomon lines. The enormous mural is by Okamoto Taro. Nothing like fire, skeletons, strange animals, and primal forces to salute your commute.

Okamoto Taro at Shibuya Mark City transit corridor

Finally, there is great, monumental art

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