Archives for the month of: February, 2012

With the previous post, tokyo’s yamanote line, mapp : : tokyo published its 100th post. It’s a milestone worth reflecting on – an indulgence, I know, but I’ll make it short.

This blog actually began as an idea for an iOS app, but for various reasons, it morphed into a website that is part magazine, part travel guide, part cultural anthropology and part tribute to one of the world’s great cities, publishing new content on Japanese culture, design and media on a weekly basis, creating a digital tapestry of – as the blurb says – cool stuff in Tokyo and Japan.

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Tokyo is a vast city. Its unique urban ‘center’ is actually a cluster of business and commercial hubs, most of which form a rough circle around the heart of the city: the Imperial Palace, some entertainment districts and well-heeled residential neighborhoods dotted with foreign embassies, temples and parks.

Public transport is part of the ethos of Tokyo’s culture – especially trains and different stations even have their own signature tunes, with Takdanobaba famous for using the theme music of Astro Boy. The city famously has an extensive transport network featuring one of the world’s most sophisticated rail networks, comprising an array of private and public train and subway lines; there are even the mandatory hi-tech monorails. The jewel in the crown is the Yamanote line, Japan Rail East’s loop line, identified by its lime green strip livery and station signage. The Yamanote, or 山手線 – Yamanote-sen, is the line that connects the city’s most important transport hubs, its business and government centers and its top shopping and entertainment districts. It’s the line that acts as a conduit for commuters who feed into it from Tokyo’s suburbs and beyond, using many of its stations as interchanges.

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