Tokyo is one of the biggest conglomerate of neighborhoods called wards in the world. For new comers and visitors who’ve yet to comprehend the daunting task of finding their way around, STREETWISE® Tokyo street map is the best travel map of Tokyo.
Everything Tokyo is about density and your ability to navigate your way around this dense metropolis will add to your enjoyment of Tokyo and reduce stress and intimidation. STREETWISE® does not attempt to cover all 23 city wards on our Tokyo street map. For that you need an atlas. Streetwise Tokyo provides an overview of many of central Tokyo wards with a detailed overlay of the Tokyo subway system and JR railroad lines. Tokyo has one of the best public mass transportation systems in the world, and it's the most efficient way to navigate around the city.
Riding the rails is simple, fast and the least expensive method of seeing sites spread across Tokyo. Subway stations and cars are well marked with English translations. Twelve subway lines crisscross the city. Except for the four private "Toei" lines, which have a separate fare system, one can transfer freely between these 12 lines. Metro stations are named and also numerically numbered for easier identification. Metro trains run from 5am to midnight. The Japanese Railroad (JR lines) supplement the Tokyo metro lines. For example the Yamanote line (green line) circles central Tokyo, hitting almost all important stations. You can circle Tokyo in one hour on this line. The Chou line (orange line) is an express line which cuts through the center of the Yamanote loop, providing the fastest express link between Tokyo Station and Shinjuku. The Sobu line (yellow line) runs east-west like the Chou, but makes all local stops in between Mitake and Chiba.
In addition to the overview map of Tokyo, the STREETWISE® Tokyo map includes inset maps of key neighborhoods enlarged to include important detail like block numbers, sites, hotels and major subway stations with numbered exits . Major buildings are drawn in architectural detail. On the Marunouchi / Ginza inset map the Imperial Palace grounds, buildings and walking paths are featured because we know this is a highlight site for visitors to Tokyo. Many of the government buildings, and hotels are dimensionally drawn for easy identification which also serve as visual aids in walking around the district. This is important because very few streets are named in Tokyo, and the address system is very unique. Consequently, building or house addresses in Tokyo have nothing to do with any street name, but instead addresses are based on city wards (several square miles), then the chome, which is usually several square blocks but not actually square in shape, and then the smallest unit, the "banchi" or block, also varies in size and may contain 3 or 4 buildings . The chome names and numbers and block numbers are affixed to telephone poles, street light poles, or corners of major buildings. Small metal or plastic address plates are also usually affixed to the buildings or gates. A typical address is written 1-3-7 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo or sometimes 3-7 Roppongi 1-chome. The 1 is the "chome" or sub-district, 3 is the block number, and 7 is the building number; Roppongi is the district, Minato-ku is the city ward, and Tokyo is the city. You see and perhaps understand this system as it appears on all the STREETWISE® Tokyo neighborhood inset maps like Marunouchi, Ginza, Shibuya, Harajuku, Akasaka, Aoyama, Roppongi, Azabu, Shijuku, Asakusa, and Ueno. Another important fact to recognize about Tokyo is most underground stations are large with far reaching exits. Guessing wrong, especially in super JR rail stations like Shinjuku, could leave you a mile out of your way. Our neiiborhood inset maps of major Tokyo city districts show underground stations with exit symbols and numbers indicating where you will exit. Most stations, except Ikeburo, have good english language maps and sign boards with corresponding exit numbers and other landmarks to help orient you.
STREETWISE® maps are designed by travelers for travelers, as our special features demonstrate. Our products are laminated.and accordion fold for ease of use and reuse. Now, with over one hundred locations mapped, the STREETWISE® map line provides the most accurate and easy to use travel tools that the industry has to offer. We revise our maps at least every twelve to eighteen months to accommodate all of the changes that modern cities undergo. This is a lot of work, but it's work we love because we get to walk the streets, see the sights and check out every new detail of so many of the world's fascinating destinations. We want to give you, a serious traveler, the best and most practical information possible in the smallest and most discreet package possible. Happy Trails.