Rail station Coverage in Japan

Japan is renowned for its punctual and convenient public transport system. But how much of the country does it actually cover?


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Map of Japan showing the distance to the nearest rail station.

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Japan is renowned worldwide for its railway network. It’s one of the most punctual railway systems in the world and can conveniently bring you almost everywhere. It’s high-speed rail network (Shinkansen) is considered to be the best in the world. Japan’s public transport might have a good reputation, but how well does it actually cover Japan? That is something we can find out on this map. On this map we can see the linear distance to the nearest rail station from anywhere in Japan. Rail stations included are: light rail, monorail, railway, subway/metro and tram.

We can see straight away how well most of Japan is covered by its rail network. Everywhere in Japan is within 100km of a rail station (for islands that have a road connection to an island with a rail station). 90% of Japan is within 25 km of a rail station. Most of the darker areas on the map, area sparsely populated mountainous areas. What also stand out, is Hokkaido. Hokkaido is much less densely populated compared to other parts of Japan. Which also explains why there are less rail stations there. Over the past decade, several railway lines closed in Hokkaido. Including a large part of the Hidaka line in south-east Hokkaido. This area is now the furthest from any rail station in Japan.

We can also see that there is even a rail line in the Ryukyu Islands. To be specific in the city of Naha on Okinawa Island. It has a monorail line that runs through the city.

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