This article is about the transit system. For the album, see 13 Japanese Birds § Yurikamome: 13 Japanese Birds Pt. 3.
Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line

A Yurikamome train near Shiodome in June 2007
Type Automated guideway transit
Locale Tokyo, Japan
Termini Shimbashi
Stations 16
Daily ridership 106,000/day (FY 2009)
Opened November 1, 1995
Owner Toei
Operator(s) Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Corporation
Depot(s) Ariake
Rolling stock 7000 series, 7300 series
Line length 14.7 km (9.1 mi)
Electrification 600 V three-phase
Operating speed 60 km/h (37 mph)
Route map

New Transit Yurikamome (新交通ゆりかもめ Shinkōtsū Yurikamome), formally the Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Waterfront Line (東京臨海新交通臨海線 Tōkyō Rinkai Shinkōtsū Rinkai-sen), is an automated guideway transit service operated by the Tokyo Waterfront New Transit Corporation, connecting Shimbashi to Toyosu, via the artificial island of Odaiba in Tokyo, Japan, a market in which it competes with the Rinkai Line.

The line is named after the black-headed seagull (yurikamome in Japanese), a common denizen of Tokyo Bay and the official prefectural bird.


View from the Yurikamome

The Yurikamome is Tokyo's first fully automated transit system, controlled entirely by computers with no drivers on board. However, the line is not the first in Japan, as Kobe's Port Liner opened in 1981, 14 years before the Yurikamome.

The Yurikamome is sometimes mistakenly called a monorail, but the trains run with rubber-tired wheels on elevated concrete track guided by the side walls.


Since 2006, all the stations use the recorded voices of different voice actors for their announcements.[1]

Station Voice actor
U-01 Shimbashi Masumi Asano
U-02 Shiodome Hiro Shimono
U-03 Takeshiba Chiaki Takahashi
U-04 Hinode Yurika Ochiai
U-05 Shibaura-futō Maria Yamamoto
U-06 Odaiba-kaihinkōen Kenichi Suzumura
U-07 Daiba Toshiyuki Morikawa
U-08 Fune-no-kagakukan Motoki Takagi
U-09 Telecom Center Kaori Mizuhashi
U-10 Aomi Kōsuke Toriumi
U-11 Kokusai-tenjijō-seimon Mikako Takahashi
U-12 Ariake Mai Nakahara
U-13 Ariake-tennis-no-mori Chihiro Suzuki
U-14 Shijō-mae Tatsuhisa Suzuki
U-15 Shin-toyosu Natsuko Kuwatani
U-16 Toyosu Sōichirō Hoshi

Yurikamome trains are taken in and out of service at Ariake, and are stored in a yard near Tokyo Big Sight when not in service.


Ridership on the line peaked at over 200,000 daily boardings in 2000,[2] but declined substantially by 2004 as the Rinkai subway line, which opened a year after the Yurikamome Line, expanded into more of the waterfront area and offered lower fares. Between 2004 and 2006, four new stations were added, which raised ridership slightly.[3]

Station 2000 2004 2006
U-01 Shimbashi 94,217 63,791 58,824
U-02 Shiodome -- 7,500 7,805
U-03 Takeshiba 4,681 9,301 4,701
U-04 Hinode 1,675 2,043 2,271
U-05 Shibaura-futō 6,970 5,875 5,166
U-06 Odaiba-kaihinkōen 19,406 15,859 14,497
U-07 Daiba 28,838 22,866 21,682
U-08 Fune-no-kagakukan 2,734 3,506 3,579
U-09 Telecom Center 13,561 11,233 10,649
U-10 Aomi 11,529 7,152 7,153
U-11 Kokusai-tenjijō-seimon 21,420 13,885 16,312
U-12 Ariake 3,531 2,509 3,743
U-13 Ariake-tennis-no-mori -- -- 1,185
U-14 Shijō-mae -- -- 76
U-15 Shin-toyosu -- -- 893
U-16 Toyosu -- -- 9,494
Totals 208,562 165,520 168,030

Rolling stock

The line uses Mitsubishi Heavy Industries "Crystal Mover" technology.[4] As of 1 April 2016, the following train types are used on the line, all formed as six-car sets.[5]

Between 2014 and 2016, a fleet of 18 new six-car 7300 series trains are being introduced on the line.[6] The first train was test run during the summer of 2013,[6] entering revenue service from 18 January 2014.[7] The new trains have longitudinal seating throughout, to increase overall capacity and speed-up boarding and alighting.[6] Between June 2018 and June 2020, eight more six-car trainsets will be built for the line by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to replace the fleet of 7200 series trains.[8]

7000 series

7000 series set 17 in August 2011

As of 1 April 2016, four out of the original 18 7000 series sets (05, 16, 17, and 18) were still in service, formed as six-car sets as follows.[5]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 6 7
Designation Mc1 M2 M3 M4 M5 Mc6
Numbering 7xx1 7xx2 7xx3 7xx4 7xx5 7xx6

("xx" stands for the unit number.)

7200 series

7200 series set 21 in March 2006

As of 1 April 2016, eight 7200 series sets (21 to 28) were in service, formed as six-car sets as follows.[5]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 6 7
Designation Mc1 M2 M3 M4 M5 Mc6
Numbering 72x1 72x2 72x3 72x4 72x5 72x6

("xx" stands for the unit number.)

7300 series

7300 series set 31 in October 2013

As of 1 April 2016, 16 7300 series sets (31 to 46) were in service, formed as six-car sets as follows.[5]

Car No. 1 2 3 4 6 7
Designation Mc1 M2 M3 M4 M5 Mc6
Numbering 73x1 73x2 73x3 73x4 73x5 73x6

("xx" stands for the unit number.)


Before its 1995 opening, it was widely feared that the Yurikamome would end up as a multibillion-yen white elephant. The artificial island of Odaiba, which it serves, had been designed and constructed at prodigious expense before Japan's economic crash and, much like London's equally beleaguered Canary Wharf, there simply did not seem to be enough demand to support it. In the first few months of operation, ridership hovered around 27,000 passengers per day, only a little less than the predicted 29,000, but still far less than the 80,000 passengers needed to be profitable.

However, in 1996, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government re-zoned Odaiba from pure business and residential to also permit entertainment zones. Tokyo may be next to the sea on the map, but before Odaiba, effectively the entire coastline had been taken over by an endless concrete strip of ports and warehouses. Promoted as the "Rainbow Town", the island provided Tokyo with a strip of livable seaside, and within one year, ridership doubled to 60,000. As more and more restaurants, shopping malls, exhibition centers and museums opened, traffic continued to grow.

It is not just the island that became popular, as the Yurikamome had become an attraction in itself. To raise itself from ground level to the Rainbow Bridge, the Yurikamome makes a 270-degree loop, providing panoramic views of both mainland Tokyo and Odaiba.

An accident on the Yurikamome occurred on the afternoon of April 14, 2006. According to a government commission, one of the axles on the six-car train was cracked due to metal fatigue, causing a rubber tire on the train to fall off.[9] The train came to a halt near Fune-no-Kagakukan station, and services were suspended on the entire line. This came at the start of a busy weekend when events were taking place at Tokyo Big Sight on Odaiba, but, according to news reports, alternate means of transportation were offered and there was no major confusion. The Yurikamome resumed limited train service on April 17 while further inspections and tests continued, with full service restored on April 19.

Future plans

At over 160,000 passengers per day, the Yurikamome is making a net profit and will pay off its loans in full faster than the 20 years originally anticipated. Operating frequency, hours of operation and number of trainsets have been continually revised upwards to accommodate the ever-increasing number of passengers.

A further extension from Toyosu to Kachidoki is currently under consideration.[10] The extension has become more likely as part of infrastructure improvements for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which will largely be held within the Yurikamome corridor around Toyosu, Ariake and Odaiba.[11]

See also


  1. Archived February 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "サイト移転のお知らせ" (PDF). Fmn-inc.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  3. "輸送データ 【ゆりかもめ】". Nk-works.sakura.ne.jp. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  4. "Automated People Mover". Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  5. 1 2 3 4 私鉄車両編成表 2016 [Private Railway Rolling Stock Formations - 2016] (in Japanese). Japan: Kotsu Shimbunsha. 25 July 2016. p. 79. ISBN 978-4-330-70116-5.
  6. 1 2 3 ゆりかもめ 新型車輌7300系を導入 [Yurikamome: New 7300 series trains to be introduced]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  7. ゆりかもめ7300系が営業運転を開始 [Yurikamome 7300 series enters revenue service]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  8. 新交通ゆりかもめ向け 全自動無人運転車両(AGT)48両を受注 2020年に向けて納入 [Order received for 48 AGT vehicles for Yurikamome to be delivered by 2020]. Press Information (in Japanese). Japan: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  9. Archived September 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "東京都港湾局 臨海副都心まちづくり推進計画 都市基盤の整備". Kouwan.metro.tokyo.jp. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
  11. "五輪で東京に1000万人 過密都市ゆえの課題多く". 日本経済新聞. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
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