Enjoy the view of old-town streetscapes as you ride a rare streetcar in Tokyo.
Have you ever seen Tokyo’s cute little “train” that travels slowly down the middle of the road? It’s a bit like a train and a bit like a bus, and if you have seen it, that’s the Toei Arakawa Line, which runs at a speed of 13 kilometers an hour along its 12-kilometer route from Minowabashi to Waseda. This is a single carriage vehicle staffed by the driver alone. Just before departing a stop the driver signals with a “chin chin” sound, hence the streetcar’s nickname, the “chin chin train.” “Chin chin” is a sound that fills everyone with feelings of old world nostalgia.
The old fashioned carriages are one of the line’s charms. Built in 1955, they are still on active duty and have undergone a few upgrades. Drop by Toden Omoide Hiroba [Toden’s Memories Square] getting off at Arakawa Shako Mae to explore more of Toden’s delights.
The Toden streetcar runs along narrow streets just beside old wooden homes. Looking out the windows, you can enjoy scenes removed from Tokyo’s daily hustle and bustle. Experience the old-town face of Tokyo in the lush greenery of Asukayama Park, the popular Kogan-ji Temple with its “Togenuki Jizozoson” (splinter-removing guardian of children), “Aria Kannon” (washing deity) statue, and “The oldest cheap sweets-store in Japan” located in Zoshigaya.
Full-day tickets are 400 yen for adults and 200 yen for children. A journey on the Toden, taking stops at points of interest along the way, is sure to bring you a world of attractions that are different to the usual life in the great metropolis of Tokyo.