The Toden Arakawa Line (都電荒川線, Toden Arakawa-sen), branded as the Tokyo Sakura Tram (東京さくらトラム, Tōkyō Sakura Toramu), is a hybrid light rail/tram line in Tokyo, Japan, operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei). The Arakawa Line is the sole survivor of Tokyo's once-extensive Tokyo Toden streetcar system, but it is not the only tram line in Tokyo, as the privately owned Tokyu Setagaya Line is also classified as a streetcar (路面電車, romen densha).
|Toden Arakawa Line|
|Other name(s)||Tokyo Sakura Tram|
|Owner||Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation (Toei)|
|Type||Light rail and streetcar|
|Opened||1911 (Ōji Electric Tram Company, Otsuka-ekimae - Asukayama)|
1974 (Arakawa Line)
|Line length||12.2 km (7.6 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||600 V DC overhead catenary|
All stations are located in Tokyo.
|Minowabashi||三ノ輪橋||-||0.0||Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (Minowa: H-20)||Arakawa|
|Kumanomae||熊野前||0.6||3.1||Nippori-Toneri Liner (NT04)|
|Shin-koshinzuka||新庚申塚||0.4||7.7||Toei Mita Line (Nishi-sugamo: I-16)||Toshima|
|Otsuka-ekimae||大塚駅前||0.5||8.9||Yamanote Line (Ōtsuka: JY12)|
|Higashi-ikebukuro-yonchome||東池袋四丁目||0.6||10.0||Tokyo Metro Yurakucho Line (Higashi-ikebukuro: Y-10)|
|Kishibojimmae||鬼子母神前||0.5||10.7||Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line (Zoshigaya: F-10)|
7700 series tram 7701 in July 2016
8500 series tram 8502 in June 2003
8800 series tram 8804 in September 2010
8900 series tram 8901 in September 2015
9000 series trams 9001 and 9002 in February 2009
7000 series tram 7015 in June 2009
7500 series tram 7520 in March 2011
The line was originally constructed by the Ōji Electric Tram Company (王子電気軌道, Ōji-denki-kidō) as a part of their extensive network, with the oldest section still operating today opened in 1913. The line was at threat of being shut down along with the rest of Tokyo's streetcar system in the 1960s, but concerted opposition from residents prevented this and parts of lines 27 (Minowabashi-Akabane) and 32 (Arakawa-Waseda) were merged to form the line as it is today. The line was sold to the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation in 1974, which renamed it the Toden Arakawa Line.
The Toden Arakawa Line operates between the terminals at Minowabashi Station and Waseda Station. It runs along Meiji Street between Asuka-yama Station and Oji Eki-mae Station. Otherwise, it operates on its own tracks. Presently, single driver-operated cars make the 12.2 km trip in 50 minutes. The gauge is 1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in). The line is fully double-track, and draws 600 V electrical supply.
Two Toden Arakawa trams (one in revenue service, the other undergoing brake testing) collided on June 13, 2006 near the Minowabashi terminus, injuring 27 people.
The Toden Arakawa Line operates in northern and eastern Tokyo outside the main tourist areas. The terminus at Minowabashi is near the historical site of Edo's red-light district Yoshiwara which features a completely covered shopping street, several blocks long, in the once common "Ameyoko" style (a shōtengai).
In Haruki Murakami's novel Norwegian Wood, protagonist Toru Watanabe takes the line to near Ōtsuka Station: "I sat in the last seat and watched the ancient houses passing close to the window. The tram almost touched the overhanging eaves.... The tram snaked its way through this private back-alley world."
L.W. Demery, R. Forty, R. DeGroote and J.W. Higgins, Electric Railways of Japan (Interurbans- Tramways-Metros) Vol.1: Tokyo and Northern Japan. Light Rail Transit Association, 1983.