The purple marked Meijo Subway line (Photo: PPF)

Go loopy in Nagoya!

The purple marked Meijo Subway line (Photo: PPF)
Chris Glenn   - 4 min read

  Japan’s first, and only true loop line subway system with a distance of 26.4 kilometers is the Nagoya Municipal Subway Meijo Line.

  This is actually the second loop completed after Tokyo’s Oedo Line, however the Oedo line features a switchback, used for relocating engines, which technically disqualifies it as a true loop track. The Meijo line is shorter than the Yamanote Loop circumnavigating Tokyo, but longer than the Osaka Loop Line, both operated by JR. The line features 28 stations and takes 48 minutes to travel a complete loop. The loop runs from Kanayama just south of the station, through the city center, via Sakae, the western suburbs of Ozone, to Nagoya University, and back to Kaneyama.

  Officially termed the “Nagoya City rapid Railway Line 2”, the Meijo Line took its name from the first and last characters for Nagoya Castle, becoming Mei (the other reading of the kanji Na, from Nagoya) and Jo, or castle. The line, colored purple on subway maps, first opened between Sakae and City hall in 1965. Extensions were completed in 1971. In 1974, the line commenced operating between Aratama Bashi and Kanayama, with the entire loop being finished in 2004. Another offshoot of the original line between Kanayama and Nagoya Port was nicknamed the Meiko Line.

  The entire route is double tracked at 1435 millimeter standard gauge. 36 sets of 2000 series rolling stocktotaling 216 stainless steel cars, or six cars per trainset with a capacity for 620 passengers travel at a maximum speed of 65 kilometers per hour. The 600 volt current is fed by a third rail.

  Stations along the purple line are identified with the letter “M” and a station number. Stations run in order:

M01 Kaneyama

M02 Higashi Betsuin

M03 Kamimaezu

M04 Yabacho

M05 Sakae

M06 Hisaya Odori

M07 Shiyakusho (City Hall)

M08 Meijo Koen

M09 Kurokawa

M10 Shiga Hondori

M11 Heian Dori

M12 Ozone

M13 Nagoya Dome Mae Yada

M14 Sunadabashi

M15 Chayagasaka

M16 Jiyugaoka

M17 Motoyama

M18 Nagoya Daigaku (University)

M19 Yagoto Nisseki

M20 Yagoto

M21 Sogo rehabiri Center

M22 Mizuho Undojo Higashi

M23 Aratama Bashi

M24 Myoon Dori

M25 Horita

M26 Temma-Cho

M27 Jingu-Nishi

M28 Nishi takakura

M01 Kaneyama.

  The six kilometer long offshoot Meiko line running between Kaneyama and Nagoya Ko (Nagoya Port) features purple with a white stripe and seven stops. The identifying letter is “E”. Stations include:

E01 Kaneyama

E02 Hibino

E03 Rokuban-Cho

E04 Tokai-Dori

E05 Minato Kuyakusho

E06 Tsukiji Guchi

E07 Nagoya-ko

  An estimated 197,082 people ride the line daily. Fares run between 200 and 260 Yen.  The Meijo Line is listed as the world’s 15th longest subway tunnel, and third longest in Japan.

  The ease of access to many of Nagoya’s major tourist attractions and shopping areas via the Meijo Liine will make it an important line to look up, and a simple one to help you enjoy all that Nagoya has to offer.


Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn @chris.glenn

Chris Glenn is an Australian born radio DJ, TV presenter, helicopter pilot, and advertising copywriter. A follower of samurai culture , he is a member of the Japan Armor and Weapons Research and Preservation Society, has black-belt in Kendo, 2nd black-belt in Chanbara sword fighting disciplines, ...