By Peter Sidell
Spend any amount of time in Japan and you soon come to see just how important trains are to this country. Stretching out from station to station, crisscrossing the country, nowhere does this network of rail lines find its greatest concentration than in Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital.
With over 150 rail lines in Tokyo, servicing close to 900 train stations, to say the city is busy with trains is an understatement. Each day, thousands upon thousands of trains pass through the city's stations, transporting around 40 million passengers per day. That's over 14 billion passengers per year....
With so much 'train' in Tokyo, the country's greatest concentration of train fans will also be found here. Whether as a densha mania (crazy for trains), a densha otaku (train nerd), or simply an average passenger who respects the service and reliability Tokyo's trains embody, train spotting is most definitely a thing here.
Across the city, there are scores of places where train fans and the idly curious go to watch the trains go by. One place is in Nippori, Arakawa City. Just outside of Nippori Station's north exit, extending over the track lines below, can be found Shimogoinden Bridge.
Affectionately known as a 'train museum', Shimogoinden Bridge features a dedicated vantage point that looks out over 14 different rail tracks servicing 20 different models of trains and around 2,500 trains passing underneath the bridge each day. Timing your visit with rush hour, it's quite likely that you will witness several different train lines in action at the one time - and that includes the famous Shinkansen bullet train streaking by.
So whether it's just a few minutes of fun or a serious train nerd adventure, heading off to Shimogoinden Bridge in Nippori is a most unique way of experiencing one of modern Tokyo's most endearing of interests.
Nippori Station is on the JR Joban, Yamanote, and Keihin-Tohoku Lines and can also be reached by the Keisei Main and Nippori-Toneri Liner Lines.
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A Japanese Permanent Resident, I drool over proper soba and sushi while Japanese aesthetics ticks all the right boxes for me.With over 200 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style, I also happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital, so if you've anything to say about Tokyo - or Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via firstname.lastname@example.org