If you don’t like changing trains, Tokyo Station is probably your best bet for a starting point.

A lot has been said about the public transportation in Japan as both a mind-boggling complex network of rail lines and amazing example of precise efficiency. While it’s not without its problems, Japan’s railways alone are in many ways the pride of the nation.

For example, if you were to start at Tokyo Station, the hub to end all hubs, just how far in the country could you get on a single train without any transfers? To answer that, Twitter user Osumi (@momoiroclovtryz) created a map to illustrate Tokyo Station’s single-train reach, and in order to make it easy for dense people like myself to understand, he did it in crayon.

Every prefecture colored in red is one that can be traveled to by Tokyo Station in a single ride. Remember this is not from the city of Tokyo, only from a single station inside Tokyo. The prefectures colored in blue are ones that would require you to stand up and walk onto another vehicle at some point in your journey.

In total there are 33 red prefectures and only 14 blue ones. Furthermore, that lonely blue prefecture along the northern coast is Fukui, and around 2022 the Hokuriku Shinkansen line should be extended to there, allowing it to also become a red prefecture.

On the other hand, coloring entire prefectures can be somewhat misleading and paint a rosier picture than reality. For instance, while you can get to the northern island prefecture of Hokkaido on a single train, here’s how deep into Hokkaido you can actually get.

While that might be disappointing, an inversely impressive feat is getting to the tiny prefecture of Kagawa on the north coast of Shikoku, the island south of the main island of Honshu and to the east of the southernmost main island of Kyushu.

To do that you’d have to get a ticket on the often overlooked and rather luxurious overnight Sunrise Seto train. Here’s a video of the Sunrise Seto being ridden by a guy who also happens to be named Seto.

Overall, imperfections aside, it’s an impressive reach for a single train station to have. It also inspired people to make similar maps starting from other hubs in Japan. Interestingly, despite being practically next to Osaka, you apparently cannot get to Kagawa from there without making a transfer.

“Green is where you can go from Osaka without a transfer. Red is where you could have gone until March, 2016. White prefectures you can’t go to. I think I got it right.”

▼ “Since it seems like no one has made it yet, I tried to map out the places you can go from Nagoya by train (left) and express bus (right). Like Osumi, I divided them into red ones that you can get to in a single ride, and blue ones that you cannot.”


▼ “The prefectures that you can get to from Takasaki (Gunma Prefecture) on one train are in orange. The green ones require one transfer. When the Hokuriku Shinkansen is complete the yellow ones will become orange…probably. Let me know if there are any mistakes.”

“On the other hand, this is for Shinjuku Station, the largest terminal in the world. The Shinkansen makes a big difference…”

Indeed, having a bullet train system really makes all the difference in the nation’s transportation system. But with all of the trains, planes, and ferries working together, the entire country of Japan is a transport powerhouse. This video from Yahoo! shows how long it would take to get almost anywhere in Japan from Tokyo Station using any form of transportation.

So next time, you’re planning a trip, make sure to consider Tokyo Station as a starting point. Come for the great accessibility and stay for the wide variety of public toilet options!

Source: Twitter/@momoiroclovtryz, Togech
Feature image: Twitter/@momoiroclovtryz
Top image: YouTube/YahooJAPANPR