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Hidden Wonders

[Hidden Wonders of Japan] Setagaya Line: A Journey Through a Beautiful Tokyo Neighborhood

Escape the city's hustle on the Setagaya Line — a short yet captivating tram route perfect for a day of exploration in Tokyo.



The tracks of the Setagaya Line in Tokyo are covered in lush grass, resembling a soft green carpet. (© Sankei by Ryosuke Kawaguchi)

I make my way to the station to board the Setagaya Line. Despite wearing short sleeves, I'm sweating in the scorching sun. But a gentle breeze embraces me as I'm greeted by a picturesque view: train tracks on a carpet of lush grass and field horsetails swaying in the wind. Feeling the season's transition from spring to summer, I smile and gently wipe the sweat from my brow.

A one-day pass (¥680 JPY) and the "cat train" of the Setagaya Line. (© JAPAN Forward by Miruka Adachi)

Spanning approximately 5 km (3 mi), the Setagaya Line connects Sangenjaya Station to Shimo-takaido Station in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward. It serves as an invaluable transportation artery for the residents along its route, conveniently linking with the Keio, Odakyu, and Den-en-toshi lines running east and west.

Maneki-neko figurines at Gotokuji temple and a ceremonial sumo wrestling ring at Setagaya Hachiman shrine. (© JAPAN Forward by Miruka Adachi)

Tokyu Corporation, responsible for the line's operations, says the grass and plants along the tracks do not pose any problems. Rather than resorting to removing them, they instead delicately trim the overgrown grass during their regular maintenance inspections, ensuring an uninterrupted train service.

Old shop signs at Shimo-takaido Station and inside a retired tram near Miyanosaka Station, perfect for train buffs. (© JAPAN Forward by Miruka Adachi)


(Read the related article in Japanese.)

Author: Ryosuke Kawaguchi

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