Memories of Japan: The Yamanote line

I will freely admit that when I saw this display in Meguro station, my inner train geek and my inner stationery geek collided in a pretty significant way. All across Tokyo’s Yamanote line, you can stamp your notebook/diary/hand with a unique station stamp to show you’ve been there.

Great for visitors to Tokyo who like physical momentos of their trip. Probably irrelevant to the vast majority of people. And while I’m on the subject, the Yamanote line was one of our great discoveries on the 2014 trip. Basically, it’s a circle line around Tokyo, run by JR. So you can use your JR rail pass on it. This means you can avoid paying metro fares and use the line to travel around the city.

Our hotel was in Meguro and provided a free shuttle bus to and from the JR station, which was ideal. A quick look at the map of the line shows just how many great neighbourhoods it goes through.


I definitely didn’t manage to get a stamp for every station, or even every station we visited. Sometimes the crowds made it difficult to get near the stamp and sometimes I simply forgot. If I’m honest, it was more of the latter.

But I have a few examples in my traveller’s notebook and aim to get many more on our next visit. I know I shouldn’t wish the year away already, but I’m so excited at the prospect of a return visit. And my new weekly Japanese classes are doing nothing to calm me down.

  1. […] also includes use of railways within Tokyo (as opposed to metros), including the extremely handy Yamanote line. It’s a massive circular railway line that takes in several of Tokyo’s most interesting […]



  2. […] were staying in Shinjuku, so just hopped on a Yamanote Line train and then walked from Ebisu station – about a 15-minute stroll. There is a closer metro […]



  3. […] two pockets above represent the Yamanote Line within Tokyo (on the left, in green) with which I am very familiar after all these years, and the […]



  4. […] short of excellent hotels. It’s all about getting something central and close to a Yamanote Line […]



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