This is a list of town tramway systems in Japan, past and present, by region. Regions and towns are arranged in geographic order, northeast to southwest.

Hokkaidō

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Asahikawa Shigai Kidō
(旭川市街軌道)
Asahikawa Electric (600 V DC) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 3 November 1929 8 June 1956 [1]
Asahikawa Denki Kidō
(旭川電気軌道)
Asahikawa - Higashikawa (東川) and Asahiyama (旭山) Electric (600 V DC) 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 8 January 1927 31 December 1972 [1]
Hakodate City Transportation Bureau Hakodate Horse 1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 13 December 1897 1913  
Electric
(600 V DC)
  31 October 1913  
Sapporo Street Car Sapporo Horse 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1 May 1910 1918  
Electric
(600 V DC)
4 August 1918  

Tōhoku region

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
  Akayu Human   3 May 1919 30 June 1924 Connected hot-spring resorts in Akayu village with Akayu railway station. Operation suspended because of depot (carbarn) fire. Restoration of service planned, not carried out. Electrification planned ca. 1926, not carried out .
Akita Basha Tetsudō
(秋田馬車鉄道)
Akita to Tsuchizaki (土崎) Horse 1,391 mm (4 ft 6.8 in) 14 July 1899 1922 [1]
Akita City Transportation Bureau
(秋田市電)
Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 21 January 1922 30 March 1966
Hanamaki Dentetsu
(花巻電鉄)
Hanamaki - Nishi-Namari-onsen (西鉛温泉) Electric
(600 V DC)
762 mm (2 ft 6 in) 16 September 1915 31 August 1969 Horse traction used on some segments on temporary basis, 1920 - 1926. Connected Hanamaki town with Shidohira (志戸平), Ōzawa (大沢), and Namari (鉛) hot-spring resorts.[1]
Matsuyama Jinsha Kidō
(松山人車軌道)
Matsuyama Human   22 November 1922 1 January 1930 Connected Matsuyama railway station with Chiishi (千石). Last jinsha (human-powered tramway) in Japan to carry passengers. Heritage jinsha tramway operates at Cosmos Garden, within Gohommaru Park, Matsuyama, with replica vehicle (built 1992) .
Sendai City Transportation Bureau
(仙台市電)
Sendai Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 25 November 1926 31 March 1976 [2]
Akiu Denki Tetsudō
(秋保電気鉄道)
Nagamachi (長町), Sendai - Akiu-onsen (秋保温泉) Horse 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) 23 December 1914 1925 [1]
Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 14 June 1925 8 May 1961
Matsushima Densya
(松島電車)
Matsushima Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 4 February 1922 by 1938 (or 22 January 1938) Closed because construction of Sendai - Matsushima - Ishinomaki electric railway (opened in stages 1925 - 1928) ended the need for the tramway.[1]

Kantō region

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Musashi Chūō Denki Tetsudō
(武蔵中央電気鉄道)
Hachiōji Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 23 November 1929 30 June 1939
Kawasaki City Transportation Bureau
(川崎市電)
Kawasaki Station - Shiohama (塩浜) Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 13 October 1944 1969 Municipal town tramway.
Suihin Densha
(水浜電車), later Ibaraki Kōtsū
Mito Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 28 December 1922 1 June 1966 Connected Mito, Ōarai and Minato.[1]
Seisō Denki Kidō
(成宗電気軌道)
Narita Electric
(600 V DC)
1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 11 December 1910 10 December 1944 [1]
Tōbu Nikkō Tramway
(日光電気軌道)
Nikkō Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 10 August 1910 24 February 1968 Connected Nikkō Station and Umagaeshi (馬返).
[1]
  Noda Human   18 December 1900 13 October 1926  
Odawara Denki Tetsudō
(小田原電気鉄道),later Hakone Tozan Railway
Odawara   1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 1 October 1888 1900 Operation suspended 21 December 1944 – 12 September 1946. Tramway extended between Kōzu Station, Odawara and Hakone-Yumoto as built. Odawara - Kōzu segment closed 6 December 1920. Replaced by railway line. Odawara - Hakone-Yumoto segment closed 31 May 1935. Replaced by railway line.
[1]
Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 21 March 1900 31 May 1956
Kawagoe Denki Tetsudō
(川越電気鉄道)
Ōmiya - Kawagoe Electric
(600 V DC)
1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 16 April 1906 ? Formally closed from 25 February 1941.[1]

Tokyo

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Tokyo Toden
(東京都電)
Tokyo Horse   25 June 1882 1904 Electric traction demonstrated at exhibition in Ueno Park, 3 May - 1 July 1890; introduction of electric traction to Japan. First electric tramway within Tokyo opened 22 August 1903. Last lines of historic “municipal” system closed 11 November 1972. Current line is one of the company systems taken into municipal ownership from 1 February 1942. These served areas that were outside of the Tokyo municipal boundary until annexations in 1932.
Electric   22 August 1903 11 November 1972
Arakawa lines
(荒川線)
Electric   1 April 1913   The surviving portion of this system is today’s Toden Arakawa Line.
Jōtō Denki Kidō
(城東電気軌道)
  Electric
(600 V DC)
1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 30 December 1917 ? Connected with municipal network from 7 May 1929. [1]
Higashi-Arakawa (東荒川) - Imaibashi (今井橋) Electric
(600 V DC)
1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 31 December 1925 19 May 1952 Unconnected line of the Jōtō system, located east of the Arakawa drainage canal. Replaced by trolleybus.[1]
Suginami Line
(杉並線)
  Electric   26 August 1921 10 December 1963  
Tamagawa Denki Tetsudō
(玉川電気鉄道)
Tamagawa Line (玉川線) Electric
(600 V DC)
1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 6 March 1907 11 May 1969 Built by predecessor of today’s Tokyu Corporation. Not taken into municipal ownership (excepting short segments lying northeast of Shibuya.[1]
Tōkyū Setagaya Line   Electric   18 January 1925 [2]   Surviving portion of Tōkyū Tamagawa Line.
  Kanamachi (金町) Human   7 December 1899 1912 Replaced by electric railway line.
Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Yokohama City Transportation Bureau
(横浜市電)
Yokohama Electric
(600 V DC)
1,372 mm (4 ft 6 in) 15 July 1904 31 March 1972 [1]

Chūbu region

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Meitetsu Gifu Lines
(名鉄岐阜市内線)
Gifu Electric   11 February 1911 [2] 31 March 2005 [2]
Meitetsu Okoshi-sen
(名鉄起線)
Ichinomiya Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1 February 1924 31 May 1954 Service suspended from 1 June 1953, and formally closed from 1 June 1954.
Kanazawa Denki Kidō
(金沢電気軌道), later Hokuriku Tetsudō
Kanazawa Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 2 February 1919 10 February 1967 [3]
Matsumoto Electric Railway Matsumoto Electric   19 April 1924 [2] 31 March 1964 [2]
Nagoya City Tram
(名古屋市電)
Nagoya Electric   6 May 1898 31 March 1974  
Meitetsu Okazaki Shinai-sen
(名鉄岡崎市内線)
Okazaki Horse 762 mm (2 ft 6 in) 1 January 1899 1912 Service suspended 19 June 1945 because of firebomb attack, restored 1946 .
Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1 September 1912 17 June 1962
Shizuoka Tetsudō Shimizu Shinai-sen
(静岡鉄道清水市内線)
Shimizu Steam   6 December 1913 17 July 1917 Services suspended from 7 July 1974.
Electric   24 December 1928 [2] 20 March 1975 [2]
Shizuoka Tetsudō Shizuoka Shinai-sen
(静岡鉄道静岡市内線)
Shizuoka Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 2 August 1920 [2] 14 September 1962 [2]  
Manyō Line Takaoka [1] Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 10 April 1948   The current line incorporates segments opened from 12 October 1930 as part of Toyama - Shimminato railway.
Toyama Chiho Railway Toyama Electric   1 September 1913 [2]   Operation suspended 1 August 1945 because of firebomb attack. Service restored in stages from 14 January 1946 .
Toyohashi Railroad City Line Toyohashi Electric   14 July 1925 [2]    

Kinki region

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Mie Kōtsu Shinto-Sen
(三重交通神都線)
Ise Electric   5 August 1903 19 January 1961  
Kobe Municipal Transportation Bureau
(神戸市電)
Kobe Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 5 April 1910 13 March 1971 [3]
Kuwana Denki
(桑名電軌)
Kuwana Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 17 September 1927 9 January 1944 [3]
Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau
(京都市電)
Kyoto Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)/
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
1 February 1895 30 September 1978 [3]
Keifuku Electric Railroad Kyoto - Arashiyama Electric   25 March 1910    
Keihan Keishin Line Misasagi Station (Kyoto) - Hamaōtsu Station [2] Electric
1,500 V DC (600 V DC until 1996)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 15 August 1912   Street track segment in Kyoto replaced by new underground alignment built as part of a metro project and opened 12 October 1997. Four-car metro trains operate on a short segment of street track in Ōtsu.
Osaka Municipal Transportation Bureau
([大阪市電)
Osaka Electric   12 September 1903 31 March 1969  
Hanshin Electric Railway
(阪神国道線)
Osaka - Kobe Electric   1 July 1927 6 May 1975  
Hankai Tramway Osaka - Sakai Horse   20 September 1900 31 January 1908
Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1 October 1910  
Nankai Railway
(南海和歌山軌道線)
Wakayama Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 23 January 1909 31 March 1971 [3]

Chūgoku region

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Hiroshima Electric Railway Hiroshima Electric 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 23 November 1912 [2]    
Hiroshima Electric Railway Miyajima Line Hiroshima - Miyajima Electric   22 August 1922   Opened in stages, completed 1 February 1931. Built as a railway, through workings over town tramway system started 1 April 1958. Railway stock gradually replaced by tramway stock; last railway stock withdrawn 20 August 1994 .
Iwakuni Denki Kidō
(岩国電気軌道)
Iwakuni Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 2 February 1909 5 April 1929 [4]
Kure City Transportation Bureau
(呉市電)
Kure Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 31 October 1909 17 December 1967 [5]
Okayama Electric Tramway Okayama Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 5 May 1912 [2]    
Sanyō Denki Kidō
(山陽電気軌道)
Shimonoseki Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 25 December 1926 6 February 1971 Town tramway system incorporated a short length of railway line opened 22 April 1914, electrified 9 April 1926.[2]
Yonago Densha Kidō
(米子電車軌道)
Yonago Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 1 April 1925 27 November 1938 [3]

Shikoku

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Tosaden Kōchi Electric   2 May 1904 [2]   East-west tramway line extends between Ino, Kōchi and Gomen.
Matsuyama City Line Matsuyama Steam   22 August 1895 15 April 1927  
Electric   8 August 1911 [2]    
Shikoku Suiryoku Denki
(四国水力電気市内線), later Takamatsu-Kotohira Electric Railroad
Takamatsu Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 20 May 1917 3 July 1945 Closed because of firebomb attack which destroyed most of the town. Town tramway not rebuilt because extension of local electric railway lines to town center and railway station eliminated the need for the tramway. Officially closed from 8 January 1957.[3]

Kyūshū

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Nishi-Nippon Railroad Fukuoka Shinai-sen
(西鉄福岡市内線)
Fukuoka Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) & 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 9 March 1910 [2] 10 February 1979 [2] 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) and 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge lines (included dual-gauge sections).
Kagoshima City Transportation Bureau Kagoshima 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)   1 December 1912 [2]    
  Karatsu Horse   11 June 1900 1930  
Petrol (gasoline)   1913 28 November 1930  
Nishi-Nippon Railroad Kitakyūshū-sen
(西鉄北九州線)
Kitakyūshū Horse   11 June 1906 1920  
Electric   5 June 1911 25 November 2000  
Chikuho Electric Railroad Line Kitakyūshū - Nōgata Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 21 March 1956   Express tramway line.
Kumamoto City Transportation Bureau Kumamoto Steam   24 July 1908 July 1920  
Electric   1 August 1924 [2]    
  Kurume - Hita Horse   25 October 1903 1905  
Petrol (gasoline)   1905 1929  
Steam   1918 1929  
Electric   1918 1929 On segments of line within Kurume. Final operating segments closed 25 March 1929 .
Nagasaki Electric Tramway Nagasaki Electric   16 November 1915 [2]   Operation suspended from 9 August 1945 because of damage caused by atomic bomb attack. Service restored in stages from 25 November 1945 .
Ōita Kōtsu Betsudai Line
(大分交通別大線)
Ōita - Beppu Electric
(600 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 10 May 1900 [2] 4 April 1972  
Nishi-Nippon Railroad Ōmuta Shinai-sen
(西鉄大牟田市内線)
Ōmuta Electric
(600 V DC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) 1 December 1927 5 January 1952 Service suspended from 6 January 1952, and formally closed from 15 March 1954.
Saga Denki Kidō
(佐賀電気軌道)
Saga Electric
(600 V DC)
914 mm (3 ft) 10 April 1930 20 August 1937  
  Tsuyazaki Horse   28 April 1908 13 April 1939  

Okinawa Prefecture

Name of system Location Traction
type
Gauge Date (from) Date (to) Notes
Okinawa Denki Kidō
(沖縄電気軌道)
Naha Electric
(500 V DC)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) 3 May 1914 19 March 1933 Line officially closed from 12 August 1933.
[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o 原口隆行 Haraguchi, Takayuki. 2000. 日本の路面電車 II (廃止路線東日本編) Nippon no romendensha II (Haishi Rosen Higashi-Nippon-hen) (JTB Can Books series). Tokyo: Japan Travel Bureau.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Brown, Colin (2007). "Tramway Opening and Closure Dates". Bullet-In Issue 61, p25
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h 原口隆行 Haraguchi, Takayuki. 2000. 日本の路面電車 III (廃止路線西日本編) Nippon no romendensha III (Haishi Rosen Nishi-Nippon-hen) (JTB Can Books series). Tokyo: Japan Travel Bureau.
  4. ^ Brown, Colin (2004). "Rural Private Railways (Part 2): The Iwakuni Denki Kidō". Bullet-In Issue 52, 28-29
  5. ^ Brown, Colin (2006). "Rural Private Railways (Part 4): Kure Denki Tetsudō". Bullet-In Issue 57, 16-19

Other reference sources

  • 和久田康雄 Wakuda, Yasuo. 1993. 私鉄史ハンドブック Shitetsu shi handbook (Private Railways of Japan, Their Networks and Fleets, 1882 to 1991). Tokyo: Denkisha-kenkyūkai.