In Monorails and more: Tokyo’s amusing train lines, I described 18 of the Tokyo areas more interesting train lines, including the Chiba Urban Monorail 千葉都市モノレール (aka Chibatoshi Monorail), which resembles a roller-coaster more closely than any other train in the Tokyo area. It’s also the longest suspended monorail in the world. It also is surprisingly quiet.
Leaving Tsuga 都賀駅 station, looking south:
Monorails such as this are captivating because their slender elevated tracks appear unnaturally thin, and the curves appear gratuitous, as if built primarily for aesthetic reasons.
South of Tsuga station:
Keisei-Chiba station 京成千葉駅:
And they perform magic tricks, slipping in and out of buildings. Seen here, near Chiba Station, the monorail snakes between Sen City Tower and the SOGO Chiba shopping center.
About a week after rode the Chiba Monorail I learned that new train cars were introduced that have glass floors. I was quite disappointed, but at least this gives me reason to visit again someday. I came across sources that said that the new train was designed to give passengers the feeling that they are “walking through the sky”.
Looking down through the glass floor of the new Chiba Monorail trains (photo source)
The Chiba Monorail traverses urban and suburban spaces, though it also crosses some surprisingly rural-looking places, such as here: map. For a closer look, this YouTube video gives a good sense of this unique train:
Above a canal at Yoshikawakoen station 葭川公園駅:
- Chiba Monorail (Wikipedia)
- Photos of the Chiba Monorail
- ７月から新型車両運行 バリアフリー、省エネ向上 千葉都市モノレール New type vehicle operation barrier-free from July, Energy saving improvement Chiba city monorail” (translated): “In addition to increasing the size of the windows compared to existing trains, a portion of the car floor inside the operator’s cab is made of glass. The trains are thoroughly designed for barrier-free access, including a larger wheelchair space, and consume 20 percent less electricity than existing trains.”
- Monorails and more: Tokyo’s amusing train lines
- Yamaman Yukarigaoka Line maps 山万ユーカリが丘線