Jump to content
cteno4

English Language Publications on Japanese Rail

Recommended Posts

cteno4

We have had this come up a few threads over the years on this that have gotten buried so this will be a pinned topic that I’ll keep a list i this post as folks add new posts with additional material so we can keep it in one place.

 

please suggest more!

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

General & Technical Information Websites

 

All About Japanese Trains — http://www.allaboutjapantrains.com/

Good overall of Japanese rail systems.

 

Wikipedia: Rail Transport in Japan — https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_transport_in_Japan

Good general starting point for wiki research

 

Japanese Rail and Transport Review — http://www.ejrcf.or.jp/jrtr/start.html

great set of pdf publications on the history of Japanese rail and many specific rail technologies 

 

Japanese Railway Society —  http://www.japaneserailwaysociety.com/

 

JORSA Japanese Overseas Railway System Association — http://jorsa.or.jp/en/

Some introductory material about Japanese rail and export of Japanese equipment overseas. New bulletins have to be requested to get access to them

 

Technical Regulatory Standards on Japanese Railways — http://www.mlit.go.jp/english/2006/h_railway_bureau/Laws_concerning/14.pdf

Railway Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism

 

Tokyo Rail — http://tekkenweb.sakura.ne.jp/tokyorail/index.html

 

Tokyo Railway Labyrinthhttps://tokyorailwaylabyrinth.blogspot.com/

 


 

Books

 

Old Man Thunder: Father of the Bullet Train by Bill Hosokawa

History of the creation of the shinkansen about Sogo the JNS president that was the main force in the shinkansen development. (ISBN-13: 978-0965958004)

 

Early Japanese Railways 1853-1914: Engineering Triumphs That Transformed Meiji-era Japan by Dan Free

Excellent book with lots of the politics and economics of early rail development in japan and nice early photos, very dense book! (ISBN-13: 978-4805312902)

 

Shinkansen: From Bullet Train to Symbol of Modern Japan by Christopher Hood

Christopher Hood’s in-depth look at shinkansen system and Japan from his doctoral dissertation. Hard to find and expensive even as a kindle. (ISBN-13: 978-0415320528)

 

Railway Operators in Japan by Makoto Aoki, Yuichiro Kishi, Masafumi Miki, Shuichi Takashima and Kazushige Terada

(ISBN-13: 978-4330089096)

 

Japan’s Colorful Tramways by Colin Brown

Light Rail Transit Association (ISBN-13: 978-0948106477)

 

Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 30 City Guides by Ramsey Zarifeh & Anna Udagawa

Guide to traveling japan by rails with many maps (ISBN-13: 978-1905864751)

 

Electric Railways of Japan (3 volumes + supplement) by L.W. Demery; Forty; De Groote; Higgins

Volume 1; Tokyo & North Japan (ISBN 13: 9780900433955)

Volume 2: Central Japan (ISBN 13: 9780948106026)

Volume 3: Western Japan (ISBN 13: 9780948106200)

Japan by Rail Supplement (ISBN 13: 9780961153809)

 

Metros & Trams in Japan (3 volumes) by Andrew Phipps & Robert Schwandl

Volume 1 — Tokyo Region (ISBN 13: 9783936573473)

Volume 2 — North & Central Japan (ISBN 13: 9783936573527)

Volume 3 — West &South Japan (ISBN 13: 9783936573541)

 

Sayonara Streetcar by Ralph Forty.

Interurbans Special 70, Interurbans, Glendale California 1978. ISBN 0-916374-33-5 (Out of print)

A review of 26 Japanese tramways, all closed by the time the book was published. Plus a list of the then extant city and rural lines. Good text, maps and photos.

 

Far Wheels - A Railroad Safari by Charles S. Small

Simmons Boardman Publishing, New York 1959. No ISBN

Far Wheels II by Charles S. Small

Railhead Publications, Canton Ohio 1986. ISBN 0-912113-31-6

Both books have chapters on Japanese railways. Mentioned are the JNR, various private lines in Hokkaido and Honshu, Kosaka Copper’s 2’6” gauge line, Kinki Nippon Railway, Toby Railway and the Kiso Forest Railway. Other chapters feature narrow and standard gauge railways from around the more obscure parts of world. Mr Small was not only well-travelled, he was an excellent writer with a dry wit and a turn of phrase to match. Both are out of print, but well worth searching for.

 

Rails To The Rising Sun by Charles S. Small

Golden West Books, San Marino California 1965. No IBSN

This book expands on the topics featured in the previous books, being exclusively about railways in Japan. Like his other books, it’s very well written, informative as well as genuinely funny, and well illlustrated with some excellent photos of the less well-known parts of the Japanese railway scene. Again, it’s out of print but it’s a must read for anyone interested in the late Showa era railways.

 

The Privatisation Of Japanese National Railways by Tatsujiro Ishikawa and Mitsuhide Imashiro

The Athlone Press London 1998. ISBN 0-485-11452-6-hb 

A very comprehensive and interesting study of the issues that lead to the breakup and privatisation of JNR in 1987. By no means a dry economic text, it’s worth reading for its insights and analysis. Also a good chronology and maps.

 

Tramways in Japan by Ernst Lassbacher

Verlag Popischil Wien 1987

English text with English and German captions. Features 27 tramway operators, some of which still run today. Good maps, photos and fleet lists.

 

Steam Locomotives Of Japan by Naotaka Hirota

Kodansha International Tokyo 1972. ISBN 0-87011-185-x

An overview of Japanese steam locos from 1872 onwards. It features Mr Hirota’s excellent photos, folio diagrams, D51 general arrangement drawings, and a complete list of all government railway loco types with wheel arrangements and builders. If you’re interested in Japanese steam this is the book to get.

 

The Lure Of Japanese Railways by Naotaka Hirota

The Japan Times Ltd Tokyo 1969.

Another of Mr Hirota’s books which is mainly pictorial. It features everything from Shinkansen to development lines in Hokkaido. The mostly black & white photos are very atmospheric, many focus on people rather than just the trains. Some of them look like still pictures from a Japanese film noir. This is one of my favourites.

 


 

Japan Railway Websites

 

JR Companies

JR Hokkaido — http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/index.html

JR Tokai — http://english.jr-central.co.jp/index.html

JR Shikoku — http://www.jr-shikoku.co.jp/global/en/

JR East — http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/index.html

JR West — http://www.westjr.co.jp/global/en/

JR Kyushu — http://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/english/index.html

 

Private Railway Companies (East Japan) Websites

Tokyu Corporation — http://www.tokyu.co.jp/global/index.html

Tobu Railway Corporation — http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/

Keikyu Corporation — http://www.keikyu.co.jp/index.html

Odakyu Electric Railway — http://www.odakyu.jp/english/index.html

Keisei Electric Railway — https://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/index.php

Keio Company —https://www.keio.co.jp/english/

Seibu Railway — https://www.seiburailway.jp/railways/tourist/english/

Tokyo Metro — https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

Keisei Electric Railway -- http://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/index.php

 

Kansai Private Railways

Kintetsu Railway Co. — https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/

Hankyu Railway — http://www.hankyu.co.jp/global/en/

Keihan Electric Railway — https://www.keihan.co.jp/travel/en/

Nankai Electric Railway — https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/top.html

Hanshin Electric Railway — https://www.hanshin.co.jp/global/en/

Meitetsu (Nagoya Railway) — https://www.meitetsu.co.jp/eng/

Enoshima Electric Railway — https://www.enoden.co.jp/en/

Hakone-Tozan Co. —https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/en/

Izukyu Railway — http://www.izukyu.jp/foreign_language/en/

Toei Subway (& Toden Arakawa tram) — https://www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
bill937ca

East Japan Major Private Railways

 

Keisei Electric Railway  https://www.keisei.co.jp/keisei/tetudou/skyliner/us/index.php

Keio Company   https://www.keio.co.jp/english/

Seibu Railway https://www.seiburailway.jp/railways/tourist/english/

Tokyo Metro https://www.tokyometro.jp/en/

 

Kansai Major Private Railways

 

Kintetsu Railway Co.  https://www.kintetsu.co.jp/foreign/english/

Hankyu Railway  http://www.hankyu.co.jp/global/en/

Keihan Electric Railway  https://www.keihan.co.jp/travel/en/

Nankai Electric Railway  https://www.howto-osaka.com/en/top.html

Hanshin Electric Railway https://www.hanshin.co.jp/global/en/

 

Meitetsu (Nagoya Railway)    https://www.meitetsu.co.jp/eng/

 

Enoshima Electric Railway  https://www.enoden.co.jp/en/

Hakone-Tozan Co.   https://www.hakone-tozan.co.jp/en/

Izukyu Railway http://www.izukyu.jp/foreign_language/en/

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Thanks bill

 

jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
ben_issacs

Folks,

'Electric Railways of Japan'., 3 A5 booklets, published several years ago by the Light Rail Transit Assoc. in Britain, Authors, Demery, Forty, DeGroote and Higgins.

These cover East  Japan, Central Japan and West Japan.

Dated by now, but useful with their diagrammatic maps of the systems.

Also, 'Japan by Rail' a supplement to the above volumes, by the same authors, 1985, ISBN 0-9611538-0-6

A lot of useful info. about the translation of Japanese characters for various types of trains, etc, details of preserved electric rail vehicles and much more.

This volume was published by 'The Map Factory', Box 3484, Los Angeles, CA 90078-3484 .

May no longer exists.

All the above could be hard to get now-a-days.

Regards, 

Bill, 

Melbourne.

 

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Thanks bill, they are oop but still available thru used book sellers although not cheap. Nice books I have v 1

 

jeff

Share this post


Link to post
bill937ca

Electric Railroaders Association, January-December 2015 ERA Headlights issue, ERA Tour of Traction In Japan.

 

92 page magazine style book published as 2015 ERA members magazine entitlement.  No maps, list of tram lines on the inside back cover and numerous color photos.

Share this post


Link to post
marknewton

Far Wheels - A Railroad Safari by Charles S. Small. Simmons Boardman Publishing, New York 1959. No ISBN.

 

large.40192945-D01F-4EBB-BD2C-235302A660

 

Far Wheels II by Charles S. Small. Railhead Publications, Canton Ohio 1986. ISBN 0-912113-31-6

 

large.E7052617-9FAB-4B52-92AB-889E47A9D0

 

Both books have chapters on Japanese railways. Mentioned are the JNR, various private lines in Hokkaido and Honshu, Kosaka Copper’s 2’6” gauge line, Kinki Nippon Railway, Toby Railway and the Kiso Forest Railway. Other chapters feature narrow and standard gauge railways from around the more obscure parts of world. Mr Small was not only well-travelled, he was an excellent writer with a dry wit and a turn of phrase to match. Both are out of print, but well worth searching for.

 

Rails To The Rising Sun by Charles S. Small. Golden West Books, San Marino California 1965. LoC card No. 66-21340

 

large.68A68368-018D-4DDF-AD44-D913B2F5E7 large.32106D8C-4C9D-4078-A93A-16CE1556E8

 

This book expands on the topics featured in the previous books, being exclusively about railways in Japan. Like his other books, it’s very well written, informative as well as genuinely funny, and well illlustrated with some excellent photos of the less well-known parts of the Japanese railway scene. Again, it’s out of print but it’s a must read for anyone interested in the late Showa era railways.

 

Sayonara Streetcar by Ralph Forty. Interurbans Special 70, Interurbans, Glendale California 1978. ISBN 0-916374-33-5 (Out of print)

 

large.D94FF7B2-B4EB-4812-B0F9-6102E1C488 large.67611CE0-6519-4191-9A8B-3FCFE0BCED

 

A review of 26 Japanese tramways, all closed by the time the book was published. Plus a list of the then extant city and rural lines. Good text, maps and photos.

 

More to follow,

 

Mark.

 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Thanks mark, May have to pick up some of those!

 

jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
marknewton
Posted (edited)

 

The Privatisation Of Japanese National Railways by Tatsujiro Ishikawa and Mitsuhide Imashiro. The Athlone Press London 1998. ISBN 0-485-11452-6-hb 

 

A very comprehensive and interesting study of the issues that lead to the breakup and privatisation of JNR in 1987. By no means a dry economic text, it’s worth reading for its insights and analysis. Also a good chronology and maps.

 

large.8F9927C8-E5E8-4D2F-A0D9-45DADAB895large.474F8E98-6422-4593-AAE1-9802C35FEA

 

Tramways in Japan by Ernst Lassbacher. Verlag Popischil Wien 1987.

 

English text with English and German captions. Features 27 tramway operators, some of which still run today. Good maps, photos and fleet lists.

 

large.029DEC20-0768-48DD-99DE-2C173D3B92  large.3976CAD2-3237-495C-95F7-16529571E0

 

Steam Locomotives Of Japan, by Naotaka Hirota. Kodansha International Tokyo 1972. ISBN 0-87011-185-x

 

An overview of Japanese steam locos from 1872 onwards. It features Mr Hirota’s excellent photos, folio diagrams, D51 general arrangement drawings, and a complete list of all government railway loco types with wheel arrangements and builders. If you’re interested in Japanese steam this is the book to get.

 

large.6E6CA778-BB72-48DC-86FC-C00C4DFAD7

 

The Lure Of Japanese Railways by Naotaka Hirota. The Japan Times Ltd Tokyo 1969.

 

Another of Mr Hirota’s books which is mainly pictorial. It features everything from Shinkansen to development lines in Hokkaido. The mostly black & white photos are very atmospheric, many focus on people rather than just the trains. Some of them look like still pictures from a Japanese film noir. This is one of my favourites.

 

large.053404BB-9FF7-4D2D-B1B6-4AF0E4BA17 large.281F3479-599D-4474-B380-E41AD0251A

 

More to follow,

 

Mark.

 

 

 

 

Edited by marknewton

Share this post


Link to post
cteno4

Thanks mark, you have some library. I got a copy of the lure of Japanese rr as I liked your film noir description as well as people in the pictures 

 

jeff

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
marknewton

I think you’ll enjoy that book Jeff. There’s some stunning photos in it.

 

As for my library, it’s probably time I got some new bookshelves:

 

large.B5C5A260-A58F-4974-BED8-635CB5AECA large.21FC9B28-6F89-45F5-B5DF-644E642E24

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
miyakoji

This topic really speaks to my heart :).  Great idea to keep this pinned Jeff.  My two additions:

  • Japanese National Railways: Its Break-up and Privatization by Yoshiyuki Kasai.  Global Oriental 2003.  ISBN 1-901903-45-1
  • Delayed Departures, Overdue Arrivals: Industrial Familiarism and the Japanese National Railways by Paul Noguchi.  University of Hawaii Press 1990.  ISBN 0824812883

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×