Tokyo Train Set
January 3, 2022 9:09 PM   Subscribe

Watch the trains of Tokyo in real-time from the comfort of your home. Mini Tokyo 3D.

"Mini Tokyo 3D is a real-time 3D map of public transportation in Tokyo. Trains in operation and airplanes that are arriving or departing are represented on a realistic 3D map with smooth animation. This is a “digital twin” that looks exactly like the real world in the digital world." From Akihiko Kusanagi aka nagix [github].

There is a user guide or just jump in.

It gives a much better feel for how transit moves through the city than most maps do. And, I love that there is a plugin to show an overlay of fireworks displays. One to save for next summer.
posted by Gotanda (19 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool!
posted by dg at 9:38 PM on January 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is REALLY great.

I keep thinking all the trains are going really slowly ( ... because I'm zoomed way out, and I can't see where the streets are; when I zoom in a lot everything seems much zippier).

Ooh! And I just saw two trains waiting at a station for a third to arrive (undoubtedly so they could do transfers) -
oh but
wait -
the third just DISAPPEARED!
It was a blue and a green waiting for an orange, and the orange arrived, and they all sat there together for a moment, and then the blue and the green pulled away in opposite directions BUT THE ORANGE WAS GONE!

Are Tokyo trains eating each other?


ANYWAY - I am SO stoked by projects promoting open transportation data, and so excited to see people doing cool things with it, and this is very very cool indeed.

Thank you so much for posting this, Gotanda!
posted by kristi at 10:10 PM on January 3, 2022 [6 favorites]

Mini Metro irl.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:37 PM on January 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

Woah. This is really neat!
posted by arcticwoman at 10:56 PM on January 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

Carnivorous Mecha Tokyo Trains could be the next big thing, but I hope only on screen.

kristi: It was a blue and a green waiting for an orange, and the orange arrived, and they all sat there together for a moment, and then the blue and the green pulled away in opposite directions BUT THE ORANGE WAS GONE!

I wonder if this was one of those situations where two train systems share and run trains on the same line. The subway runs end to end, but the line goes on for many stations each direction beyond the subway where it becomes the suburban commuter rail line? Or, maybe the orange was going out of service at that station? And, then again, maybe the Orange was actually a very tasty Mikan!
posted by Gotanda at 11:53 PM on January 3, 2022

There are cases where the train terminates, and certainly a few trains that split and join (the Narita express used to do that).

I'm amazed at how much they've crammed in there. It has underground and overground railways on the map, which caught me out when I switched worlds for the first time, and it has trains from what looks like all the railway companies (of which there are MANY, with a strong tendency to ignore each other's existence). It also seems to cover Yokohama's subway, too. Whoever pulled that together has the patience of a saint.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 12:35 AM on January 4, 2022

I've been having a great time playing with this. Clicking on the camera icons orients the map to match the camera's POV and then you can open the camera view in another window and watch the real live trains matching the reported data (with a lag of a few seconds to a minute on most cameras)! It's mindboggling to think what's going on here. We really are living in the future (alternative reading: I really have gotten old :/ ). The times when I've had the opportunity to play with this have mostly corresponded to sunrise in Tokyo which makes for some spectacular views, especially from the cameras around Oidaba.
posted by merlynkline at 12:55 AM on January 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

Also, this only serves to increase my envy of Tokyo's transport infrastructure. The views from some cameras are fantastic, e.g. Nippori where you often see shinkansen passing as well as all the other trains shown on the map, and the lines are going off in all directions and are at multiple levels, like some sci-fi fantasy. I love it :)
posted by merlynkline at 12:58 AM on January 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

This opens by default around the part of Tokyo I know best (Yurakucho) and kinda makes me want to check back on the weekend when the musical theatres let out to see if you can actually see the delay of thousands of spectators trying to catch the Yamanote. Great site!
posted by I claim sanctuary at 4:23 AM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Fascinating stuff.

The Shinjuku camera sometimes shows more and sometimes less trains than the map does. I've no idea why but trying to sort this out is also entertaining.
posted by Kosmob0t at 4:39 AM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

like some sci-fi fantasy

For those commuters this is not sci-fi fantasy, it's base reality. In contrast, my local transit system is a dystopian mashup of historical period pieces and subverted utopian tropes.
posted by otherchaz at 4:41 AM on January 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

This is really wonderful.
posted by fruitslinger at 8:36 AM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

If you are interested in the trains and rails of Japan, I wholeheartedly recommend the NHK program Japan Railway Journal.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:58 AM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Either it's a bug, or this also includes precipitation! If you zoom out far enough you can see the entirety of japan and asia, and where it's currently raining.
posted by nushustu at 12:04 PM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Thank you for this post! I find it really soothing and there aren’t that many things that I can look at these days that feel soothing.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:35 PM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is amazing. THERE ARE AIRPLANES, TOO! (over Tokyo Bay, I guess?)
posted by Bron at 2:56 PM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Whoops, completely lost track of time trying to match the webcams on the train app to Google Maps locations. Guess dinner is going to be a bit late!
posted by mollweide at 3:39 PM on January 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Since I am unlikely to fulfill my dream of creating a full, working, N gauge model of the greater Tokyo railway (a single set of a complete 11 car Yamanote train costs well north of ¥20,000, and I prefer to avoid thinking about the cost of the space required to recreate, essentially, the Kanto area in N gauge scale), I’ll gladly accept this as the next best thing. Thanks for the otoshidama, uncle Gotanda!
posted by Ghidorah at 4:12 PM on January 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

“Visiting Tokyo Metro's mysterious world of 'impossible' stations and trains to nowhere,” Kaho Kitayama, The Mainichi, 17 January 2022
posted by ob1quixote at 4:30 PM on January 18, 2022

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