Nagoya Subway System

The Nagoya Subway System, located in Nagoya, Japan, is a comprehensive and efficient network that serves the city and its surrounding areas. Here’s a brief guide to help you navigate this system:

Lines and Color Coding

The Nagoya Subway consists of six main lines, each identified by a unique color and a letter. Each station is clearly marked with its name and the line color. Major transfer stations like Nagoya Station, Sakae, and Kanayama allow easy switching between lines.

  1. Higashiyama Line (Yellow, H)
    • Nagoya Station: A major transportation hub connecting various other lines.
    • Fushimi Station: Close to the Nagoya City Science Museum.
    • Sakae Station: Located in a major shopping and entertainment area.
    • Higashiyama Koen Station: Near Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
    • Fujigaoka Station: The eastern terminus of the line.
  2. Meijo Line (Purple, M)
    • Kanayama Station: Another major transfer station connecting with JR lines.
    • Yagoto Station: Provides access to Nanzan University.
    • Nagoya Dome-mae Yada Station: Close to the Nagoya Dome.
    • Kamimaezu Station: Near Osu Kannon Temple and Osu Shopping District.
    • Nagoyako Station: Access to Nagoya Port and its attractions.
  3. Meiko Line (Dark Blue, E)
    • Kanayama Station: Shared with the Meijo Line.
    • Nagoyako Station: Also part of the Meijo Line, serving the Nagoya Port area.
  4. Tsurumai Line (Blue, T)
    • Kamimaezu Station: Interchange with the Meijo Line.
    • Tsurumai Station: Near Tsuruma Park.
    • Ozone Station: Close to Nagoya Dome.
    • Akaike Station: The western terminus of the line.
  5. Sakuradori Line (Red, S)
    • Nagoya Station: Connects with the Higashiyama Line.
    • Hisaya-odori Station: Interchange with the Meijo Line.
    • Tokushige Station: The eastern terminus of the line.
  6. Kamiida Line (Pink, K)
    • Kamiida Station: Connects with the Kamiiida Line of the Meitetsu Komaki Line.
    • Heian-dori Station: Interchange with the Meijo Line.


Tickets can be purchased at vending machines in each station. Fares are distance-based. The machines have English language options for ease of use. You can also use IC cards like Manaca and TOICA for convenient tap-and-go access.

Manaca and TOICA Cards

  1. What Are They?
    • Manaca Card: A rechargeable smart card used for electronic money and accessing public transportation in the Nagoya area.
    • TOICA Card: Similarly, TOICA is a rechargeable smart card mainly for JR Central’s railway network but is also accepted on many other transport systems, including the Nagoya Subway.
  2. Where to Get Them
    • Purchase Locations: You can buy these cards at ticket vending machines and ticket counters at most subway stations and JR (Japan Railways) stations in Nagoya.
    • Airport: If you’re arriving by air, you can purchase these cards at Chubu Centrair International Airport.
  3. How to Purchase
    • Machine Instructions: The vending machines usually have an English language option. Select “Purchase IC Card” and follow the prompts.
    • Initial Cost: These cards require an initial deposit (usually around 2,000 yen, which includes a refundable 500 yen deposit and 1,500 yen usable balance).
  4. Recharging the Card
    • Recharge Machines: You can recharge these cards at ticket machines located in subway stations. Select “Charge” and add the desired amount.
    • Convenience Stores: Some convenience stores also offer recharging services.
  5. Using the Card
    • Tap-and-Go: Tap your card on the card reader at the ticket gates when entering and exiting the subway stations.
    • Check Balance: After each use, the remaining balance will be displayed on the gate’s screen.
  6. Refund Policy
    • Refunds: If you no longer need the card, you can get a refund for the remaining balance and the deposit. This can be done at a ticket counter where the card was issued. Note that a handling fee may be deducted.
  7. Other Uses
    • Wider Acceptance: Besides public transport, these cards can be used for electronic money payments in convenience stores, vending machines, and some restaurants in Japan.
  8. Compatibility
    • Interoperability: Manaca and TOICA cards are compatible with most other IC cards in Japan, like Suica and Pasmo, making them valid for travel beyond Nagoya.

Operating Hours

Subways and Trains generally operate from around 5:00 AM to midnight. However, it’s advisable to check specific times for each line, as they may vary.

Apps and Maps

Consider downloading a Nagoya Subway map app on your smartphone for real-time navigation assistance.

Utilizing smartphone apps for navigation can significantly enhance your experience with the Nagoya Subway system. These apps often provide real-time updates, station information, route suggestions, and more. Here are a few examples of apps that can be particularly helpful:

  1. Google Maps
    • Features: Offers comprehensive transit directions, including subway routes in Nagoya. You can see the estimated arrival time, transfer points, and walking directions to and from stations.
    • Real-Time Updates: Provides updates on delays or service changes.
    • User-Friendly: Its familiar interface makes it easy for first-time users to navigate.
  2. Navitime for Japan Travel
    • Tailored for Travelers: This app is specifically designed for tourists in Japan. It includes English language support and covers various transportation modes, including subways.
    • Offline Maps: Offers downloadable maps, which is an excellent feature if you’re trying to conserve data or in an area with spotty service.


Kiyok, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

アレックス, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

TOICA – obverse, by Vineyard, GNU Free Documentation License, via Wikimedia Commons

One thought on “Nagoya Subway System

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *