• Teddy


Many cities abolished trams in 60s and 70s, remaining less than 20 cities to operate trams in Japan. Cities with 1 million or more population which still operate trams in Japan are only Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Sapporo and Hiroshima.

Trams are running more in western Japan, rather than eastern Japan. For example, there is no tram between Sapporo in Hokkaido and Tokyo. On the other hand, there are 3 cities in Kyushu which operate trams; Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Kagoshima.

There are two types of trams, or tram operating companies. The first type is municipal one. Trams are operated as together with municipal buses. Operation costs are covered by the fares and the local taxes. The second one is private company. The operation costs must be covered by the fares. Not like metros which are operated by the cities or major stockholders are the local governments, half of the trams are run by private companies such as Iyotetsu in Matsuyama and Hiroden in Hiroshima.