One of the less known train lines from Tokyo is the Tsukuba Express - abbreviated TX, which runs from the famous Akihabara Station towards North-East, to the Tsukuba city from Ibaraki.
Although it has a fair amount of advertising, since it leaves from Akihabara, for many years I almost ignored it - when I wanted to travel in the area serviced by Tsukuba Express I used other trains, like the JR Jōban line.
So, it was almost accidentally when I took my first ride with this train - I was in Kita-Senju looking for a really fast way to go to Akihabara. And I wasn’t disappointed, the TX train was indeed what I needed…
The line is quite new, inaugurated in 2005 and it is owned by a public-private joint corporation (known in Japan as a “third sector” company) called Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company. Originally designated as the Jōban Shinsen (Jōban New Line), TX is a fast line, operating at 130km/h and it was designed to help the development of the towns along the line. The area serviced by Tsukuba Expres even received its own name, Miraidaira-Ichisato 「みらい平 いちさと」, meaning “plain of the future", a reference to the Kanto Plain and to the desired development.
Tsukuba Express, Tokyo
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Hiroshima Castle’s Ninomaru Gate