People venturing to Tokyo's most bustling areas this weekend — including Shibuya and Shinjuku — may need to find another way there if they were planning on taking the Yamanote Line, since the loop train service is being partially suspended.
East Japan Railway Co., the operator of Tokyo’s busy Yamanote Line, is halting operations of the inner circle loop between Ikebukuro and Osaki stations all day Saturday and Sunday. The suspended section includes some of the line's busiest stations.
The Yamanote Line outer loop will continue running, so riders can still access those stations, but the number of trains have been slashed to about 60% of usual levels.
The 52-hour suspension, which is the longest since operator JR East's inception, is due to construction work at Shibuya Station — part of an effort to improve commuters' rides, according to the firm.
Currently, Shibuya Station has separate platforms for Yamanote Line trains running on the inner and outer loops, but JR East is aiming to group them on one platform by 2027. The firm will widen the station platform for the inner circle over the weekend.
Because Ikebukuro and Osaki stations are where Yamanote Line trains can change directions to the inner or outer loop, JR East has had to shut operations of that section for the work at Shibuya Station.
To ensure that stations on the affected section are still accessible, JR East is boosting the number of trains on the Saikyo Line and Rinkai Line, which also run through Shinjuku and Shibuya stations.
JR East is also running temporary train services using tracks normally reserved for freight trains. Those trains run between Shinagawa and Shinjuku and stop at Ebisu and Shibuya. They depart and arrive once or twice an hour.
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