The opening of an additional railway link between JR Ueno and JR Tokyo stations in spring 2015 will drastically change services of the Tokaido, Tohoku and other lines and may cause confusion among passengers.
Currently, Tokyo and Ueno stations are the terminal points for certain lines, but the new link will make the lines more interconnected, allowing some through passengers to reach their destinations without having to change trains as they must do now.
While this will be more convenient for such passengers, the names of the new final destinations displayed on signs on trains will be unfamiliar to many passengers.
On Monday, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) announced that the new section of track between Tokyo and Ueno stations will be called the "Ueno-Tokyo Line." It will connect Tokyo Station, the terminal station for the Tokaido Line, with Ueno Station, the terminal station of the Tohoku Line (Utsunomiya Line), the Takasaki Line and the Joban Line.
The new link will make it unnecessary for passengers to change to the Yamanote or other train lines when traveling between Tokyo and Ueno stations.
Rail traffic experts expect that the Yamanote Line's congestion rate, which reaches nearly 200 percent during rush hours, will be drastically lowered.
Japanese research whaling vessels have returned to a port in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, after completing a survey expedition in the Antarctic Ocean. The expedition was unusual in that it did not involve catching any whales. (NHK)
With the arrival of the cherry blossom season, the Tokyo metropolitan government has taken steps to manage the influx of revelers expected at Ueno Park in Taito Ward, where a hanami festival is being held. (The Japan News)
The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) says the amount of money spent by foreign tourists in 2014 surpassed the preceding year by 43.1%, totaling 2.0278 trillion yen and exceeded two trillion yen for the first time ever. (Japan Today)
The assembly of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is expected to pass an ordinance next week acknowledging same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage, after a bill for the ordinance was approved at a committee meeting Thursday. (Jiji Press)
A teen model smiles sweetly at the camera. Deftly using her hands, she produces a considerable volume of white, goopy liquid. Then she turns to the camera and asks, innocently, "It all came out?" (rocketnews24.com)
Lee Dong Cheol, 61, and an employee of his trading firm were arrested by the Kyoto, Kanagawa, Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectural police departments on Thursday for allegedly importing North Korean matsutake mushrooms under the pretense that they were Chinese ones. (The Japan News)
Police reported a record-high 28,923 minors aged below 18 to child welfare authorities as suspected victims of child abuse in 2014, up 33.9 percent from a year earlier, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (Kyodo)
The two names of what appears to be Japanese are on the boarding list of a Germanwings airplane that crashed in southeastern France Tuesday, according to the Japanese consulate general in Barcelona. (Jiji Press)
Police on Wednesday arrested a 42-year-old man in connection with the deaths of his parents, who were found fatally stabbed the day before in a factory the family ran in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. (Japan Times)