Japanese train stations have their own theme songs!


When you arrive in Japan and take the train, you start noticing these unique theme songs that they play at each station. The melody will play just before the train will departure to make sure you don`t try to rush into the train last minute. In Japanese it is called "発車メロディー", which translates in English to Departure Melody. The theme songs were first introduced in 1989 at Shinjuku and Shibuya station and have expanded to other stations around Tokyo.

Yamanote Line

The busiest train line in Japan is the Yamanote line. When you are in Tokyo you will definitely ride the Yamanote line. Each station of the Yamanote line has a theme song, which they will play every few minutes. Here is a video of all the theme songs that you hear on the Yamanote line.


These days there are collaborations between Japanese companies and the Tokyo railway companies to use these songs as marketing campaign. Last year they were playing Disney tunes when the train departs in certain areas! In this video you can see a overview of all of the melodies from Star Wars to Aladdin.

Another one is that you can hear the Astroboy theme song when you pass through Takadanobaba station. As the area around Takadanobaba was the main setting for the anime.


After taking the train a few times the theme songs will stick in your head. When that happens instead of checking the name of the station you will remember the stations through the songs!

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