You can probably tell which stations they’ll be played at, but can you guess which songs have been chosen?
One of the great things about travelling around Tokyo by rail is listening to all the different departure melodies that play at each station just before the doors close and the train takes off for its next stop. Not only do the jingles serve as cautionary signals to passengers, they’re often specific to the culture or history of the area. The Japanese folk song Sakura Sakura is played at Musashi Koganei Station on the Chuo Line, as the station was originally built for people who came to view the cherry blossoms in spring, and the Tetsuwan Atom/Astro Boy theme song can be heard at Takadanobaba Station on the Yamanote Line, as the area is home to the headquarters of Tezuka Productions, the studio of the anime character’s creator.
▼ At Takadanobaba, the melody is played at a different pitch on either side of the platform, and with male or female announcers, so locals will know whether it’s the Shinjuku-bound train or the one bound for Ikebukuro that’s about to depart.
Tokyo Metro Co., the operator of nine lines of the city’s subway system, has currently upgraded 114 of its 179 stations to include special melodies. When it came time to decide the tunes for its next station upgrades, the company posed the question to the public. A total of 11,000 respondents replied between June and September last year, with an overwhelming number making melody suggestions for Nogizaka Station on the Chiyoda line, and Ginza and Akihabara stations on the Hibiya line. Chosen by popular demand, the songs to be played are as follows:
▼ “Kimi no na wa Kibo” ( meaning “Your Name is Hope”) by Nogizaka46, to be played at their namesake station, Nogizaka.
▼ “Ginza no Koi no Monogatari” (“Ginza Love Story”), sung by singer Junko Makimura and the late actor Yujiro Ishihara, at Ginza Station
▼ And at Akihabara Station…AKB48’s smash hit song from 2013, “Koi Suru Fortune Cookie”.
To get a taste of what we’ll be hearing on the platforms in the very near future, check out these clips for the three songs below.
“Kimi no na wa Kibo”
“Ginza no Koi no Monogatari”
“Koi Suru Fortune Cookie”