Japanese Train Infographics

Japanese trains are the paragon of efficiency. During peak rush hour, 11-car commuter trains rumble in and out of stations at 90-second intervals. There is no room for error. Everyone needs to know where to go.

So, when the trains were fitted with interactive displays, on the inside, over each doorway, information designers set to work jamming them with useful information for their captive audience.

Yamanote Line Infographic

In the graphic above, which switches between Japanese and English, you see the following pieces of information:

  1. Destination of train and next stop.
  2. Car number.
  3. Location of stairs, escalators, and elevators in relation to your car and which exit they lead to.
  4. Which side doors will open at the next station (important if you need to start squeezing your way through the crowd to get out).
  5. Name of other train lines served by the next station.

That’s a lot of information to absorb. The efficiency of information design has caught the eye of a blogger at Sun as well. A couple more examples below.

Showing destination and car number.
Showing destination and minutes to next station
Showing next station and minutes to each station on the line.
Showing which side doors open at the next station.

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