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Examples of Station Number icons in Japan.
In-car navigation LCD displaying station numbers.

Station Numbering (Japanese: 駅ナンバリング; eki nanbaringu ) is a sign system used by some railway companies in Japan, which assigns station codes consisting of a couple of letters and numbers to train stations. It aims to facilitate navigation for foreigner travelers not familiar with the local language[1] by using globally spread characters (Latin letters and arabic numbers). The same system is also adopted by some railway companies in other countries/regions such as Mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, the United States, and Thailand.



The station number is often composed of a symbol part and a number part. However, it may only have the numerical part in some cases where a rail company operates only one route or the route does not have any transfer stations

Symbol partEdit

Line symbols usually consist of one or two letters which are often abbreviations of the Romaji notation of the line name, many of them being the initials. However, when there are more than two lines with the same initials in the same region, either of them is often changed in order to avoid duplicated line symbols, even across different company lines (for example, Marunouchi line uses ‘MM and Mita line uses ‘II). Another method to avoid duplicated symbols is to assign them in alphabetical order (A to Z) in the first place instead of using abbreviations.[2]

In Mainland China and South Korea, the use of numbers is more common since most lines are named with numbers (e.g. Line 1). In that case, the station number for the first station of line 2 would be "201".

Number partEdit

The number part is usually a series of numbers starting with 00 or 01 and is often written in two digits.

If there is a branch line branching off from the main line (like a ‘Y’ shape track), skipped numbers[3] or branch numbers such as "211-1"[4] are assigned.

If a new station is added between stations of, for example, number 08 and 09, branch numbers such as "08-1" are assigned in order not to change the existing station numbers, especially in western Japan. The same method is used by city buses and highway interchanges in Japan. As an exception, JR West takes the approach to assign decimal numbers like "08.5".[5] Meanwhile, there are cases where the station numbers are shifted and renumbered.

Companies using Station NumberingEdit


South KoreaEdit

Mainland ChinaEdit




United StatesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "JR East to introduce numbering system at all stations in Tokyo". Japan Today. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  2. ^ JR West and JR Central uses this method.
  3. ^ Keikyū Main Line and other lines use skipped numbers.
  4. ^ Nankai Electric Railway and others use branch numbers.
  5. ^ "「駅ナンバー」入力できっぷ購入も JR西が導入へ". 朝日新聞. Archived from the original on 2016-07-20. Retrieved 2017-11-01.
  6. ^ "首都圏エリアへ「駅ナンバリング」を導入します" (PDF). 東日本旅客鉄道株式会社. 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  7. ^ "【社長会見】在来線駅に駅ナンバリングを導入します" (PDF). 東海旅客鉄道株式会社. 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2018-08-18.

External linksEdit