つくばエクスプレス - 秋葉原ーつくば
Wednesday August 24 saw the start of a new express train service - the Tsukuba Express - between Tokyo's electronics mecca of Akihabara and Tsukuba (Science City) in Ibaraki Prefecture.
The 58 km route which passes through Saitama and Chiba prefectures will take 45 minutes compared to 85 minutes previously on the JR Joban Line or around 65 minutes by bus.
The new line has 20 stations equipped with automated gates with stops in downtown Tokyo at Shin-Okachimachi, Asakusa, Minami-Senju and Kita-Senju.
Fares are presently 1,190 yen for the whole journey (2015). Fares are slightly cheaper if you purchase using a smart card such as PASMO or Suica.
There are four types of train operating on the Tsukuba Express: Rapid, Commuter Rapid, Semi-Rapid, and Local. The Rapid is the fastest service at 45 minutes and seven stops. The Semi-Rapid service between Akihabara and Tsukuba takes 52 minutes with 14 stops. The Local does the journey in 57 minutes with stops at every station.
Tsukuba Express English information
Guide to Tsukuba