A Guide to Kanjo

What's Kanjo?

Kanjo (完乗), literally perfect ride, is to have ridden all lines of a railway company.  The term typically means an activity of Japanese rail fans to pass through all the passenger railway lines operated by Japan Railway, or JR, companies (Japan National Railways, or JNR, before it was privatized and divided into seven JR companies in April 1987). As far as known the first Kanjo of the JNR lines was accomplished in 1959, and the following 32 persons were reported to have done it by August 1978, according to Mr. Tetsu Ishino(石野哲)'s book "Jikokuhyo Meitantei" (時刻表名探偵) or "Timetable Detective" published by JTB in 1978.

List of JNR early kanjo-ists
No Name Date accomplished Station accomplished Prefecture
1 Goto, M 後藤宗隆 1959/08/29 Furenai 振内 Hokkaido
2 Nemoto, Y 根本幸男 1962/11/07 Ekawazaki 江川崎 Ehime
3 Hamada, T 浜田綱生 1964/03/21 Makurazaki 枕崎 Kagoshima
4 Goto, A 後藤明 1968/09/?? ? ?
5 Tanuma, K 田沼建治 1969/10/05 Akechi 明智 Gifu
6 Ozawa, T 小沢十三男 1971/03/26 Kazusa-Nakano 上総中野 Chiba
7 Ishino, T 石野哲 1971/03/26 Omae 大前 Gunma
8 Kimata, E 木俣栄一 1972/11/04 Musashi-Itsukaichi 武蔵五日市 Tokyo
9 Koide, T 小出隆 1973/02/13 Koide 小出 Niigata
10 Fukuda, Y 福田行高 1973/03/22 Nikko 日光 Tochigi
11 Saito, H 斎藤英夫 1973/11/?? Nikko 日光 Tochigi
12 Nakamori, T 中森敏和 1974/03/?? Omu 雄武 Hokkaido
13 Futagawa, T 二川忠 1974/11/22 Kuroishi 黒石 Aomori
14 Takebe, H 武部宏明 1975/03/?? ? ?
15 Hirose, T 広瀬貴志 1975/11/02 Fudai 普代 Iwate
16 Okutomi, S 奥富三平 1975/11/03 Nikko 日光 Tochigi
17 Kataoka, M 片岡正昭 1976/02/04 Niupu 仁宇布 Hokkaido
18 Kurihara, T 栗原孝弘 1976/03/24 Naruto 鳴門 Chiba
19 Takasu, K 高須清 1976/08/13 Motoyoshi 本吉 Miyagi
20 Okamoto, H 岡本寛 1976/08/31 Nishi-samukawa 西寒川 Kanagawa
21 Morikawa, N 森川尚一 1977/01/20 Mato 間藤 Tochigi
22 Ishida, J 石田穣一 1977/01/22 Matsuba 松葉 Akita
23 Hasebe, K 長谷部邦夫 1977/05/03 Okutama 奥多摩 Tokyo
24 Kajiyama, M 梶山正文 1977/05/15 Kashima-jingu 鹿島神宮 Ibaragi
25 Miyawaki, S 宮脇俊三 1977/05/28 Mato 間藤 Tochigi
26 Yamada, T 山田敏明 1977/08/27 Shigaraki 信楽 Shiga
27 Kiga, H 氣賀治夫 1977/12/12 Maeyachi 前谷地 Miyagi
28 Nishi, Y 西泰英 1977/12/16 Taro 田老 Iwate
29 Fujishiro, M 藤城昌治 1977/12/17 Kashima-jingu 鹿島神宮 Ibaragi
30 Kojima, Y 小島康成 1978/03/19 Uchiko 内子 Ehime
31 Fukuda, K 福田清 1978/04/02 Karasuyama 烏山 Tochigi
32 Horimoto, H 堀本光 1978/08/02 Nikko 日光 Tochigi

The Kanjo activity was spotlighted by a book "Jikokuhyo (Timetable) 20,000km"(時刻表2万キロ) Mr. Shunzo Miyawaki (宮脇俊三) wrote in 1978 about his railway travels that resulted in the Kanjo of JNR lines. The JNR campaign of "Challenge 20,000km" started in 1980 and enticed many people to try and accomplish the Kanjo. Now more than ten thousand people are estimated to accomplish the Kanjo of JR lines. There are also a number of people who have done the ultimate Kanjo to pass through all passenger railway network of Japan that reaches about 27,400km (as of July 2003).

A sad Kanjo Story

There is a story of "JR Kanjo", that is very sad, but may attract rail enthusiasts' interest. Kobe University has a web page that mourns for the victims of great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake disaster on January 17, 1995. Among them was Mr. Daisuke Goto, a 20 years old student, who was trying to accomplish the Kanjo of all JR lines. He then had still 2,000km to complete the whole JR lines of 20,000km and intended to accomplish the Kanjo at Goto station of Sakaiminato line.

Mr. Miyoshi Goto, Daisuke's father wrote in a memorial writing; "We have decided our mind to carry out the will of our late son by completing the remaining 2,000km. My railway travel started this summer. I will stand out stoutly toward a day when I get off a train at Goto station with the late son's will on my back."

His writing five years later is shown in the web site of Kansai Student Newspaper Association. He wrote; "During the past five years I have continued railway travels to complete the remaining 2,000km, which was decreased to 300 km. Recently it is not decreased so easy as I imagined.... Some day I will certainly accomplish the Kanjo of 20,000km at Goto station."

Four years passed since then. Could he reach Goto station to accomplish the Kanjo?

Railways in Japan as the target of Kanjo

Railways as public transport are governed in Japan by Railway Operation Law or Tetsudo-Jigyo-ho(鉄道事業法), and Tramway Law or Kido-ho(軌道法). Railway Operation Law was enforced on April 1, 1987 when JNR was privatized and separated into seven JR companies. Before the enforcement the railways were governed by Japan National Railways Law or Nihon-Kokuyu-Tetsudo-ho and Local Railways Law or Chiho-Tetsudo-ho. Tramway Law dates back to 1921.

The Railway Handbook or Tetsudo Yoran, published annually under the supervision of Railway Bureau of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), lists all railway and tramway lines operated under these two laws. The ultimate Kanjo targets all the lines that provide regular passenger services among those listed in the Railway Handbook. A comprehensive list of railways and tramways in Japan is provided in the Table that shows all the lines listed in the Railway Handbook. The column "Eigyo kilo" (営業キロ) shows the length (km) of lines, including those discontinued indefinitely but not officially abolished, or that provide only freight services, while the column "Ryokaku kilo" (旅客キロ) shows the length of lines where regular passenger services are provided. It does not count, however, some lines that occasionally provide passenger services.

Type of Railways

Types of railways governed by Railway Operation Law are classified in the Ministry Order into regular railways (dual steel rails with steel wheeled trains), suspended monorails, astraddle monorails, guided rails, electric trains without rail (trolley bus), cable railways, and magnetically levitated (Maglev) railways. Tramways in Japan have also these types of rail systems except cable railways and Magrev railways.

Railway and Tramway

Tramway remarks in the Table are based on the legal classification whether each line is governed by Railway Operation Law or Tramway Law, and do not necessarily mean the actual state whether it is a heavy rail or a light rail. Tramway Law provides that the tramways have to be constructed on roads unless there are special reasons, while the Railway Operation Law prohibits in principle to construct tracks on roads. It is therefore distinguished whether tracks can be constructed on roads, but it is not clear as Osaka City Subway lines, heavy rails with exclusive tracks, are classified as tramways. Before MLIT's incorporation in January 2001 as a part of the administrative reform, the railway was controlled by the Ministry of Transport and the tramway was controlled jointly by the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Construction. There is no sign of integration of the two laws though two and half years have elapsed since the incorporation of the new ministry to which the former Transport Ministry and Construction Ministry were merged.

Many guided railways constructed in waterfronts are divided to railways and tramways section by section whether it is constructed on the roads controlled by the former Construction Ministry or the port roads that belong to port facilities controlled by the former Transport Ministry.

Type of Railway Operation

Railway Operation Law defines three types of operation; Class 1 operation to provide passenger and/or freight services with its own tracks, Class 2 operation to provide services using tracks built and owned by a third party, and Class 3 operation to build tracks for transfer to Class 1 operators or for lease tracks to Class 2 operators. This classification was introduced to give JR Freight Company the basis of its operation to provide its services using the tracks owned by other JR companies, while JR Freight succeeded some JNR lines where the services are provided as a Class 1 operator. The lines of JR Freight in Table shows only the lines that it provides the services as Class 1 operator.

Tramway Law has no classification of the operations.

Last updated: February 15, 2004
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