Railways are the most important means of transport in Japan. On 14th October 1872, the first railway was inaugurated between Shimbashi and Yokohama. Initially, this service train was started with nine rounds daily.
The history of railway transport in Japan can be divided into four stages. The first stage starts from 1872 to the end of the Russo- Japanese war where the first line starts from Tokyo to Yokohama. The second stage of railway development began from 1906/7 to the end of World War II. This period also witnesses a growth of nationalization in Japan. The third stage starts from the postwar creation of Japanese National Railways to 1987. The final stage began from privatization to the present where the Japan National Railway split between six new railway operators for passengers and one for freight.
Japanese government celebrated 1972 as a centenary year of Railway by issuing 3 stamps of Express train, Service inauguration, and class locomotive. The first stamp was issued on 15th March 1972 and the other two were issued on 14th October 1972.
Image Courtesy: stampsoftheworld.co