The six passenger-carrying railway companies that emerged after the break-up and privatization of the Japanese National Railways in 1987 have lines covering about 20,000 kilometers (12,400 miles) nationwide. An additional 7,800 kilometers (4,850 miles) are operated by around 200 private railway companies.
Subway systems are also extensive; as of January 2020, lines stretched for a total of 857.3 kilometers in nine major cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. The total for Tokyo alone is 304.1 kilometers. Tokyo's subway network is the eighth longest in the world.
Commuter rail networks are well developed in greater Tokyo and other urban areas, and residents use trains as their main means of getting around, including going to work and school.