Namba stations guide. How to change the trains among Nankai, Kintetsu, Hanshin, subway and JR.

Nankai Namba station building (C) By Own work (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Nankai Namba station building (C) By Own work (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Namba is one of two downtown cores with Umeda in Osaka. This is popular spot to shop and sightseeing. And also some of you may transfer trains at Namba. But there are many railways and stations in Namba. You may be overwhelmed to understand the location and station structure.

In this post, I would like to show you the locations of each Namba stations. And you will learn how to change the trains in Namba.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

Overview

First of all, please find the map below:

Map of Namba stations underground (Click to enlarge)
Map of Namba stations underground (Click to enlarge)

As you see the map above, there are six stations in Namba.

  • Nankai Railway
  • Osaka Subway Midousuji line
  • Kintetsu Railway / Hanshin Railway (Osaka-Namba station)
  • Osaka Subway Sennichimae line
  • Osaka Subway Yotsubashi line
  • JR (JR-Namba station)

JR’s station is called “JR-Namba”. Kintetsu and Hahisn Railway’s station is Osaka-Namba. The names are a bit different from other four stations, but the location is same in Namba.

All six stations are connected underground path as you see the map below. And also five of six stations are located underground. Only Nankai Railway’s station is located above the ground, second and third floor. There are three subway lines in Namba, Midousuji, Sennnichimae and Yotsubashi. These three subway lines are connected inside ticket gate. You can transfer among subway trains without exit station. But you need to exit when you transfer to Kintetsu, Hanshin, JR or Nankai.

Nankai Railway’s station is the biggest station in Namba and this is located in the heart of Namba. Subway Midousuji line’s Namba station is located next to Nankai Railway’s Namba station. And then east exit of Kintetsu / Hanshin’s Osaka-Namba station and Subway Sennnichimae line’s Namba station are located beside Midousuji line’s station. These stations are located in the center of Namba. This area is very busy.

On the other hand, west exit of Kintetsu / Hanshin’s Osaka-Namba station and Subway Sennichimae line station, Yotsubashi line’s Namba station and JR-Namba station are very quiet. This area is not located in the heart of Namba. JR-Namba station used be called Minatomachi station before Kansai airport opened.

Next I would like to tell you about all Namba stations one by one.

Nankai Railway Namba station

Stairs and escalators to platform level on third floor.  Walkway to central exit on second floor is located beside escalators.
Stairs and escalators to platform level on third floor. Walkway to central exit on second floor is located beside escalators.

Nankai Railway is one of major private railway companies. It has lines to Kansai Airport (KIX), Wakayama and Gokurakubashi (Mt. Koya / Koyasan). This station is one of the biggest stations in all private railway companies. It has 8 tracks and 9 platforms. All trains to Kansai Airport, Wakayama and Koyasan depart from this station.

Overview of platforms. The photo was taken at track #9 beside Kansai Airport Limited Express Rapi:t.
Overview of platforms. The photo was taken at track #9 beside Kansai Airport Limited Express Rapi:t.

Tracks and platforms

Name of line Track# Types of train
Koya line
to Hashimoto, Gokurakubashi
1 Local
2 Local
3 Limited Express Koya, Limited Express Rinkan, Express, Rapid
4 Limited Express Koya, Limited Express Rinkan, Express, Rapid
Nankai Main line
to Wakayama, Kansai Airport
5 Limited Express Southern, Express, Rapid, Airport Express
6 Limited Express Southern, Express, Rapid, Airport Express
7 Local
8 Local
9 Limited Express Rapi:t to Kansai airport

You may find the detailed information and the map of this station at the link below:

Nankai Railway Namba station guide

There are three ticket gates/exits in this station, South, Central and North. But most of you use North gate where is the closest gate to other railway’s Namba station. It is located at same level as platforms on third floor. Central gate is located on second floor under platforms level. Nankai Railway’s travel center is located beside this gate. If you need to purchase special deal, please use this gate.

Nankai Railway Travel Center is located beside central gate on second floor. It is under platform level.
Nankai Railway Travel Center is located beside central gate on second floor. It is under platform level.

You can take escalator to go down. You will find the underground path. Subway Midousuji line’s Namba station is located ahead.

When you are in underground path, you will see many signage to get subways, Kintetsu, Hanshin and JR.
When you are in underground path, you will see many signage to get subways, Kintetsu, Hanshin and JR.
If you look back, you will see the sign to Nankai Namba station.
If you look back, you will see the sign to Nankai Namba station.

Osaka Subway Midousuji line Namba station

You will see this gate when you come from Nankai Namba station. But this gate is exit only. Just keep going and find the next gate in one minute.
You will see this gate when you come from Nankai Namba station. But this gate is exit only. Just keep going and find the next gate in one minute.

Midousuji line is the busiest train line in Osaka. It is always crowded because this route connects major spots in Osaka, such as Shin-Osaka, Umeda (JR Osaka), Shinsaibashi, Namba and Tennoji. There are several ticket gates in underground path between Nankai Railway’s Namba station and Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway’s Osaka-Namba station.

You will see next sign to entering gate of Midousuji line Namba station.
You will see next sign to entering gate of Midousuji line Namba station.

The station has only two tracks and two platforms. You can find the direction easily.

Tracks and platforms

Track# Direction
1 Tennoji, Abiko, Nakamozu
2 Shinsaibashi, Umeda, Shin-Osaka, Esaka

When you transfer among subways, you can transfer inside ticket gate. You do not need to exit the gate. There are some connection paths inside the gate to Yotsubashi line and Sennichimae line.

This walkway runs along Midousuji line gates. I took this photo in early Sunday morning. But it was busy.
This walkway runs along Midousuji line gates. I took this photo in early Sunday morning. But it was busy.
This is the cross road of South-North walkway and Namba Walk that is East-West shopping arcade. You will find other railways direction.
This is the cross road of South-North walkway and Namba Walk that is East-West shopping arcade. You will find other railways direction.

Kintetsu Railway / Hanshin Railway Osaka-Namba station

The stairs and escalators to Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway Osaka-Namba station east gate.
The stairs and escalators to Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway Osaka-Namba station east gate.

Kintetsu Railway and Hanshin Railway are major railway companies but it’s different companies. But these railways lines are connected at Osaka-Namba station. Both railway companies trains run each other. So Kintetsu Railway train from Nara goes to Kobe-Sannomiya station of Hanshin Railway. Hanshin Railway trains from Kobe-Sannomiya goes to Kintetsu-Nara. In Japan, many train companies operate trains together and run each other. This makes oversea tourist be confused.

This station has ticket gates at two sides, east and west. Both ticket gates are located at one floor down from underground path. East ticket gate is located near one of Subway Midousuji line ticket gates. East gate is very busy but west gate is very quiet.

It's just in front of east gate. There were so many passengers and ticket gates could not be seen.
It’s just in front of east gate. There were so many passengers and ticket gates could not be seen.
This is the signage at west side.
This is the signage at west side.
Ticket gate at west side
Ticket gate at west side

You can take both Kintetsu Railway trains (to Nara, Ise, Nagoya) and Hanshin Railway trains (to Kobe, Himeji) at this station, Osaka-Namba. You may take Kintetsu Railway Limited Express train to Ise and Nagoya here at Osaka-Namba station. Many trains arrive and depart from this station but the station is small. It has only two platforms and three tracks and you can find the direction very easily.

Tracks and platforms

Name of line Track# Types of train
Kintetsu Railway
Namba line
1 Local, Semi Express Express, Rapid Express
Osaka-Uehonmachi, Tsuruhashi, Ikoma, Yamato-Saidaiji, Nara
2 Limited Express
Nagoya, Ise, Nara
Hanshin Railway
Osaka-Namba line
3 Local, Semi-Express, Express, Limited Express, Rapid Limited Express

Track #1 and #2 are same platform. These tracks are used for any types trains. Some limited express depart from #1 and some local trains depart from #2.

Surcharge and reservation are required to take Kintetsu Railway’s limited express train to Nagoya, Ise and Nara. But only base fare is required to take Hanshin Railway’s limited express trains. Hanshin Railway does not have any trains that is applied to supplement. Because all trains are sort of commute trains.

Osaka Subway Sennnichimae line Namba station

Sennichimae line east gate is located beside Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway Osaka-Namba station.
Sennichimae line east gate is located beside Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway Osaka-Namba station.

Sennnichimae line is one of subway lines that runs from east to west between Noda-Hanshin and Minami-Tatsumi in Osaka. Most part of this line runs side by side with Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway.

There are two ticket gates and both gates are located next to Kintetsu/Hanshin Railway’s Osaka-Namba station. The station has only two tracks and two platforms. You can find the direction easily.

Tracks and platforms

Track# Direction
1 Tanimachi-Kyuchome, Tsuruhashi, Minami-Tatsumi
2 Noda-Hanshin, Awaza

When you transfer among subways, you can transfer inside ticket gate. You do not need to exit the gate. There are some connection paths inside the gate to Yotsubashi line and Midousuji line.

The shopping walkway, Namba Street can be found beside the stairs at both side. You can go down this walkway to get west gate of Kintetsu/Hanshin, Yotsubashi line and JR.
The shopping walkway, Namba Street can be found beside the stairs at both side. You can go down this walkway to get west gate of Kintetsu/Hanshin, Yotsubashi line and JR.
Namba Street
Namba Street
It is very artistic at some part of Namba Street.
It is very artistic at some part of Namba Street.

Osaka Subway Yotsubashi line Namba station

The ticket gate of Yotsubashi line.
The ticket gate of Yotsubashi line.

Yotsubashi line is one of subway lines that runs from north to south between Nishi-Umeda and Suminoe-Koen in Osaka. Most part of this line runs side by side with Subway Midousuji line. But Midousuji line is much much busier than Yotsubashi line. You can use this line to get Umeda. Nishi-Umeda station is located in Umeda too. It is located within walking distance from JR Osaka station and Midousuji line Umeda station.

There are two ticket gates but only north side gate is connected in this underground path. This gate is located beside west gate of Kintetsu/Hanshin Railways Osaka-Namba station.

The station has only two tracks and two platforms. You can find the direction easily.

Tracks and platforms

Track# Direction
1 Suminoe-Koen
2 Nishi-Umeda

When you transfer among subways, you can transfer inside ticket gate. You do not need to exit the gate. There are some connection paths inside the gate to Sennichimae line and Midousuji line.

The walkway between Yotsubashi line gate and JR-Namba station entrance.
The walkway between Yotsubashi line gate and JR-Namba station entrance.
Escalators and stairs to JR Namba station.
Escalators and stairs to JR Namba station.

JR-Namba station

JR Namba station ticket gate and ticket vending machine.
JR Namba station ticket gate and ticket vending machine.

JR-Namba is located in westernmost of Namba. It is actually not very convenient location to get downtown Namba. If you use JR deals, like JR Pass, Kansai Area Pass, Kansai Wide Area Pass, and you do not want to pay any extra, JR-Namba station is only choice to get Namba for you. Because JR deals do not cover any subway and private railway trains.

The entrance of JR-Namba station is quite small and dark.
The entrance of JR-Namba station is quite small and dark.
Reservation window, Midori no Madoguchi is located beside ticket vending machines. You can purchase JR West deals here.
Reservation window, Midori no Madoguchi is located beside ticket vending machines. You can purchase JR West deals here.

If you need to transfer to Nankai Railway, Shin-Imamiya station that is located between JR-Namba and Tennoji is much more convenient. Nankai and JR Shin-Imamiya station are located at exactly same place. If you transfer at Namba, it takes 15 minutes.

If you need to transfer to Subway Midousuji line, Tennoji or Shin-Imamiya stations is much better than Namba. Midousuji line does not have any Shin-Imamiya station. But Dobutsuenmae station is same location as Shin-Imamiya. If you come from Kansai airport, all trains stop at Tennoji. Tennoji is better station to transfer.

The ticket gate is connected to underground path. The station is located at OCAT (Osaka City Air Terminal). This place is also known as express bus terminal and shopping complex.

The station has four tracks and two platforms. The trains from this station go to Tennoji and Nara. There is no direct train service between JR-Namba and Kansai Airport. You have to transfer at Tennoji to get Kansai Airport.

JR Namba station platform. It is much quieter than Nankai and Midousuji Namba stations.
JR Namba station platform. It is much quieter than Nankai and Midousuji Namba stations.

Tracks and platforms

Track# Types of train
1, 2 Mostly Local train
3, 4 Mostly Rapid train

Minimum connection time and way to transfer

As you read above, three are six stations in Namba. I would like to show you the transfer time among these stations in Namba. I just walked among these station slowly. But you may spend longer than this connection time.

Nankai
Railway
Midousuji
line
Kintetsu/Hinashin
Railways
Sennichimae
line
Yotsubashi
line
JR
Nankai
Railway
5 mins 10 mins 10 mins 15 mins 15 mins
Midousuji
line
5 mins 5 mins 5 mins 5-10 mins 10-15 mins
Kintetsu/Hinashin
Railways
10 mins 5 mins 3 mins 5 mins 10 mins
Sennichimae
line
10 mins 5 mins 3 mins 5 mins 10 mins
Yotsubashi
line
15 mins 5-10 mins 5 mins 5 mins 5 mins
JR 15 mins 10-15 mins 10 mins 5 mins

There are lots of stations in Namba. But there are lots of signs too. As long as you can follow the signs, you will get the place where you want to go.

I hope this post will help you to understand the location and direction of Namba.

32 thoughts on “Namba stations guide. How to change the trains among Nankai, Kintetsu, Hanshin, subway and JR.”

  1. thank you for your detailed guide! it gives me a clearer picture of how japan rail works 🙂
    i would like to ask, how far would it take to walk from JR namba to Namba station? Is the underground passage linked to Namba station? i just need an approximation thank you!

  2. Hi Takeshi

    Thanks for your article, very informative.

    My wife and I are visiting Japan and Osaka in September.

    We are staying at the Ibis Styles Osaka.

    We will have a JR Pass so obviously would be looking to utilise this a much as possible, so JR- Namba seems logical.

    We will be travelling via the limited express Haruka from Kyoto and I think Hyperdia has us changing at Tennoji for JR- Namba.

    The route on Google maps states about a 17 minute walk between these locations, however to me it seems a fair distance and quite optimistic to walk there in 17 minutes.

    Can you confirm how long the walk would take?

    Would appreciate any feedback, thanks!

    1. Hi Philip,

      I think you hotel is located in Dotonbori that is near Nippombashi station. Nippombashi is one station away from Namba by subway or Kintetsu railway. Nippombashi and Dotonbori are located within walking distance from Namba. However this Namba station means subway, Nankai and Kintetsu Namba station. JR-Namba is located at westend of Namba as you read the post above. It is a bit away from center of Namba. That is why you need to walk 17 minutes.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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