Osaka station is the biggest station in west part of Japan. Osaka station is located at one of two biggest downtown cores, Umeda. This may make you be confused. JR Osaka station is completely same as Umeda station. You can transfer JR trains and other trains at Osaka and Umeda stations.
Even though Shinkansen does not stop at JR Osaka station, many limited express trains depart and arrive at this station. And three subway lines (Midousuji line, Tanimachi line and Yotsubashi line) and two private railways (Hankyu and Hanshin) have stations as “Umeda” station.
In this post, I would like to explain about JR Osaka station and other Umeda stations. You will find the information about Osaka and Umeda station. And also you will find some idea about transferring among JR trains, subway lines, Hankyu and Hanshin lines at Osaka station.
- 1 JR Osaka station overview
- 2 Ticket gate/Exit
- 3 Tracks and platforms
- 4 Transfer to Hankyu Railways, Hanshin Railways and Subways
- 5 Osaka Station City
- 6 Japan Rail Pass, JR West Rail Pass exchange/sales office
JR Osaka station overview
Unfortunately there is no English station map. But Osaka station city map is very useful. This map shows you Osaka Station City Shopping complex. But it shows the station very clearly.
It looks very complicated. Don’t worry. Actually Osaka station itself is not complicated so much. All platform is located on second floor. There is only conventional lines. Shinkansen does not have station here in Osaka station. (You need to go to Shin-Osaka station to catch Shinkansen train.) There are many signage in English, Chinese and Korean. Don’t worry about transfer among JR trains in Osaka station.
There are four ticket gates on the ground floor and another one more gate on third floor.
First of all, please refer the ground floor map. On the ground floor, there are Midousuji gate (御堂筋口), South gate (南口), Central gate (中央口) and Sakurabashi gate (桜橋口). Both Midosuji and Central gates have a long concourse and connect to south and north. South gate is located between Midousuji and Central and facing south side of the station. Sakurabashi exit is located south west side and facing south side only.
On third floor, there is a connection bridge and Bridge gate (連絡橋口) is located at the middle. Please see the second link above.
You can access to any platform from all ticket gate. And when you transfer the train, you can take stairs or escalator to go up or down to change the platforms. Both ground level and third level can be used to transfer.
I will talk about transfer to private lines and subway lines later.
Tracks and platforms
There are 11 tracks / 6 platforms on second floor. There is no underground platform in Osaka station. And also you need to go to Shin-Osaka station to catch Shinkansen train. Therefore it is very simple to transfer in Osaka station.
|Track#||Name of line||Destination|
|1||■Osaka Kanjo line (Loop line)||Uchimawari – Nishikujo, Bentencho, Tennoji|
|■Yumesaki line||Direct train to Universal city (USJ) via Nishikujo (Peak hour only)|
|■Yamatoji Rapid train||Direct train to Nara via Tennoji|
|■Kansai Airport Rapid train||Direct train to Kansai airport via Tennoji|
|■Kishuji Rapid train||Direct train to Wakayama via Tennoji|
|2||■Osaka Kanjo line (Loop line)||Sotomawari – Kyobashi, Osaka Castle, Tsruhashi, Tennoji|
|3,4||■Takarazuka line, Fukuchiyama line||Takarazuka, Shin-Sanda, Sasayamaguchi|
|Limited Express Kounotori, Hamakaze, Super Hakuto||Fukuchiyama, Kinosaki-Onsen, Tottori|
|■Kobe line||Special Rapid /Rapid train to Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji use this platform during peak hour.|
|5||■Kobe line||Special Rapid / Rapid train to Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji|
|6||■Kobe line||Local train to Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji|
|■Takarazuka line, Fukuchiyama line||Takarazuka, Shin-Sanda, Sasayamaguchi|
|7||■Kyoto line||Local train to Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, Kyoto|
|8||■Kyoto line||Special Rapid / Rapid train to Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, Kyoto|
|9,10||■Kyoto line||Special Rapid / Rapid train to Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, Kyoto use this platform during peak hour.|
|11||Limited Express Thunderbird||Fukui, Kanazawa, Toyama, Wakura-Onsen|
|Limited Express Wide View Hida||Gero, Takayama (one round trip from Osaka a day)|
|Limited Express Wide View Shinano||Matsumoto, Nagano (one round trip from Osaka a day)|
|Limited Express Sunrise Izumo / Sunrise Seto||Only train to Tokyo stop at Osaka station.|
When you go to Shin-Osaka, go to track #5 and #6 at same platform. Shin-Osaka is the next station from Osaka. All trains stop there and you can take any trains, local, rapid or special rapid. Travel time is just 3 minutes by any trains.
If you go to Kansai airport (KIX), you have two choices. The first choice is Rapid Kansai Airport train. This departs from track #1. The second choice is Limited Express Haruka. But this train does not go through Osaka station. You have to go to Shin-Osaka to catch this train. Actually rail from Shin-Osaka/Kyoto do not connect to Osaka loop line in Osaka station. Any trains come from Shin-Osaka cannot go to Osaka loop line. There is bypass line between Shin-Osaka and Osaka loop line. Limited Express Haruka takes this route and cannot stop at Osaka station.
If you use Japan Rail Pass, JR West Kansai area pass, JR West Kansai WIDE Area Pass, JR West Sanyo area pass or JR West Sanyo-Shikoku-Kyushu area pass, you can take Limited Express Haruka without any extra charge. Travel time between Haruka and Rapid is not much different. But Haruka gives you more comfortableness. Because rapid train is a kind of commute train.
Transfer to Hankyu Railways, Hanshin Railways and Subways
JR Osaka station is located in Umeda area. Only JR station is named Osaka. Other railways’ stations are called Umeda. That makes you be confused. Simply Umeda stations is same place as JR Osaka station. If you transfer to other railways from JR Osaka stations in Umeda area, it might be complicated for you. Because there are many Umeda stations around JR Osaka stations. But there are many signs and is not far from JR Osaka station. First of all, please see the map below:
View Osaka station in a larger map
I will explain about access to other railways’ stations one by one. And also I found very useful movies and share with you.
Hankyu Railway Umeda station
If you go to Shijo-Kawaramachi and Arashiyama in Kyoto, Kobe or Takarazuka, you may take Hankyu trains. If you go to Hankyu Umeda station, exit from Midousuji North exit and take overpass. The movie below shows you how to get JR Osaka station from Hankyu Umeda station. It is opposite way. But it will help you to understand the route clearly.
Subway Midousuji line Umeda station
Midousuji line is most primary line in Osaka subway lines. If you go to Yodoyabashi, Shinsaibashi, Namba, you will take this train. You can access to this Umeda station from Midousuji exit concourse. There is escalator to get underground. You will see Midousuji line Umeda station right after you get underground. See the movie below to get the details.
Movie from JR Osaka station to Midousuji line Umeda station
Movie in Midousuji line Umeda station
Movie from Midosuji line Umeda station to Hanshin Umeda station
Hanshin Railway Umeda station
Hanshin Railway connect Umeda and Kobe. And some trains go through different private railway company Sanyo Railways to Himeji. There are several way to get Hanshin Umeda station from JR Osaka station. I think Central South exit to Umeda station route is the easiest. Central exit concourse connects to underground path. Just keep going straight and get Hanshin Umeda station. The movie below shows us JR Osaka, Hanshin Umeda, Yotsubashi line Nishi-Umeda and Herbis osaka.
Subway Yotsubashi line Nishi-Umeda station
Nishi-Umeda means West Umeda. It is located at west side of Umeda. This lines goes along Midousuji line most of part. The train stops at Honmachi and Namba. When you access to Nishi-Umeda station, use Central South exit. It is same route as getting Hanshi Umeda station at the first part.
Subway Tanimachi line Higashi-Umeda station
Higashi-Umeda is located at east part of Umeda. As you guess, Higashi means east. This line goes near by Osaka castle (Tenmabashi and Tanimachi-Yonchome) Tanimachi=Kyuchome (=Uehonmachi) and Tennoji. When you access to Higashi-Umeda station, exit from Midousuji South exit and go down to Underground arcade. Unfortunately there is no movie available for this route. But there is well signed. You won’t miss it.
Movie from Tanimachi line Higashi-Umeda station to JR Osaka station
Movie from Tanimachi line Higashi-Umeda station to Yotsubashi line Nishi Umeda station
Osaka Station City
Umeda is one of the biggest downtown core in Osaka city. And JR Osaka station is located between two shopping complex buildigns, South Gate Building and North Gate Building. These buildings, station and shopping complex are called “Osaka Station City“. This is one the biggest station shopping complex in Japan.
In South Gate Building, there are Daimaru department store, Hotel Granvia Osaka, Tokyu Hands, Uniqlo and many more stores and restaurants. North Gate Building was opened in 2011. Before it was opened, north side of Osaka station was very quiet. In North Gate Building, there are Mitsukoshi-Isetan department store and huge shopping complex “Lucua”. These two buildings are connected each other by overpass on third floor and fifth floor.
On third floor, there is connection bridge and fare gate at the middle as I mentioned above. On fifth floor, there is “Times Square (時空の広場)”. This square is located just above Osaka station platforms. It is a landmark of Osaka station now.
And there are many shopping spots around Osaka station, such as Hankyu department store, Hanshin department store and Yodobashi Camera. If you want to shop, you must expect to spend at least all day around Osaka station.
Japan Rail Pass, JR West Rail Pass exchange/sales office
You can exchange Japan Rail Pass in Osaka station. There is a ticket office at the Central exit concourse. You will see the sign that says “Japan Rail Pass” at the end of the ticket counter.
If you want to purchase JR West Kansai area pass, JR West Kansai WIDE Area Pass, JR West Sanyo area pass or JR West Sanyo-Shikoku-Kyushu area pass in Japan, you can purchase it at Osaka station. The location is same as Japan Rail Pass exchange place.
But you CANNOT purchase Japan Rail Pass in any places in Japan.