The limited express Kuroshio train guide. The train takes you to Kii, Kumano, Shingu, Katsuura and Shirahama from Osaka and Kyoto

ocean arrow kuroshioKansai Airport, Wakayama, Mt. Koya
Panda Kuroshio
One of train sets has Panda face.

The limited express Kuroshio connects Kii peninsula, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji. This is the train which you take to get Shingu, Kii-Katsuura, Shirahama, Kii-Tanabe. These places are known as the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.

This train is covered by JR Pass, Kansai Wide Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass and Kansai Hokuriku Area Pass.

I will show you more information about this train in this post.

Route, schedule and trip time

Scheduled Kuroshio runs 18 round trips a day. Some more trips are added in the peak season. In day time, Kuroshio runs once an hour. But many trips run between Shin-Osaka and Shirahama. If you go to farther than Shirahama, such as Kii-Tanabe, Kii-Katsuura, Shingu, only 6 of 18 round trips run between Shin-Osaka and Shingu. And some trips run between Shin-Osaka and Wakayama, Kainan. These trips are operated as the commuters train. You cannot access to even Shirahama by these runs.

Trip time is 2 hours and 15 minutes from Shin-Osaka to Shirahama, 4 hours from Shin-Osaka to Shing.

Please be careful that this express train does not stop at Osaka station.

View Kuroshio / Ocean Arrow in a larger map


Station / TrainKuroshio
Kyoto (京都)x
Shin-osaka (新大阪)x
Nishikujo (西九条)*
Tennoji (天王寺)x
Izumi-Fuchu (和泉府中)*
Hineno (日根野)*
Wakayama (和歌山)x
Kainan (海南)x
Fujinami (藤並)*
Yuasa (湯浅)*
Gobo (御坊)x
Minabe (南部)*
Shirahama (白浜)x
Susami (周参見)x
Kushimoto (串本)x
Koza (古座)x
Taichi (太地)x
Kii-Katsuura (紀伊勝浦)x
Shingu (新宮)x

x:All trains stop *:some trains stop


Kuroshio is operated by 283 series, 287 series and 289 series. If you intend to take Green seat, 283 series has Green seat with huge panoramic window and it is the best one in these three types of fleets.

*Sonic Rail Garden has copyright for all images of accommodations of 283 series and 289 series.

283 series

283 series train was called “Super Arrow”. (C) JP Rail

283 series was built for Limited Express Ocean Arrow. Some of Kuroshio ran as “Ocean Arrow” by this fleet, but now all trains run as Kuroshio.

Green class has panoramic window seat just behind the cockpit. Green seat has 2+1 seat configuration. The seat pitch is 1160mm. Ordinary class has 910mm seat pitch. This train has common lounge space on car #3. You will be able to see the beautiful pacific ocean view.

Train formation


*3 more cars may be added during the peak season.
*PG=Green seat w/panoramic view window R=Reserved seat WR=Reserved seat for women only NR=Non reserved seat LG=Lounge space


Green seat

Ordinary seat

Lounge space

Sanitary space

287 series

The seat configuration in Green class is 2+1 and the seat pitch is 1160mm. The seat configuration in Ordinary class is 2+2 and the seat pitch is 970mm. All seats in Green class and the first row seats in Ordinary class have a power outlet. You can use your laptop or charge your batteries.

*I have received many images of 287 series from my viewer, Mr. Jonathan Ayre. I would like to thank you for your contribution.

Train formation



*G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat WR=Reserved seat for women only NR=Non reserved ordinary seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.


Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space

289 series

683 series is the primary fleet for limited express train in Hokuriku region.
289 series used to run as limited express train in Hokuriku region.

289 series was 683 series for Limited Express Shirasagi. When Hokuriku Shinkansen was open, many train sets were transferred and started to use for Limited Express Kuroshio as 289 series.

Interior was same when it ran as Shirasagi and Thunderbird. The seat pitch in Green seat is 1160mm. It is the standard of most JR trains. The seat configuration is 2+1.
This seat is very spacious and has nice holding. It is quite good seat. The seat pitch in Ordinary seat is 970mm. It is a bit bigger than the standard. The front row seats have a big table and a power outlet. If you want to use your laptop or charge your batteries, try to secure these seats.

Train formation


*G=Green seat R=Reserved ordinary seat WR=Reserved seat for women only NR=Non reserved ordinary seat
Smoking is not allowed on this train.


These images below were taken when it ran as Shirasagi. But the interior is mostly same.

Green seat

Ordinary seat

Sanitary space


  1. aliff mr says:

    hi mr takesi, how many ocean arrow that running at that time before the name were change to kuroshio?

  2. Ditsakul says:

    Hello, I will travel by using Kansai WIDE Area Pass that valid on non-reserved seat Kuroshio
    I will travel between Wakayama and Shirahama on this train.
    If I bought this ticket individually I must pay 3,730yen (fare1,980+reserve seat fee 1,750) for reserved seat
    If I bought this ticket individually I must pay 3,400yen (fare1,980+non-reserve seat fee 1,420) for non-reserved seat
    So, I will use this pass that valid on non-reserved seat, but if I want to reserved seat on this train, how much I need to pay for a extra fee? the reserve seat fee1,750yen or 330yen? (330yen come from difference between reserve seat fee 1,750 and non-reserve seat fee 1,420 because this pass already cover non-reserved seat).

    thank you

    • Hi Ditsakul,

      You have to pay 1,750 yen. Even the pass covers non reserved seat fee, the extra fare is NOT the difference between reserved seat fee and non reserved saet fee. In this case, you have to pay full amount of reserved seat fee.


      Takeshi /

  3. April says:

    Is there a website that allows purchase of tickets for Tokkyu Kuroshio from the US? The link to the page in Japanese does not work (I’m wondering if it because I am not in Japan).

  4. Vivien Lin says:

    Hello. I am planning a train ride from Kyoto to Kii Tanabe. I understand I should take the Kuroshio limited express no 1. Hyperdia schedule says the 6:58am train from Kyoto has a transfer in Shin Osaka station. Do I have to change trains there or do I stay on the same train. The transfer time is only 4 minutes.

    Thank you

    • Hi Vivien,

      Kuroshio 1 depart from Shin-Osaka. You have to change the trains at Shin-Osaka. But 4 minutes transfer is very tight. I recommend you take one earlier train to get Shin-Osaka from Kyoto. The train runs every 10 to 15 minutes from Kyoto to Shin-Osaka.


      Takeshi /

  5. Thomas says:

    We are a family of four scheduled to take JR train from Namba to Shirahama on 15 October and return on 17 October. We have few questions regarding your train services
    1. We noted there is a “JR west wide area pass” available which is quite suitable to our other parts of the trips, will this pass be used to take us to Shirahama from Namba
    2. We also noted there is ‘reserved seat’ on this train, what are the advantages to buy this type of tickets, will it be more expensive. If yes, then by how much. If the train is not full. We can still have seats when travel on non reserved seat tickets, is this true
    3. Since we need to do some advanced planning on the whole trip, we need to know the schedule for this train in October 2019 but we are only able to find the schedule of next day or so, is such schedule in October available now, if yes, where can we access it, is it via website, if yes, can you let us know the site name
    4. We will stay in a hotel near Nipponbashi, which train station should be the best for us to board the train that arrive more frequently to save our waiting time
    5. If we prefer to buy the tickets as of now, how could we buy the tickets, is it again via website, if yes, can you let us know the site link, and also how can we pick up the tickets after buying them
    Many thanks

  6. Michelle Low says:

    Hi Takenshi-san,
    I am planning using Kansai Wide Area Pass to Kii-Katsuura for day trip on 2nd Oct 2018.
    1. From Namba(Nankai) travelling to Tennoji catch the
    (LTD. EXP Kuroshio 1) at 7.59am to Kii-Katsuura at 11.33am.
    2. What is the latest LTD. EXP Kuroshio go back to Namba(Nankai)?
    3. I am using Hyperdia , unfortunately can not find the suitable route (around 6pm) go back to Namba(Nankai). kindly please advice.

    Best regards,
    Ms Michelle Low

  7. Sel says:

    Dear Takeshi-san,

    Your site has the best information by far on all things Japan rail. It is here I find the most on the Kuroshio Ltd Express. I have some questions please:
    1. After trekking Kumano Kodo, we plan to catch the Kuroshio 14 from Kii-Katsuura to Shin-Osaka. From looking at the links in your forums, am I right that this train is a series 283 and has Green seats in the first carriage with panoramic windows?
    2. We have standard 7day JR passes which we will trigger for this leg, so we will each have to pay extra 3590 yen, right?
    3. We will pre-book this journey at JR ticket off in Osaka. How can we make sure we have good seats for viewing in Green seat?
    4. Do we have to make all our other journeys for reserve seat bookings at the same time, or can we leave it to just before we take the other journeys? We will be in Japan for one month.

    Hope this all makes sense.

    Many thanks …. Sel

    • Hi Sel san,

      1. It’s 283 series which has green car with panoramic window. It’s car #1 but it’s at the end when you go to Osaka. If you take this train from Osaka, car #1 is the first car.

      2. What is the extra cost for? If you want to take Green by ordinary pass, extra is 6,050 yen.

      3. You can ask that you want to take a seat ocean side, front row seat, whichever as you like. But remember that panoramic window car is at the end. Even if you get the seat behind the panoramic window, you cannot face forward.

      4. It’s totally up to you.


      Takeshi /

      • Sel says:

        Hi Takenshi-san,

        Many thanks for this info – very, very informative.

        Re Q2 – I thought Japan Rail pass includes a reserved seat, but on further reading I now see that to upgrade to a Green seat while travelling on normal JR pass I have to pay the full Green seat surcharge. I think we will give the Green seat upgrade a miss this time.

        I appreciate all you do for train travellers in Japan.

        Kind regards ….. Sel

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