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
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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.

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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

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. brice says:

    Dear Takeshi San,
    After trekking the Kumano Kodo in October, I want to take the train from Kii-Katsuura to Kyoto.
    I hold a Japan Rail Pass so I’d like a route with no extra cost.
    Which is the fastest train? The Ocean Arrow? Is it direct?
    Do you know where I can find the trains timetable (Kii-Katsuura to Kyoto)?
    Many thanks for your help!

  2. frankie says:

    hi Takeshi San

    can we board the train in Wakayama to Nachi falls?
    What time is the train leave and how long will it take?
    after visiting nachi falls we will come back to wakayama for our luggage and leave for airport for 22:00 hours flight back home.

  3. Khoa says:

    Please assist me with the JR train from Kyoto to Kumano Nachi then to Nara station then back to Kyoto. Is it possible to visit the water falls and Toda-ji and back to Kyoto in 1 day?

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      Takeshi / JPRail says:

      Hi Khoa,

      It’s not impossible but it’s very hard and tight. It takes more than 4 hours to get Shingu from Shin-Osaka. So you should visit Nara first otherwise you cannot come back to Nara before sunset. Todaiji open at 7:30 during summer time. So you can leave for Kyoto around 6:30, you can get there by 7:30. And then you need to leave Nara by 10:15 to catch limited express kuroshima at Tennoji that leave there at 11:17. You will get Shingu at 14:59. The last train depart from Shingu at 17:32 and arrive at Shin-Osaka at 21:50. You can take local or rapid train to get Kyoto.

      This is only way to make both places in one day


      Takeshi / JP Rail

  4. Hi Takeshi JP Rail,

    I just happen to see this blog of yours. My husband & I would like to see the Nachi-no-taki waterfall and the NachiTaisha from Osaka as a day trip. Can you please tell us what JR line we need to take. We have the JR Pass (Ordinary). I understand it is a long trip in the train but we are ready for the train ride as long as we get back to Osaka at night. What time do you think we should start from Osaka? Any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Arigato gozaimasu.


  5. Catherine says:

    1. We want to go to kii-tanabe train station from Osaka (Namba). 1night
    2. Next day, we need to go from kii-tanabe to Kyoto
    Please advice best way to go.

  6. We will be staying in Kushimoto and are interested in a night train to Osaka to take an early am flight. Is that advisable?

  7. julie says:

    I will be starting from Osaka. Is this possible? Osaka to Kushimoto in a wide view train. I am thinking of not stopping because of the time constraints but doing a loop.

    Am open to suggestions.

    Thanking you i would not have thought of this excursion your site prompted my interest.Julie

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Julie,
      This train do not go through Osaka station. Because it runs on short cut route from Shin-Osaka to Osaka circle line. We need to go to Shin-Osaka first and then transfer to this train. Shin-Osaka is just one station away from Osaka. It takes only 5 minutes by local train.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

  8. Cher says:

    I am interested in doing the whole kii peninsular round trip for the scenery from Kyoto in Feb 2012. However since the return to kyoto will be after sunset, I guess I won’t be able to see much scenery in the dark. So I am wondering if the clockwise or anticlockwise direction from kyoto is more scenic? I would like to stop in kikatsurra and possibly nachi for a few hours.

    Thank you.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Cher,
      I recommend you to take the clockwise direction.
      The fist Wide View Nanki departs from Nagoya at 08:08am. You can transfer from Shinkansen easily.
      It will arrive at Kii Katsuura at 11:38. You have lots of time at Kii Katsuura.
      You may catch Ocean Arrow at 14:00 or 16:00 at Kii Katsuura. You still can enjoy scenery.
      Takeshi / JP Rail

      • cher says:

        Hi Takeshi,

        Thank you.

        I will do as you suggested, leave nagoya at 8:08 am and get to ki katsurra at 11:38. Then ki katsurra to nachi at 13:22. Then nachi to kyoto at 1541 catching the ocean arrow at ki katsurra at 16:06. This gives me about 2 hours each in ki katsurra and nachi. Will I be able to see the waterfall in 2 hours?

        What time does the sun set? I read somewhere it sets around 4pm in winter! Hope I can still see some scenery from ocean arrow.

        Is my plan feasible?


  9. Geoffrey says:

    You can view the whole of this journey on YouTube. Someone has filmed it from behind the driver for the whole of the trip. It looks very scenic and has much variety. This is link to first of 26 clips!

  10. I’m wondering if it is possible to take a day trip from Kyoto around the entire Kii peninsula by Japan Rail Pass. I understand one can go round trip to Shingu. Could one also continue to Tsu and back to Kyoto? How long might this take? Thank you for your help.

    • Takeshi Shimomura, Author of
      JPRail says:

      Hi Terri,
      Yes, you can! I show you the sample itinerary.
      08:36 Kyoto Dep
      (Ltd Exp “Ocean Arrow 3”)
      12:49 Shingu Arr
      17:27 Shingu Dep
      (Ltd Exp “Wide View Nanki 8”)
      20:44 Nagoya Arr
      21:11 Nagoya Dep
      (Hikari 485)
      21:59 Kyoto Arr

      Wide View Nanki go through on Non JR line. You have to pay extra 800yen (fare 490+Ltd surcharge 310).
      If you travel during the peak season, you might have some additional trains from Shingu to Nagoya. That means you may be able to leave Shingu a bit earlier.

      Takeshi / JP Rail

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