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. Moccy says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,
    I’m planning to take Kuroshio 3/5 from Tennoji to Kii Tanabe and Kuroshio 22/26 from Kii Katsuura to Shin-Osaka. How is the chance to get a seat without reservation? I will be visiting Kumano in last week of October.

    Thank you for your advise.

  2. Ellie says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I planned to travel from Wakayama to Shingu in December. Do you recommend getting the reserved seat? Will it be crowded in the morning when taking the first train, Kuroshio 1? Is it be too risky to go for unreserved as the journey is 3++hours?

    I’m getting Kansai wide area pass which doesn’t cover reserved seats.


    • Hi Ellie,

      If you travel in early or mid December, it’s no problem. If you late December, such as after 29th, it will be an issue.
      Usually early and mid December are very slow.


      Takeshi /

  3. Russell says:

    Hi Takeshi-san,

    I was just curious, how do you find out which rolling stock is used on which service? EG would you know which series (283, 287, 289) is used on Kuroshio 15? And how would you find out?

    Thanks so much! 😀

  4. Jill Robinson says:

    After travelling to Hiroshima and Himeji using the JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, we will be going to Koya-san then over the mountain on the bus to Hongu. We will be staying at Kii Katsura after hiking the Kumano Kodo trail and visiting an onsen. We have to return to Kyoto. As our JR Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass will no longer be valid, is it best to purchase the Kansai Wide Area Pass to return to Kyoto? We are staying in Kyoto four days before leaving, so I think this pass would only be used for this one long trip from Shingu to Kyoto. It seems this would still save us a little money. Am I right? Thank you.

  5. LP says:

    If I plan to travel from kyoto to kii- katsuura, then the next day to Kansai airport. What is the cheapest ticket i should buy?
    Which train and which line should I take?

  6. Chan says:

    Greetings ,

    I am going to use Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass (
    I can use 4 times reserved seats, can I pay extra to upgrade to an green?

    If yes,
    I am going from Kansai airport to Kii-Katsura, I would like to reserved on GreenClass.

    Fare:¥ 4,220 Seat Fee:¥ 2,460 IF i am going to use Green class, it would be Fare:¥ 4,220 Seat Fee:¥ 6,050.
    My question, how much “extra” do I have to pay to reserve a GreenClass using the touristpass from Kansai Airport to Kii-Katsura? is it ¥6,050 OR ¥6,050-¥2,460=¥3,590.

    Thank you very much,


  7. Ledantec Martin says:


    I was considering taking the Kuroshio and I came across your remark about the 283 series having great green seats panoramic views. Hyperdia says it’s the LTD. EXP KUROSHIO 3 that is running at that moment, is that a 283 series? Thanks for your answer and for this cool website


  8. marcelo says:

    Greetings, Takeshi! We”re travelling on Sept 28 between Kyoto and Koyasan, with JR Pass. What would be our bestoption? Thanks!

  9. Rainy says:

    From Wakayama to Shirahama and next day from shirahama to KIIKATSUURA in the morning then in the evening to SHIN-OSAKA may I use this train and all can I use JR PASS???

  10. Ryan says:

    I am planning to do a day-trip from Osaka to visit Kumano Nachi-Taisha and Hongu area. Is it possible? What is the best way to do this?

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