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.
- JR Osaka station overview
- Ticket gate/Exit
- Tracks and platforms
- Transfer to Hankyu Railways, Hanshin Railways and Osaka Metro subway lines
- Osaka Station City
- JR Pass, JR West Rail Passes 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 (Uchimawari/Inner loop) for Nishikujo, Bentencho, Tennoji|
■Yumesaki line for Universal city (USJ) via Nishikujo (Peak hour only)
■Yamatoji Rapid train for Nara via Tennoji
■Kansai Airport Rapid train for Kansai airport via Tennoji
■Kishuji Rapid train for Wakayama via Tennoji
|2||■Osaka Kanjo line (Sotomawari/Outer loop) for Kyobashi, Tsuruhashi, Tennoji|
|3,4||■Takarazuka line, Fukuchiyama line for Takarazuka, Shin-Sanda, Sasayamaguchi|
■Limited Express Konotori, Hamakaze, Super Hakuto for Kinosaki-Onsen, Tottori
■Kobe line Special Rapid /Rapid train for Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji (during peak hour)
|5||■Kobe line Special Rapid /Rapid train for Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji|
|6||■Kobe line local train for Sannomiya, Kobe Himeji|
■Takarazuka line, Fukuchiyama line for Takarazuka, Shin-Sanda, Sasayamaguchi
|7||■Kyoto line local train for Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, Kyoto|
|8||■Kyoto line Special Rapid / Rapid train for Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, Kyoto|
|9,10||■Kyoto line Special Rapid / Rapid train for Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, Kyoto (during peak hour)|
|11||■Limited Express Thunderbird for Fukui, Kanazawa|
■Limited Express Wide View Hida for Gero, Takayama
■Limited Express Sunrise Izumo / Sunrise Seto for Tokyo
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 the 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 JR Pass, Kansai area pass, Kansai WIDE Area Pass, Sanyo Sanin area pass or other JR rail passes, you can take the 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 Osaka Metro subway lines
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 Osaka-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 to Hankyu Osaka-Umeda station from JR Osaka station.