Shin-Imamiya station guide. How to transfer among JR, Nankai Railway and Subway lines

Station information
JR Shin-Imamiya station Tsutenkaku Tower Exit exterior

Shin-Imamiya is one of the stations on Osaka Kanjo (loop) line and Nankai Railway line. It is located in southern part of downtown Osaka and it is near Namba and Tennoji. This station is also accessible to “Shinsekai”.

Shin-Imamiya is not a mega terminal station but this station is a transfer point of JR, Nankai Railway and subway lines. Many of you will change trains at this station.

In this post, I would like to show you the structure of this station. You will see how to change trains. Subway station’s name is not Shin-Imamiya but Dobutsuenmae. The name is different but it is same location. I will show you subway station, Dobutsuenmae in this post too.

JR and Nankai Railway Shin-Imamiya station overview

Shin-Imamiya station is located on Osaka Kanjo line which is loop train line in downtown Osaka. Osaka Kanjo line connects Osaka (Umeda), Kyobashi, Tennoji, Nishikujo and many more stations. This station is next to Tennoji which is one of downtown core of Osaka. Limited Express train skips this station but there are lots trains stop at this station. Of course you can access to any stations on Osaka Kanjo line. And also you can get JR-Namba by local train, Nara, Kansai airport and Wakayama by rapid trains.

Shin-Imamiya is also knowns as Nankai Railway’s station. Nankai Railway is one of major private railway lines. This railway connects Namba, Kansai airport, Wakayama and Koyasan (Mt. Koya).

Station structure, tracks and platforms

JR Shin-Imamiya station layout

Shin-Imamiya station is four levels structure. On the ground level, JR has ticket gate at the east end. JR Osaka Kanjo line platforms are located on the second floor. Nankai Railway’s platforms are located on fourth floor. In JR station map, it is shown as third floor but in Nankai Railway station map, it is shown as fourth floor. But these are same level.

Nankai Railway station layout. Nankai Railway station 4th floor is same level as JR 3rd floor.

You can go up and down to transfer among these station by stairs and elevators. But there is no elevators JR and Nankai Railway transfer gates. I will tell you about this later in this post.

Platforms (JR)

1Osaka Kanjo line
(inner loop)
Tennoji, Tsuruhashi, Kyobashi
2Yamatoji line
(Yamatoji rapid)
Nara, Oji
Kansai Airport line
(Kansai Airport rapid)
Kansai Airport
Hanwa line
(Kishuji rapid)
3Osaka Kanjo line
(outer loop)
Betencho, Nishikujo, Osaka
Yamatoji lineJR-Namba
4Osaka Kanjo line
(outer loop)
Betencho, Nishikujo, Osaka

Shin-Imamiya station has only two platforms and very simple layout. You cannot miss the direction.

At platform #1 and #2 toward the stairs for West gate
At platform #1 and #2 toward the stairs for Tsutenkaku Tower gate

Platforms (Nankai Railway)

1Koya lineKoyasan
3Nankai Main line
Kansai Airport line
Wakayama, Kansai Airport

Nankai Railway Shin-Imamiya station has four tracks and three platforms. Koya line and Nankai Main have two tracks each. It is very easy to find the destinations.

At platform #2 and #3 (C) DVMG, CC 3.0 via Wikimedia commons

Ticket gate/Exit

JR and Nankai Railway Shin-Imamiya stations have two ticket gates each.

JR has two gates at east side and west side. East side is called Tsutenkaku Tower gate. It is one of the closest stations to Tsutenkaku tower. You also use Tsutenkaku Tower gate if you change trains between JR and Osaka subway. I will tell you about Osaka Subway station later in this post.

Tsutenkaku Tower gate (East gate)

West side gate is just called West gate. This gate is connected with Nankai Railway’s ticket gate. Its is also called JR-Nankai Railway transfer gate. If you need to change trains between Nankai Railway and JR, you will use this gate.

JR and Nankai Railway West gate. JR gate is right side in the photo and Nankai Railway gate is not seen but left side in the photo.

One of Nankai Railway’s ticket gate is same as JR West ticket gate.

Nankai Railway ticket window. You can purchase some discount tickets here, such as Koyasan World Heritage Ticket.
Train departure information board at Nankai Railway West gate

Nankai Railway also has one more gate at second level. It is a small gate. If you access to Nankai Railway Shin-Imamiya station from outside, you will find this gate before reaching JR-Nankai transfer gate.

The entrance of Nankai Railway Shin-Imamiya station on the street
This entrance is located on the second floor. It is very small ticket gate.

Transfer route for wheelchair and a person with a disability

If you change trains between Nankai Railway and JR, there is no elevators and escalators at West gate. If you move by yourself, you have to enter/exit at JR East gate and move about 200m on the street along the station. Please see the map below to find the route.

And you enter/exit Nankai Railway station. It is very very inconvenient especially in rainy day. You can ask for help to station staff to avoid this inconvenient move.

Osaka Subway Dobutsuenmae station overview

As I mentioned above, Osaka Subway Dobutsuenmae station is same location as Shin-Imamiya station. You can find one of the entrances to Dobutsuenmae station near JR Tsutenkaku Tower gate.

You can catch two subway line trains at Dobutsuenmae station.

  • Midousuji line – Shin-Osaka, Umeda, Yodoyabashi, Shinsaibashi, Namba, Tennoji, Abiko, Nakamozu
  • Sakaisuji line – Tengachaya, Nippombashi, Kitahama, Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome, Awaji (via Hankyu railway), Kitasenri (via Hankyu railway), Takatsukishi (via Hankyu railway)

Please refer the map of Osaka Subway system in the link below:

Route map of Osaka Subway lines

Midousuji line is the primary line of Osaka subway lines. It connects all downtown core, such as Umeda (JR Osaka), Shin-Osaka, Shinsaibashi, Namba and Tennoji.

Sakaisuji line shares the track with Hankyu Railway. Both Sakaisuji line train and Hankyu Railway line train run on both tracks each other. Technically Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome station is the last station of Sakaisuji line. But you can get Hankyu Railway Kyoto line without transfer. Most of trains go to Kita-Senri or Takatsukishi on Hankyu Railway line directly.

Station structure, tracks and platforms

Midousuji line and Sakaisuji line have two tracks each. Midousuji line has two platforms and Sakaisuji line has one platform.

Platforms (Midousuji line)

Tennoji, Nagai, Abiko, Nakamozu
2Namba, Shinsaibashi, Yodoyabashi, Umeda, Shin-Osaka, Senri-Chuo
Midousuji line platform (C) Monja (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Platforms (Sakaisuji line)

2Nippombashi, Kitahama, Tenjinbashisuji 6-chome
Awaji, Kitasenri, Takatsukishi (via Hankyu railway)
Sakaisuji line platform (C) Monja (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ticket gate/Exit

Both Midousuji line and Sakaisuji line have two ticket gates. Midousuji line has East gate and West gate. Sakaisuji line has North gate and South gate. These two stations are connected both inside and outside ticket gate. You can change these two subway line trains without exiting station. There are several exits in Dobutsuenmae station. But if you change trains between subway and JR, or between subway and Nankai Railway, you should use #6 entrance. It is beside Sakaisuji line North gate. If you arrive there by Midousuji line, use West gate and follow the signage to get exit #6.

Hankai Railway Shin-Imamiya Ekimae stop

There is one more train station in Shin-Imamiya station which is Hankai Railway’s station. Hankai Railway is a tram service which connects southern part of Osaka, such as Sakai. You can find this tram stop behind Osaka Subway #6 exit.

How to change trains at Shin-Imamiya and Dobutsuenmae stations

I mentioned transfer among these trains. But now I would like to give you the detailed instruction of changing trains at Shin-Imamiya and Dobutsuenmae stations.

JR and Nankai Railway transfer

As I explained above, JR West gate is connected with Nankai Railway gate. All you have to do is following the signage. You will find it very easily. You may find how these gates look like in the movie below:

JR and Osaka Subway transfer

It is very easy but the entrance to subway is not seen. Please see the route in the photos below.

First of all, exit JR station through Tsutenkakuguchi gate (East gate). Once you exit at this ticket gate, turn right.

Tsutenkaku Tower gate from inside the gate
After through the gate, proceed to the right.

Just go down the street to the intersection.

You will see the entrance to subway ticket gate on your right. This is #6 exit of Dobutsuenmae station.

Go down the stairs and you will find the ticket gate. This is Sakaisuji line north gate.

Sakaisuji line north gate is located just beside the stairs to #6 exit.

This is not Midousuji line ticket gate. If you go to Namba, Shisaibashi, Umeda, Shin-Osaka, this is not a right gate.

Many travelers confuse. That is why this sign is put on the wall.

You will find the hallway left side of Sakaisuji line ticket gate. This is the way to get Midousuji line ticket gate.

Just go down the hallway.

You will find another ticket gate quickly. This is Midousuji line ticket gate.

If you arrive there by subway, you can take same way. Go up the stairs to get #6 exit. Turn left and proceed. You will find JR Shin-Imamiya station Tsutenkaku Tower gate on your left hand side.

Nankai Railway and Osaka Subway transfer

Actually I do not recommend to change Nankai Railway trains and Osaka Subway trains at Shin-Imamiya / Dobutsuenmae stations. If you want to do it, you have to walk on the street about 200 m. It is not very far but if you have luggage, it is not easy thing. And also there is no roof. When it is rainy day, I am very sure nobody likes to do it.

You can change Nankai Railway and Osaka Subway Sakaisuji line at Tengachaya. Tengachaya is next station from Dobutsuenmae. At Tengachaya station, Osaka Subway station is located just under Nankai Railway station. It is much easier to change trains at Tengachaya than Shin-Imamiya. Even if you arrive at Dobutsuenmae by Midousuji line, you can change to Sakaisuji line to get Tengachaya. Or you can change trains between Osaka Subway Midousuji line and Nankai Railway at Namba. You can move underground and no worry about rain.

So do not try to change Nankai Railway and Osaka Subway at Shin-Imamiya / Dobutsuenmae.

I am glad if this post make you feel more comfortable to stop at Shin-Imamiya and Dobutsuenmae stations


  1. farah says:

    Hi Takeshi San

    1) Our family ( 2 adults and 2kids) will be arriving in osaka via shinkansen. So I will take the subway and stop at Dobutsuenmae station. exit 9. as we have luggage and stroller, is thereescalator or lift available?

    2) We will depart to KIX using the Rapid Nankai Line. Can we go straight to platform using escalator or lift?

    • Hi Farah san,

      1. Unfortunately there is no escalators or elevators at exit 9. Only exit 2 and 5 have escalators or elevators but these are completely different direction.

      2. You can take elevators from ground level to ticket gate and then take another elevators or escalators to get platform.


      Takeshi /

  2. Esther says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Thank you for your fast reply.

    If we reach nankai shin imamiya from street, can we use escalator until platform ? Because we bring luggage.

    Thank you in advance.

  3. Esther says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    1. At shin imamiya station, if i want to go to kansai airport by nankai railway from tsutenkaku tower, can i use east gate (tsutenkaku gate) and go up to third floor for nankai railway ?

    2. With luggage, Its convenient if i use nankai airport express ( cheaper) beside nankai rapit to go to kix ?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Esther,

      1. You cannot enter from Tsutenkaku gate because you will take Nankai railway. This is JR ticket gate. If you have to walk on the street to get Nankai Railway exit.

      2. If you really want to have a seat, Rapi:t is better. Kansai airport rapid is a sort of commute train. You may need to stand up on board. It’ sometimes
      very crowded.


      Takeshi /

  4. Ninin says:

    Hi, Takeshi
    I already bought advance tickets of Nankai limited express. from the street how can I go to 3rd floor of Nankai Shin-imamiya station to change the ticket for Kansai airport ?

    Thank you

  5. Lucy says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    1) Is Osaka Castle & Kema Sakuranomiya Park both at Temmabashi station?

    2)Keikyu Main/ Airport Line Rapid Ltd Exp is it included in JR pass (Nationwide)?

    3)What is not included in JR PASS? All metro/subway lines?

  6. Lucy says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    Thank you so much.

    1) So does JR Pass (nationwide) include the following or i need to pay it separately?
    Kintetsu Nara Line Rapid express

    2)How should i go from Inari to Kyoto Station?

  7. Lucy says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    Can i check which is the best way to come back from Kyoto Station to Shin-Osaka if i have JR pass?
    Aft arrive Shin-Osaka how do i go to Shinsekai area?

  8. Christine says:

    Hello Takeshi,

    I would like to ask for the best route to take from KIX to Daikokucho Station. I’m a bit confused since it will be my first time to take this route. I would be traveling with children with lugagges so I’m looking for an option that would be more convenient. Thank you.

  9. ABM26 says:

    Hi Takeshi-san!
    I’m planning to travel from NISHIOJI to GOKURAKUBASHI to Koya-san. I was planning NISHIOJI – OSAKA-SHINIMAMIYA-GOKURAKUBASHI.
    Now, When I check SHINIMAMIYA (via Hyperdia) to take Nankai Koya Line Exp. for GOKURAKUBASHI , the train time table always says same timing for arrival and departure. (for rapid express train). Does this mean the train doesn’t stop here? I’m little worried about missing trains and so was wondering how can I make sure the train stops at SHINIMAMIYA and are at regular intervals to GOKURAKUBASHI. I’m planning to get Koya-san world heritage ticket and so was hoping I can catch alternate trains from SHINIMAMIYA to GOKURAKUBASHI (stop over at Hashimoto is ok)

  10. Patty says:

    Hi takeshi-san! 🙂

    What are your thoughts about Minamitanabe station? Will it be hard for us (with kids and seniors) to go around Osaka if our airbnb apartment is near minamitanabe station?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Patty san,

      It’s not a perfect place but okay. It’s a few stations away from Tennoji by JR Hanwa line. Osaka Subway Tanimachi line Tanabe station may be within walking distance too..


      Takeshi /

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