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. Ann says:

    My flight will be at 7:40AM. Could you please give advice what train I should take from shin-Imamiya station to Kansai airport?How? and how much?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Ann,

      Nankai railway connects Shin-Imamiya and KIX. But the first one is 5:12 departure and 5:55 arrival. You have less than 2 hours in KIX. If you are okay with this, the fare is 920 yen.

      If you want to get KIX earlier, you have to take a taxi to Umeda (Osaka station) and take a bus. I don’t know the taxi fare but it probably costs more than 3000 yen. Please see the link below to find the info about bus from Osaka station.


      Takeshi /

  2. Percy says:

    Hello. Our hotel, Hotel Taiyo is near Dobutsuen-Mae. Our hotel told me to ride JR Rapid from KIX to Shin imamiya Station but it would take 56 minutes compared if I take Nankai Limited express of 34 minutes. I will arrive at night and JR Station is nearer my hotel than Nankai Station and as much as possible I don’t want to walk at Shin-imamiya longer at night. Should I take Nankai limited express (faster travel, but longer walking distance to hotel) or JR (56 minutes from airport but East Exit Tsutenkaku exit closer to hotel)?

  3. vince says:

    I stay in Osaka for 2 days. What is a good option to travel around the city? JR pass or Osaka City Pass?

    Please advise

    Thank you

  4. vince says:


    I need a direction from Shin-Kobe Station to Shin-Imamiya Station in Osaka. Please help.

    Thank you

  5. Kathy says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We are planning to go to Japan next year and we will be arriving at KIX.

    Our accommodation, according to the site is 100 m from Dobutsuenmae Subway Station and 400 m from Shin-Imamiya Station.

    Should we use a JR West Kansai pass or a Nankai Line airport express to Namba Station? Or none of those?

    We are also planning to visit Kyoto, Nara and Kobe in the following days.

    I am confused if I should stick with the JR West Kansai Pass or would it be better to buy a Hankyu Pass, Keihan Pass or Kansai Thru Pass? Or should I just buy a Suica?

    I would like to save on traveling expenses if possible.

    For exploring Downtown Osaka, we are planning to buy the Amazing Osaka Pass. What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you.

  6. Mel says:

    Hi, thank you for this detailed post. So helpful.

    I will be staying at MIDI hotel near JR Imamiya Station. The hotel advised that I take the Nankai Railway from Kansai Airport, and transfer to JR train at Shin-Imamiya and get off at JR Imamiya & walk about 5 Min to hotel. However, we (husband and I) have 3 luggages and 2 children.
    Is there a better way of transferring without having to drag our luggages too much? I’m not sure if I have to deal with many staircases too. Thank you. I could perhaps also forward 2 of my luggages from Kansai Airport to the hotel although it seems unnecessary.
    The hotel is near Daikokucho subway too, it seems.

    • Hi Mel,

      I recommend you to take JR train from Kansai airport more than Nankai railway. The easiest way is taking JR Kansai airport rapid from Kansai airport to Shin-Imamiya and change a local train to Imamiya.

      You still need to change trains at Shin-Imamiya. But you can change trains at same platform, #3 and #4. You don’t need to go up and down stairs. Just get off a train at Shin-Imamiya and wait for a local train (Osaka loop line) there. It’s much easier.


      Takeshi /

      • Mel says:

        Thanks so much Takeshi for responding so quickly!
        Wow your directions are so brilliant! I don’t think any of the google map or other rail searches gave me such a direction…
        So basically I just look for the JR rapid train from Kansai and take it towards shin-Imamiya and then change to Imamiya, right? Thanks so much!!

        I am also planning to go to Takayama but I find the Shinkansen to Nagoya + Limited express train to Takayama prety costly for a return trip, especially for my family of 4. I did some research and found that the Takayama-Hokuriku pass doesn’t seem to make sense for my family as we are only planning to go from Osaka to Takayama and back to Osaka after staying 3 nights at Takayama. Am I correct?
        Is there a cheaper alternative to get from Osaka to Takayama but yet not exceed 4 hours+?
        Would Shinkansen to Nagoya followed by a bus to Takayama save me money? If we take bus, where do we take the bus and how much does it cost? Would the scenery by bus lose to scenery in the train?
        My itinerary in japan is 4N Osaka + 3N Takayama + 3N Osaka. Thank you so much in advance for any advice you might have. For info, I’m leaving this Sat 8/12. This is really last-minute. Sorry!

  7. Farhan Chia says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I will be staying at an apartment 200m away from Imamiyaebisu station. I found out that Imamiyaebisu station has no elevators. I am having 1 double stroller and 1 big luggage. I will be from Kansai International Airport. Is it more advisable to alight at Shin Imamiya station and walk to my apartment or alight at Imamiyaebisu station?

    • Hi Farhan,

      Imamiyaebisu station is located at second floor.

      As you think, you have to go down by stairs. If you walk from Shin-Imamiya, you have to walk about 1km for 20 minutes. It’s hard to say which is better. But if I were you, I get off at Imamiyaebisu. 1km is too much to walk with luggage. Especially if it’s rain, Shin-Imamiya is too far.

      If you come from Kansai airport, you have to change trains at Shin-Imamiya. All trains from Kansai airport does not stop at Imamiyaebisu station.


      Takeshi /

  8. Jane says:

    Hi, my family will be staying at Daikokucho. May I know which is a more convenient and easier route to Kansai airport, Namba Nankai station or Haruka train at Tennoji station, considering all the transfers from Daikokucho? Thank you!

  9. Sergio says:

    I will have to buy a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket at the Nankai Railway ticket window early in the morning.
    What time does the ticket window at the Shin-Imamiya station open?

  10. Milena Piersantini says:

    I am planning to go to Koyasan from Kyoto via Osaka – Shin imamiya- GOKURAKUBASHI, where can I buy the Koyasan World Heritage Ticket in Kyoto?

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