Shin Osaka station guide. How to change Shinkansen, Haruka, Thunderbird and local train access to Osaka, Umeda and Namba

Conventional lines platform (front), Shinkansen terminal (back) (C) Outside view of the Shin Osaka station/Ariake

Shin-Osaka station is the place where you change to/from Shinkansen. If you travel in Osaka, you may use this station at least once. All Shikansen trains stop at this station and many limited express trains on conventional lines stop or depart from this station, Shin-Osaka.

In this post, I would like to show you some images and explain about this station. You will get the information about transfer among trains.


First of all, please see Shin-Osakai station map on JR Central website.

Shin-Osaka station is composed of four levels, Shinkansen tracks on 4th floor, fare gate and concourse on 3rd floor and conventional line’s tracks on ground floor. On 2nd floor, there are some shops and restaurants. But as long as you transfer the trains in this station, you don’t see 2nd floor.

Shin-Osaka station is one station and three minutes away from Osaka station (Umeda area). But atmosphere in Shin-Osaka is totally different from Osaka station, Umeda area. Three is no huge shopping complex around Shin-Osaka station. Don’t expect shopping and food experience around Shin-Osaka station. But mostly hotel rate is cheaper than Umeda area. It takes only 3 minutes by train. If you really care about accommodation cost, Shin-Osaka may be suitable for you.

Ticket gate/Exit

Shinkansen ticket window is located beside Shinkansen ticket gate. If you use non reserved seat by Japan Rail Pass, you don’t need anything. But if you want to book reserved seat in last minutes, you can do it here. (C) JR Shin-Osaka Station / Hyougushi

There are three ticket gates, East, South and Central on 3rd floor.

If you want to exit from conventional line’s platform, you can use East exit only. Other two exit, South and Central are located in Shinkansen concourse. You cannot access to these two exits without Shinkansen ticket. If you use Japan Rail Pass, you can go through Shinkansen concourse without any extra charge. You don’t need to exchange any Shinkansen ticket. All you have to do is showing your Japan Rail Pass at Shinkansen

There is Shinkansen ticket gate in the concourse. When you transfer to/from Shinkansen, you need to go through this gate. You must have Shinkansen ticket, Japan Rail Pass, JR West Sanyo Area Pass, JR West Sanyo-Shikoku-Kyushu Pass or JR West Kansai WIDE Area Pass to access to Shinkansen platform/concourse. JR West Kansai Area Pass do NOT cover Shinkansen trains.

Tracks and platforms

There are 10 tracks / 5 platforms for conventional lines on ground floor and 7 tracks / 4 platforms for Shinkansen on 4th floor.

Shinkansen on 4th floor

There are seven tracks, #20-#26.

Track#Name of lineDestination
20-22Sanyo ShinkansenOkayama, Hiroshima, Hakata
Kyushu ShinkansenHiroshima, Hakata, Kumamoto, Kagoshima-Chuo
23-26Tokaido ShinkansenKyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo

#20 track is mostly used for the train depart from Shin-Osaka. Trains from Tokyo that go to Okayama, Hiroshima and Hakata directly (Nozomi and Hikari) depart/arrive at track #21 and #22.

Conventional lines on Ground floor

Conventional lines platforms (C) JP Rail

You can get on a local commute train, a rapid service train and a limited express train on the conventional lines at track #1-10.

Track#Name of lineDestination
1Limited Express Haruka and Limited Express Kuroshio bound for KyotoKyoto
2Limited Express Kuroshio arrival from Wakayama, Shirahama, Kii-katsuura, ShinguArrival only
3Limited Express KuroshioWakayama, Shirahama, Kii-katsuura, Shingu
4Limited Express ThunderbirdFukui, Kanazawa, Toyama, Wakura-Onsen
Limited Express Wide View HidaGero, Takayama (one round trip from Osaka a day)
■Kyoto lineSpecial Rapid / Rapid train to Takatsuki, Kyoto, Maibara and Tsuruga uses this platform during peak hour.
5,6■Kyoto lineLocal train, Rapid service and Special rapid service to Takatsuki, Kyoto, Maibara, Tsuruga
7,8■Kobe lineSpecial Rapid / Rapid train to Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji use this platform during peak hour.
■Takarazuka line, Fukuchiyama lineTakarazuka, Shin-Sanda, Sasayamaguchi
9,10Limited Express Kounotori, Super HakutoFukuchiyama, Kinosaki-Onsen, Tottori, Other limited express trains to Osaka

So if you go to/from Osaka, you usually use track #5-8. If you go to Kansai airport or Nanki area, like Shirahama, Shingu, go to track #3. If you go to Kanazawa, go to track #4. If you go to Kinosaki and Tottori, go to track #10

Access to/from Osaka station. How many minutes is enough to transfer

If you access to/from Osaka station (Umeda area), you can take any trains on conventional lines, limited express, special rapid, rapid or local. All trains stop at Shin-Osaka and takes only 3 minutes. If you use Japan Rail Pass, technically you can take limited express for even three minutes transfer without any extra charge. But special rapid, rapid or local trains are more convenient because it is more frequent and many more passenger’s door save your time to get off the trains. Anyway it is just three minutes transfer. It is not a big issue.

In regards to transfer, minimum transfer time is 10 minutes according to JR West. I totally agree with it. But if you will plan to purchase Shinkansen ticket at Shinkansen transfer gate, you may spend another 10 minutes. If you really worry to miss the train, expect to spend another 5 minutes, total 15 minutes. It is enough.

Access to/from Namba station by Osaka Subway Midousuji line

Midousuji line can be seen from Shinkansen platform. It is subway line but it does not run underground in Shin-Osaka. Midousuji line station is located just under Shinkansen platforms.
Midousuji line can be seen from Shinkansen platform. It is subway line but it does not run underground in Shin-Osaka. Midousuji line station is located just under Shinkansen platforms.

If you go to another downtown core, Namba, Osaka Subway Midousuji line is the best way to get there. You can access to Namba by JR lines. But it is a detour and JR Namba station is not located at the center of Namba area. Midousuji line Shin-Osaka station is located at 2nd level. Shinkansen Central ticket gate is the closest to subway station. I show you how to transfer between Shinkansen and subway Midousuji line below.

If you transfer to subway from Shinkansen train, minimum transfer time is 10 minutes. But if you tranfer from conventional line trains, you might spend another 5 minutes to transfer. The fare is 270 yen. You can take JR train to Osaka and transfer to subway at Umeda station. But you can save only 40 yen. Shin-Osaka is much easier and faster to transfer.

How to transfer to/from Subway Midousuji line

Use Central exit.

2015 spring Japan trip 1280

2015 spring Japan trip 1281

Once you get out from Central exit, you will find the sign of subway on your left hand.

2015 spring Japan trip 1282

Follow the signage and go down.

2015 spring Japan trip 1285

There are many signage and just follow.

2015 spring Japan trip 1286

2015 spring Japan trip 1287

You will find subway ticket gate soon.

2015 spring Japan trip 1289

It takes 5 minutes to transfer from ticket gate to ticket gate. It is quite easy.

187 thoughts on “Shin Osaka station guide. How to change Shinkansen, Haruka, Thunderbird and local train access to Osaka, Umeda and Namba”

  1. Hi Takeshi,
    I intend to travel from Osaka airport to Komatsu station on October 3rd. I use site to search for train and I chose the first route recommended that take 1 transfer at Shin-Osaka station. The first train is Haruka 10 departures from Kansai airport on track 4 and arrives at Shin-Osaka station on track 1. The second one is Thunderbird 15 departures from Shin-Osaka on track 4. I would like to ask that is this schedule too hard for me, especially this is the first time I go to Japan as well as using JR. Are track 1 and track 4 located right next to each other? Are 10 minutes enough for me to switch train? I have spent a night to look up for this information but I got nothing, so I ask you for help. Thanks in advance!

    This is the image of the schedule I got from

  2. Hi
    I need your help
    i am travelling from osaka to kyoto to nagano , then nagano back to osaka airport
    plan to stay in 3 nights each in osaka and kyoto and rest in nagano
    i plan to buy a 7 day JR pass , i plan to use it when the day i travel from kyoto to nagano, the rest of the day i nosaka and kyoto i plan to use their JR or subway train to places like osaka castle, nara park, gion , kobe at kyoto etc

    i would like to check if this is the best option to travel?

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    I’m leaving from Osaka to Haneda Airport to catch a flight at 2am. I will be buying a 7-day JR Pass. I have a company of 8 with me. My questions are:

    1) Which is the fastest and most convenient route with the luggage in toll?
    2) What is the latest time I should leave Osaka?

    1. Hi Agnes,

      1. Shin-Osaka (Shinkansen) Shinagawa (Keikyu railway) Haneda
      This is the easiest and the fastest way.

      2. Please see the link below to find the timetable of the Shinkansen:

      I think the realist choice is train # 536 which arrives at 23:02 at Shinagawa. JR pass does not cover red one (ひかり) and blue one (こだま) only. Yellow one (のぞみ) is not covered. So there is train # 538 runs later than 536 but it is too late to get Haneda. It takes about 20 minutes by Keikyu railway from Shinagawa to Haneda. Please use hyperdia to find the detailed timetable:


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    I’ll be arriving KIX at 16:10, planning on taking Express Haruka to Osaka Shin and JR Hikari 526/538 to Tokyo. Do you think i might have enough time to make it to JR Hikari? as i’ll need to get my JR Pass before taking the Haruka and i’ll be travelling in group of 9 (4 adults and 5 kids) and will be bringing luggages.
    Thank you for your time and help.

    1. Hi Eliza,

      Do you mean that Haruka arrive at 17:26 and Hikari leaves at 17:38 in Shin-Osaka station? It’s possible but you cannot get Shin-Osaka by 17:26 from 16:10. You will spend at least 1.5 hours to complete immigration, custom, baggage pick up and exchange the pass. You may spend more the 2 hours if it’s crowded.


      Takeshi /

Before you leave your comment, please see the conditions below.
  • Your comment will not be shown until I approve. When you submit your comment, the page will be reloaded but nothing happens. Your comment will be shown when I approve. Please click submit only once and wait for my approval.
  • Please do not ask me to make your itinerary. Because I am not your personal travel agent. I am very happy to check your itinerary. But please try to make the plan by yourself. In this website, there are lots of resources to make your plan.
  • Please do not ask me about the access to your hotel. You can google your hotel and find it at hotel website or google map easily.
  • I cannot recommend any hotels other than which I have stayed. Basically I cannot talk about hotels in this site. The number of hotels are too many to talk about by my experience.
  • If you want to ask me which pass suits your plan, please tell me your detailed itinerary and location to stay. I cannot choose any deals without the detailed itinerary because I have to compare the total single fare and deals.
  • Please do not ask me to reply to your inquiry by email. In this website, I would like to share all information with any readers. I do not communicate with you directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *