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.

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

  1. Hello ….

    I stay at Hiroshima and having departure flight at KIX for 11:00 am (International Flight)

    Is it convenience or too risk to choose following itinerary:
    – 06:26 – 08:04 / Shinkansen Hikari 448 for Hiroshima – Shin Osaka (arrive track 22, departure track 03
    – 08-17 – 09:13 / Ltd Express Haruka for Shin Osaka – Kansai Airport

    Does the transfer time is enough to make transfer from track 22 to track 03 by bringing luggage with medium size?
    Or should I have to stay at Osaka prior my departure??

    Looking forward for your further advise and guide line.

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Budi San

    1. Hi Budi,

      If I were you, I don’t take this option because it’s too risky. Transfer time is okay but even if you make it, you will be Kansai airport within 2 hours to the departure time. Train operation in Japan is very reliable. But it’s not 100%. If the train delay, you will miss the flight. I recommend you to stay overnight in Osaka.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hello Takeshi San,

        Appreciate for your kind prompt reply and guide line.
        I will consider to follow your advice.


        Best regards,
        Budi San

  2. Dear Takashi,

    We are travelling from Kyoto to Namba oriental hotel.

    I read that the best route is JR kyotoline on Special rapid train, then transfer at Shin-osaka to Midosuji subway, to Namba station. Is this correct?

    1. train tickets – I need to buy all tickets (including the transfer to Namba station) at kyoto station? If so, then we are limited by the timings.

    2. The special rapid train do not have reserved seats tickets? There is a possibility of no seats? We are travelling with luggages and 2 kids. I am worried of juggling all these at once.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Eunice,

      1. You have to purchase a ticket one by one. So you will purchase a ticket for Shin-Osaka to Namba at Shin-Osaka subway station. If you purchase IC card such as Kansai one pass, you don’t need to purchase a ticket. Please see the link below to find the info about IC card:

      2. Actually Special Rapid is always busy and you cannot reserve your seat because this is a commute train. There are lots of standing passengers all day. If you want to secure your seat, think about taking Haruka or Shinkansen.

      Subway Midosuji line is busy all day too but there is no other choices for Shin-Osaka to Namba.


      Takeshi /

      1. Dear Takeshi,

        My family will be travelling from Nagoya to Hotel by Meitetsu train. Nagoya to Kyoto by Shinkanzen Hikari. Kyoto to Osaka by the JR special rapid train, then Midosuji subway. SO will this Icoca card be usable for all the above journey and travelling within the cities?

        Thank you.

  3. We want to change at Shin Osaka to Haruka for KIX.
    If we arrived at Shinkansen track no. 26, will it be 19 minutes enough to reach platform no. 3 for Haruka ? With us we have elderly who can only walk in slow pace.

  4. Hi,

    I’ll arrive at track 1 and need to transfer to track 4 within 9 minutes. Do I need to use the stairway / elevator to go up/down or are they in the same platform?


  5. Hi
    We are arriving from KIX via Haruka and will transfer to Hiroshima via Shinkasen, because of the long trip, we would like to either buy some bento or if we have enough time we would like to go to a restaurant in Shin-Osaka station. Do we have to exit the platform first and re-enter via the Central Entrance Gate for Shinkasen? Is 30min enough to just for buying some bento?

    Best Regards


    1. Hi Happy,

      I don’t think 30 minutes is enough to eat in the restaurant. But you can buy some bento in Shin-Osaka station. You don’t need to exit because there are lots of choices inside the ticket gate. When you arrive in Shin-Osaka by Haruka, just go up by stairs or escalators. You will find the lots of stores before entering Shinkansen ticket gate. The following link is shown in Japanese. But you can find lots of photos. You will find huge number of bentos are available in the station.

      After purchasing bento, you can proceed to Shinkansen ticket gate.


      Takeshi /

  6. When i change from one platform to another platform in same station, do i need to go out of the gate of the first platform and then go into the gate of another platform? Or i just need to get off from the first train and walk straight to another train?

  7. I’ll arrive Shin-Osaka station at track #8 (time : 11:08), which come from Maibara via JR Special Rapid service for HIMEJI. And I’ve to transfer at track #3 (time: 11:15) for get LTD EXP Kuroshio 9.
    Is it enough time to transfer if we’ve luggage? How long does it take for transfer?
    Thanks in advance for kind advice.

  8. we arrive at track 20 and depart track 25 only 5 minutes later. How long does it take to get from one to another??

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    I take haruka from kix and arrived at track 11 shin osaka station. Then i take thunderbird to kanazawa station, departure track 12.

    Did i must go down/ up stairs to change between track 11 to 12 ?

    Thank you in advance.

          1. Hi Takashi

            I have just rechecked my timetable via hypedia,
            I take haruka from kix and arrived at track 1 shin osaka station. Then i take thunderbird to kanazawa station, departure track 4.
            But previously it was track 11 and track 12 and there is no track 1 or track 4.
            I am confused . Please assist. Thanks.

  10. Hi

    If I am going to Tokyo (3days)-> Osaka / Kyoto (5 days) -> depart at Kansai Intl Airport, do you think I should buy a 7 days JR pass?


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