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
20-22 Sanyo ShinkansenOkayama, Hiroshima, Hakata
Kyushu ShinkansenHiroshima, Hakata, Kumamoto, Kagoshima-Chuo
23-26 Tokaido 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.

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

  1. We will be travelling from Hiroshima to Kyoto, Kyoto to Nara, Nara to Kii Tanabe, Kii Tanabe to Miyajima.

    Will the Kansai Hiroshima Regional Pass be ok?
    This will take us 7 days, so was thinking of buying 2 x 5 day pass

    1. Hi Lynn,

      You may use 2 X Kansai Hiroshima area pass. But if you want to reserve your seat on the train, JR Pass 7 days is your choice too.

      Please see the link below to find the difference between reserve and non reserve.


      Takeshi /

  2. My son has forgotten his mobile phone iPhone 5 S in the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka. Departed at 11.03am from Tokyo . If it is found can someone please call me on +61422007736. We are in Osaka for 2 nights. If found we can come and collect it from Osaka JR station
    Really appreciate your help

    1. Hi Kaushik,

      You should go to Shinkansen Shin-Osaka station and tell the station staff that your son left his phone in the train. You should contact them as soon as possible. In most of cases, it is reported to the station staff.


      Takeshi /

  3. Hi Takeshi,
    We will stay at Nippombashi and would like to travel to Kyoto via JR Kyoto Line. Can we start the trip at Shin-Osaka station? if so, which platform should be catch the JR Kyoto train?
    Do we need to reserve the tickets?
    Thanks in advance,

  4. Hi Takeshi san,

    I seem to find the JR maps of the stations quite confusing. Can you please clarify – if we arrive on Shinkansen at Shin-Osaka station at platform 20 and need to transfer to another Shinkansen at platform 23, must we travel down the escalator to another floor then travel up another escalator back to the new platform?

    Secondly, we will have 20 minutes between trains at Shin-Osaka, would we have enough time to go from platform 20, run over to the Eki-Marche, then back to platform 23?


    1. Hi Michael san,

      You are right. You need to go down and up.
      I think you have a time to drop by Eki-Marche. However if you go there, you need to go through Shinkansen transfer gate. If you use a regular ticket, make sure that you can slot your ticket or not. Please ask the station staff before you go through.


      Takeshi /

  5. Hi Takeshi,

    I am meeting a friend in Shin-Osaka that is coming from Tokyo in Shinkansen. I will be travelling from Kyoto and we are planning on taking Midousiji Line. Which meeting point would you recommend us? I am terrible at train stations and get lost pretty easily.


  6. Takashi-san,

    How are you? I am an American in need help on which train passes I should use while in the Kensai region from October 27-November 10. There are so many choices and I am doing so many different things this time. I have a few questions on parts of my trip:

    I have my ICOCCA card from last year’s trip. I don’t think there is any value on it other than the Y500 deposit.

    10/27 (Friday): KIX to Shin-Osaka (nothing else.

    Question #1: With my ICCOCA card, how much do I pay to take the Haruka Express to get to shin-osaka.

    My other question is, I am planning the following day trips in succession (starting from Shin-Osaka Station):

    11/1: Shin-Osaka to Himeiji (see the castle in morning)-Himeji-Kobe (want to tram to take city views, visit chinatown, see the starbucks, go to suspension bridge tower and if I have time go to Meriken Park)-return to Shin-Osaka
    11/2: Shin-Osaka to Nara (spend day in Nara)-return to Shin-11/3: Shin-Osaka to
    11/4: Shin-Osaka to Kii Katsuura Station (see Nachi Falls mid day and eat lots of Toro and Uni in restaurant near Katuura Station?
    11/5: Kii Katsuura to Kyoto Station.

    Question #2:

    From 11/1 to 11/5 is the Kensai Wide Area Pass worth buying?

  7. Hi Takeshi,

    I am arriving from Tokyo on Hikari shinkansen and only have 4 minutes to transfer to Limited Express Haruka to KIX. I purchased ticket at the ticket office using JapanRail Pass. Am I correct that I arrive at track 21/22 and need to run to track 11? Is 4 minutes enough? i checked the online ticket website and it showed the same recommendation as the ticket counter, but I am afraid the time is too short to transfer tracks! What do you think?

    1. Hi Richard,

      It will be very challenging. Shinkansen platform is quite long. You need to run and you must find the right direction. Honestly 4 minutes is very tough for me. If I were you, I take earlier Hikari or later Haruka.


      Takeshi /

  8. Hi Takeshi,

    I bought Shinkansen Tickets from JR Tokai for my trip to Tokyo on Thursday, May 19 at 3:58 pm. What Platform will the train be departing from? I will be coming from the Kaiyukan area so I will start by taking the subway from Osakako Station to Shin-Osaka Station.

  9. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be taking Midosuji line from Shinsaibashi to Shin-Osaka and then taking the JR Special Rapid Service for YASU to Kyoto using JR pass.
    May I know how to transfer to take the JR Specical Rapid Service?

    Thank you


  10. Hi Takeshi,

    I will be arrived from Kansai Airport using Ltd Haruka and already exchange my JR pass, if I want to use shinkansen (Hikari) to Tokyo what should I do after arrived, what floor and platform do I need to go.

    Do I need to reserved seat in the ticket counter and is it accessible due to I’m travelling with my family (2 children) and bring several large luggage.

    Afif H

    1. Hi Afif H,

      You can move conventional line platform on ground floor to Shinkansen platform on 3rd floor. There are lots of signage and you cannot miss it.

      You can reserve tickets for Shinkansen in advance, like Kansai airport station. I usually complete to book for all trains when I exchange JR pass.

      Please see the link below about luggage.


      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 *