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

Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara
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.


Click to view large.

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 the atmosphere in Shin-Osaka is totally different from Osaka station, Umeda area. Shin-Osaka station has lots of restaurants and shops but it is much fewer than Osaka and Umeda stations.

On the other hand, the average hotel rate is cheaper than Umeda area. It takes only 3 minutes by a local train. If your budget is tight, Shin-Osaka may suit your trip plan.

You can find everything you need about Shin-Osaka station in the movie below too:

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-#27.

Track#Name of line / Destination
20-22The Sanyo Shinkansen and the Kyushu Shinkansen for Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata, Kumamoto, Kagoshima-Chuo
23-27The Tokaido Shinkansen for Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo

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 line / Destination
1,2■ Osaka Higashi line local train for Hanaten, Kuhoji
The limited express Haruka and The limited express Kuroshio for Kyoto
3The limited express Haruka for Kansai Airport
The limited express Kuroshio for Wakayama, Shirahama, Shingu
4The limited Express Thunderbird for Fukui, Kanazawa, Wakura-Onsen
The limited express Wide View Hida for Gero, Takayama
Special Rapid / Rapid train for Takatsuki, Kyoto (during peak hour only)
5,6■ Kyoto line local train, rapid and Special Rapid for Takatsuki, Kyoto, Maibara, Tsuruga
7,8■ Kobe line local train, rapid and Special Rapid for Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji
■ Takarazuka line for Takarazuka, Shin-Sanda, Sasayamaguchi
9,10The limited express Konotori for Fukuchiyama, Kinosaki-Onsen
■ The limited express Super Hakuto for Himeji, Tottori, Kurayoshi
Special Rapid / Rapid train for Sannomiya, Kobe, Himeji (during peak hour only)

Access to/from Osaka station and minimum connecting time at Shin-Osaka station

If you access to/from Osaka station (Umeda area), you can take any trains on conventional lines, the limited express, special rapid, rapid or local. All trains stop at Shin-Osaka and takes only 3 minutes to get Osaka station. Special rapid, rapid and local trains run very frequently. You can hop on the train to get Osaka.

In regards to transfer, the minimum transfer time is 10 minutes according to JR West. But if you will plan to purchase the Shinkansen ticket on the spot, you may spend another 10 minutes. If you really worry to miss the train, expect to spend another 5 minutes, total 15 minutes. However you can purchase the Shinkansen ticket at any major JR stations in advance.

Access to/from Namba station by Osaka Subway Midosuji 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.
Midosuji line can be seen from Shinkansen platform. It is subway line but it does not run underground in Shin-Osaka. Midosuji line station is located just under Shinkansen platforms.

If you go to another downtown core, Namba, Osaka Subway Midosuji 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. Midosuji 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 Midosuji line below.

If you transfer to subway from Shinkansen train, minimum transfer time is 10 minutes. But if you transfer from the conventional line trains, you might spend another 5 minutes to transfer. T

How to transfer to/from Subway Midosuji 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.


  1. Lynn Wilson says:

    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

  2. Kaushik Bajaria says:

    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

    • 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. Chau Le says:

    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. Michael says:

    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?


    • 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. Laura says:

    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. Tony Ukena says:


    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. richard says:

    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?

    • 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. Jason says:

    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. Jojo says:

    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. Afif Hidayat says:

    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

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