Osaka Station lies at the center of a major transportation hub in the city of Osaka, and is contained within the massive Osaka Station City commercial complex. Within this complex are shops, restaurants, entertainment facilities, a hotel, and even a small rooftop farm.
The station itself however, occupies a clearly contained area on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of this complex, and is actually not that hard to navigate. In this article we will introduce you to the general layout of the station, and show you where to find each train line.
Osaka Station City consists of two commercial buildings which stand at opposite ends of Osaka Station. These are the North Gate Building and the South Gate Building. The station itself with all of its ticket gates, platforms, and train lines is between these two buildings. There are two main concourses that run the length of the station on the 1st floor of the building: the Central Concourse and the Midosuji Concourse.
The Central Concourse runs between the North Gate and South Gate Buildings. From this concourse you can access the platforms and train lines via the Central Gate. You can also access the Central Ticket Office here, which is where you can purchase or collect any JR Rail Passes.
Popular Hotels near Osaka Station
The Midosuji Concourse runs along the eastern side of the station and you can access the platforms and train lines here via the Midosuji Gate.
There are two more ticket gates on the south side of the station. These are the South Gate on the south-east side of the building and the Sakurabashi Gate on the south-west side. There is also an Eki Marche Osaka ticket gate which gives immediate access to station platforms from the Eki Marche shopping and restaurant complex on the western side of the station building. There are ticket machines beside all of these gates.
On the third floor of the station building there is one more station concourse on the North South Bridge that connects the North Gate and South Gate buildings. Here you can also buy tickets and access the platforms and train lines via the Bridge Gate.
The train tracks and platforms are located on the 2nd floor of the station building between the 1st floor and 3rd floor concourses.
Access to JR Train Lines
There are 11 platforms in Osaka Station. Here they are listed in ascending order from Platform 1 on the south side of the station to Platform 11 on the north side. The main train lines they serve and their key destinations will be listed with each platform. Please click on the links to learn more about each line.
Platforms 1 and 2: These are two of the busiest platforms in Osaka Station with boarding for the Osaka Loop Line, the Sakurajima Line for Universal Studios, the Yamatoji Rapid Service for Nara, the Kishuji Rapid Service for Wakayama, and the Kansai Airport Rapid Service.
Trains headed for Nishikujo, Shin-Imamiya, and Tennoji on the Osaka Loop Line depart from Platform 1. trains headed for Kyobashi, and Tsuruhashi on the Osaka Loop Line depart from Platform 2.
Platforms 3 and 4: Boarding for the Takarazuka Line for Takarazuka, Sasayama, and Fukuchiyama, and boarding for Rapid and Special Rapid services on the Kobe Line for Sannomiya & Himeji.
Also boarding for the following Limited Express services: The Kounotori for Fukuchiyama and Kinosaki Onsen, The Super Hakuto for Tottori & Kurayoshi, and the Hamakaze for Kinosaki Onsen, Kasumi, Hamasaka and Tottori.
Platforms 5 and 6: Boarding for the Kobe Line and boarding for the Takarazuka Line.
Platforms 7 and 8: Boarding for the Kyoto Line for Shin-Osaka, Takatsuki, and Kyoto.
Platform 9 and 10: Boarding for Rapid and Special Rapid services on the Kyoto Line.
The Biwako Express a Limited Express service for Kusatsu and Maibara also departs from Platform 10.
Platform 11: Boarding for the Limited Express Thunderbird for Fukui, Kanazawa and Wakura Onsen.
Boarding for the Limited Express Hida for Gifu, Gero, and Takayama
Also boarding for the Sunrise Express sleeper train for Tokyo.
Transfers from Osaka Station to the Osaka-Umeda Stations
The Umeda area has six more stations all within a short walking distance of Osaka Station. Many of these can be accessed via the same network of underground walkways, and they are fairly well signposted. However, they will be a lot easier to find if you know where they are in relation to Osaka Station. Signs on Osaka Station’s platforms actually tell you which gate is closer to each transfer station. When you arrive at your platform, it may be busy and you will probably feel rushed by the crowds, but if you take your time and locate the gate that is nearest to your transfer station then it will probably save you some time.
Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station is an above ground station located north east of Osaka Station and can be accessed by a raised walkway from the 2nd floor of Osaka Station City or by simply crossing the street at ground level.
Hanshin Osaka-Umeda Station is an underground station located directly south of Osaka Station. To find it go out of the southern exit of Osaka Station’s Central Concourse and go down the steps directly ahead.
Osaka Municipal Subway’s Osaka-Umeda Station for the Midosuji Subway Line is located under the east side of Osaka Station. This can be accessed at the northern and southern ends of Osaka Station’s Midosuji Concourse where you can find steps leading down to the underground system.
Osaka Municipal Subway’s Higashi-Umeda Station for the Tanimachi Subway Line is located south-east of Osaka Station in the Whity underground shopping mall. Steps leading down to this station can be found close by Osaka Station’s South Gate.
Osaka Municipal Subway’s Nishi-Umeda Station for the Yotsubashi Subway Line is located south-west of Osaka Station in the same network of underground tunnels as Hanshin Osaka-Umeda Station and the other subway stations. The easiest way to locate it is by exiting at Osaka Station’s Sakurabashi Gate. There are steps there leading down to the underground and the way is well sign-posted.
Kitashinchi Station for the JR Tozai Line is located directly south of Osaka Station in the same network of tunnels as Hanshin Osaka-Umeda Station and the other subway stations. From the southern exit of Osaka Station go down the steps straight ahead and follow the signs for the JR Tozai Line. This station is the furthest from Osaka Station and it will take about ten minutes to walk there.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.