The Osaka Loop Line is a railway line operated by JR West that circles 19 stations in central Osaka city. Several important destinations are on the Osaka Loop Line, and 12 of these stations also connect with other lines that service the greater Osaka area and provide intercity connections. In short, this is one of Osaka’s major railway lines, and is extremely useful, both for getting about inside the city, and for connecting with other cities too.
The Osaka Loop Line is called 大阪環状線 or Osaka Kanjosen in Japanese, but all signs for the line are written bilingually in Japanese and English.
There are two tracks on the Osaka Loop Line: an inner track that runs counter-clockwise, and an outer track that runs clockwise. At Osaka Station you can board trains for the Osaka Loop Line at platforms 1 and 2. Trains running from Platform 1 are on the inner counter-clockwise track, and trains from Platform 2 are on the outer, clockwise track.
Osaka Loop Line Map
Osaka Loop Line Destinations
Here are all the stations on the Osaka Loop Line listed clockwise, with destination highlights and useful connections.
Osaka Station serves the Umeda area, which is Osaka’s most popular shopping district. Here you can find the Hankyu, Daimaru, Hanshin and Isetan department stores. Other popular attractions and shopping areas in Umeda are the Umeda Sky Building, HEP Five, and Grand Front Osaka. You can find maps for the Umeda area at the Umeda Connect website and at the Osaka Info website.
Osaka Station is also an integral part of a major transportation hub in Osaka city. Four other stations are close by: Umeda Station, Higashi-Umeda Station, Nishi-Umeda Station and Kitashinchi Station. Effectively these five stations form one big station complex.
At Osaka Station transfer to the west bound JR Kobe Line for Kobe and Himeji, the JR Kyoto Line for Kyoto, and the JR Takarazuka Line for northern Kyoto Prefecture. There are also limited express services for Hokuriku, Nagano and Takayama.
At Umeda Station transfer to Hankyu lines for Kobe, Kyoto and Takarazuka and the Hanshin Main Line which also serves Kobe. Transfer also to the Subway Midosuji Line, a major north-south rapid transit service within Osaka city.
At Higashi-Umeda Station transfer to the Subway Tanimachi Line which connects the cities of Moriguchi, Osaka and Yao.
At Nishi-Umeda Station transfer to the Subway Yotsubashi Line which runs between Umeda and Suminoekoen Station.
At Kitashinchi Station transfer to the JR Tozai Line which runs from Kyobashi Station, east-west through central Osaka and onward to Amagasaki Station in Hyogo Prefecture.
Exit here for the Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Arcade, Japan’s longest shopping street at 2.6 km.
Transfer here to nearby Ogimachi Station for the Subway Sakaisuji Line.
Exit here for Kema Sakuranomiya Park, a popular cherry blossom viewing location in early spring.
Kyobashi is a large commercial and entertainment district, packed with bars and restaurants.
Kyobashi is also an important transportation hub as there are three stations here which are run by JR West, Keihan Railways and the Osaka Municipal Subway.
At JR Kyobashi Station transfer to the JR Tozai Line, and the Katamachi Line which connects with Kizu Station in Kyoto Prefecture.
At Keihan Kyobashi Station transfer to the Keihan Main Line which runs between Osaka and Kyoto. Osaka bound trains diverge here for final destinations Yodoyabashi Station or Nakanoshima Station.
At the Osaka Municipal Subway Kyobashi Station transfer to the Subway Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line.
This station is convenient for Osaka Castle. Though this castle was originally built in 1583, the main castle tower was destroyed by fire and the modern building is a 1931 reconstruction. Inside the castle a museum guides you through Osaka’s medieval past and there are superb views from the top of the castle. The park surrounding the castle is a popular recreation spot and especially so in the cherry blossom season. You can download a free map of the Osaka Castle area at the Osaka Info site.
Transfer here to Osaka Municipal Subway’s Chuo Line and Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line
This station is convenient for Tamatsukuri Inari Shrine.
Transfer here to Osaka Municipal Subway’s Nagahori Tsurumi-Ryokuchi Line.
Transfer here to Kintetsu Nara Line, the Kintetsu Osaka Line and Osaka Municipal Subway’s Sennichimae Line.
This station is also convenient for Korea Town, if you are approaching from the south.
This station is convenient for the public hot spring bath at Gengahashi Onsen.
The main attraction in the Tennoji area is Shitennoji Temple, which dates from 593 and is Japan’s oldest Buddhist temple. Tennoji Park, Tennoji Zoo and Osaka Municipal Museum of Fine Art are also nearby. You can download a free map of the Tennoji area from the Osaka Info website.
Transfer here to the JR Yamatoji Line, the JR Hanwa Line and Osaka Municipal Subway’s Tanimachi and Midosuji Lines. The JR Yamatoji Line links Osaka with Nara and Kyoto prefectures. The JR Hanwa Line links Osaka with Wakayama Prefecture. The Limited Express Haruka for Kansai International Airport also stops at Tennoji Station.
Transfer also to nearby Tennoji-Ekimae Station for the tramway Hankai Uemachi Line. Osaka Abenobashi Station is also nearby, and here you can transfer to the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line which connects to Kashihara city in Nara Prefecture.
Transfer here to the JR Yamatoji Line, and to Nankai Electric Railway’s Nankai Main Line and Koya Line. The Nankai Main Line runs between Namba Station in Osaka and Wakayamashi Station in Wakayama City. The Koya Line links Osaka with the mountain temple retreat of Koya-san in Wakayama Prefecture.
There are two more stations close to Shin-Imamiya Station: Shin-Imamiya-Ekimae Station and Dobutsuen-mae Station. At Shin-Imamiya-Ekimae Station transfer to the tramway Hankai Line which links the cities of Osaka and Sakai. At Dobutsuen-mae Station transfer to Osaka Municipal Subway’s Midosuji and Sakaisuji Lines.
Transfer here to the JR Yamatoji Line.
Transfer here to nearby Ashiharacho Station for the Nankai Shiomibashi Line.
Exit here for the baseball stadium, Osaka Dome.
Transfer here to Osaka Municipal Subway’s Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line.
Transfer here to Osaka Municipal Subway’s Chuo Line.
Transfer here to the JR Yumesaki Line bound for Universal Studios Japan. Transfer also to the Hanshin Namba Line which runs between Amagasaki Station in Hyogo Prefecture and Osaka Namba Station.
Exit here for Osaka Central Wholesale Market. Tours require reservations.
Transfer here to Tamagawa Station for Osaka Municipal Subway’s Sennichimae Line.
Transfer here to the Hanshin Main Line and to the nearby Shin-Fukushima Station for the JR Tozai Line.
Discount Tickets & Timetables
The Japan Rail Pass can be used on the Osaka Loop Line. JR West also have a range of Area Passes available which you can choose from according to the locations you wish to visit.
To plan journeys on the Osaka Loop Line you can use the JR West Timetable and Fare Finder. If you have ongoing connections with private rail lines, use an English language online route finder like Jorudan or Hyperdia.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.