Shin-Osaka enhances function as Japan tourism center

Osaka: A newly developed underground area near JR Osaka Station is expected to further enhance the functionality of the largest railway terminal in western Japan.

The new underground platform in the northern redevelopment area of ​​the station is served by two limited express trains: Haruka to Kansai Airport and Kuroshio to Wakayama.

Previously, none of these services were directly connected to Osaka Station, meaning passengers had to change trains at Shin-Osaka Station or Tennoji Station.

With the opening of the new stations, travel times to major tourist hubs have been cut by 20 to 33 minutes on both lines.

Osaka has two main urban areas, Kita and Minami. Since Kansai Airport opened in 1994, people have been complaining that it is not possible to go to Kita from Kansai Airport.

However, with the launch of the new platform, it is now more convenient to travel from the airport to downtown Osaka, and the eastern part of Osaka Prefecture can also better travel to Kita Ward.

The Osaka East Line, which runs through the eastern part of the prefecture, has been extended to the area, allowing passengers to go directly to Osaka Station without changing trains at Shin-Osaka.

The new area is connected underground to the ticket gates at the west exit of Osaka Station, while above ground, the redevelopment of the vast 17-hectare site, which was formerly a freight terminal, continues.

Construction is already underway on a new 23-story station building, which is expected to open in fall 2024.

The Nanami and Suji Line, which is under development and will connect the Kita and Minami districts, is scheduled to open in spring 2031 and serve the new underground area of ​​Osaka Station.

West Japan Railway Company (JR West) originally planned to build a new station in the area, but after the Naniwasuji Line project was approved to start construction, the plan was canceled and it was decided to connect the line’s terminus with Osaka Station by a railway Get up and go straight to the channel.

The construction of the new Osaka Station area is at the center of a major project involving several railway operators. The Nambasuji Line will be jointly operated by JR West and Nankai Electric Railway, connecting JR Namba Station and Nankai Shin-Imamiya Station. Meanwhile, Hankyu Electric Corporation is planning to build a connecting line from the new platform to Shin-Osaka Station.

“We are no longer in an era of thinking about competing for passengers,” said a Nankai official. “We now believe that increased convenience will lead to an overall increase in the number of people using the entire rail system.” – Japan News/ANN

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