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[Japan Rail Pass] How to get to Osaka from Narita Airport

how to get to Osaka from Narita Travel Guide

Have you ever have a question about how to get to Osaka from Narita Airport by train in Japan?

I know moe travelers stopping Tokyo first to shop around but how about going to Osaka or other western cities directly from Narita Airport?

If you are planning to buy “Japan Rail Pass“, it is a waste of money to pay for the domestic flight.

Thus, I am going to tell you the easiest way today to get directly to Osaka, Kyoto or other western cities by Shinkansen with “Japan Rail Pass“.

Japan is a compact country and has developed public transportation systems.

If you use Shinkansen for your traveling, you will be able to visit more cities than you expect.

Compared with using an airplane, Shinkansen is less hassle.

You can skip,

  • To book Shinkansen in advance
  • Getting the station 2 hours before
  • Long layover
  • Security check
  • Shuttle to the downtown

Moreover, “Japan Rail Pass” brings lots of benefits and could be saving your budget.

(like free ride most of JR line includes Narita Express)

If you want to know more about “Japan Rail pass“, read here.

Activate Japan Rail Pass

jr east travel service center

If you purchase the “Japan Rail Pass” in your country, you surely will get the exchange order.

When you arrive at Narita Airport, you need to activate the Japan rail pass.

“Exchange Order” or “Exchange voucher” delivered to you is not the actual pass.

Go to the JR east travel center first.

How to activate?

Read here.

SHINAGAWA station > Tokyo station

Do you know there are two Shinkansen stations in Tokyo?

“Tokyo station” and “Shinagawa station”.

You will get the “Tokyo station” before Shinagawa station on the Narita express ride, but don’t get off the shuttle there, wait for the next station, Shinagawa.


When you go to Kyoto, Osaka or other stops further western than Tokyo, you must get on TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN, not other Shinkansen lines.

You can transfer TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN at both stations, Tokyo and Shinagawa, but I am telling you that Shinagawa station is much easier and quicker to transfer SHINKANSEN from Narita Express.

Why Shinagawa station is better?

Tokyo station night

Tokyo station, which is one of the large terminal stations in Japan, is massively confused and crowded, you hardly can walk straight through the station, especially with carry bags and kids.

You also feel like waking in a maze because there are 18 local train platforms, 10 Shinkansen platforms, 2 subway platforms, and big shopping malls in the same station. Headache, hah?

Shinagawa station is a major station and busy during rush hours ( before and after office hours ) but the station is compact and easy access to the TOKAIDO SHINKANSEN.

I highly recommend getting off the “Shinagawa” station if you go west directly from Narita airport.

My tip for walking in the crowd

shinagawa crowded

How to crawl in the crowd in Japan?

I just say, don’t try to avoid walking people, walk straight on your way.

Japanese people are used to walking in the crowd, so they will avoid you.

Just say “Sorry” if you bump someone each other, though.

Just better to pay attention behind you when you are rolling carry-on bag.

Step by step to transfer to Shinkansen at Shinagawa station

1. You will be on at the number 13, 14 platforms at the “Shinagawa” station.

shinkansen icon

2. Find the escalator or elevator to go up, ( the gate is upstairs) and follow the sign,
“Transfer to Shinakansen Tracks”.

shinkansen gate

3. Pass through the manned gate because you are a JapanRail pass holder.

4. After passing through the gate, you will be already in the Shinkansen area.

blue sign

5. Look for the escalator to go down and the blue big sign says “for NAGOYA and
. The platform number should be 23 and 24.

If you reserve the seat in advance, you have the car number on your ticket. Follow the blue sign which shows your car number.
If don’t, go to the car number “1 – 5” of HIKARI, KODAMA Shinkansen.
Depends on Kodama, car “13 – 15”  are altered to become reserved seat cars.

*Through step1 to 5 is not complicated, if you follow the sign, it takes less than 20 min to get to the platform.

*Friendly signs for foreign tourists are everywhere you need, don’t worry too much.




  • NOZOMI (rapid shinkansen)
  • HIKARI (skip some stations)
  • KODAMA (stop every station)
To Japan Rail Pass holders, you can get on HIKARI and KODAMA SHINKANSEN only. Not allowed to get on “Nozomi”.

At 23, 24 platform

electric bulletin board shinkansen platform shinagawa

6. You will see an electronic timetable showing the next Shinkansen departures on your head, which alternates between Japanese and English.

Required time

(Shin OSAKA)

Stand on the right place

standing place

7. When you find “Hikari” or “Kodama” you want to ride, wait under the electric display shows the Shinkansen number and the car number where you are supposed to be.

*There are not enough space between the gate and standing area, but still other passengers passing through in front of you. If you start waiting for the Shinkansen too early, it might bother you.

The manners on the Shinkansen

head shelf on shinkansen

  • Do not block the aisle with your luggage. A food cart often comes through during the ride, and also it bothers other passengers too. Put your luggage on the overhead shelf or keep it in the legroom.
  • Turn on the silent mode during the ride. You shouldn’t talk on the phone at your seat, get out of the car and talk on the phone at the deck.
  • Chat with the appropriate volume.                

• The important announcement you should know.

• You don’t want to haul around heavy baggage?

• Why you can’t talk loudly on the train?

Where you shoud get off

Stops after Shinagawa station are,

Shin-Yokohama – (Odawara)- (Atami) – (Mishima) – {Shin-fuji} – (Shizuoka)- { Kakegawa} – (Hamamatsu) – (Toyohashi) – {Mikawa Anjo} – Nagoya – (Gifu- Hashima) – (Maibara) – KyotoShin-Osaka

Tokaido Shinkansen map

*Served stations of (parentheses) vary depending on the “Hikari” Shinkansen.

*Stops in {braces} are served only “Kodama” Shinkansen.

The station in Osaka is not “Osaka”

If your destination is “Osaka”, it is time to get off next to Kyoto station.

Only you have to be mind, “SHIN Osaka” is the station to get off, there is no “Osaka” Shinkansen station.

Do not get confused.

Explore Osaka

Consider making a base for your trip?

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