Located to the north of the city centre, Shin-Kobe Station is a stop on the San’yo Shinkansen / ‘Bullet Train’ line running from Shin-Osaka to Hakata. As such, it acts as a major transport hub when moving to and from the popular city destination of Kobe. On this page you will find the following information:
— Train Lines / Services to Shin-Kobe Station
— Rail Passes Covering Travel to Kobe
— Purchasing & Activating a JR Pass
— Shin-Kobe Tourist Information
— Accommodation Around Shin-Kobe Station
— 15 Things to Do Around Kobe & Where to Stay
Shin-Kobe is a major station with a range of facilities catering to visitors to the city. It sits to the north central Kobe and the most popular attractions in the city, but all areas can be easily reached using local train and bus services running to and from the station.
It is important to note that this page is intended for international visitors who will primarily be interested in using the shinkansen and does not include complete information about all services and facilities at the station.
TRAIN LINES / SERVICES TO SHIN-KOBE STATION
Shin-Kobe is serviced by multiple lines of which the San’yo Shinkansen will be of most interest to international visitors.
Running from Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station (Fukuoka), the San’yo Shinkansen offers the most convenient route to Kobe and other destinations in western Japan. Multiple services run along the line, of which the ‘Nozomi’ and ‘Mizuho’ are the fastest. For holders of the Japan Rail (JR) Pass, it’s important to note that those two services are not covered however any of the other services running on the line – including the ‘Sakura’, ‘Hikari’ and ‘Kodama’ – can be used at no additional charge. Stops on the line include:
Shin-Osaka / Shin-Kobe / Nishi-Akashi / Himeji / Aioi / Okayama / Shin-Kurashiki / Fukuyama / Shin-Onomichi / Mihara / Higashi-Hiroshima / Hiroshima / Shin-Iwakuni / Tokyuama / Shin-Yamaguchi / Asa / Shin-Shimonoseki / Kokura / Hakata (Fukuoka).
Regular services run to and from Shin-Kobe Station every day. The earliest shinkansen services from Shin-Kobe bound for Shin-Osaka – a journey of only 12 minutes – depart just after 06:00 with the latest around 23:35. Services bound for Hakata also start just after 06:00 and run until around 22:45. Services from Shin-Osaka bound for Shin-Kobe start from around 06:00 and run until around 23:30, while services from Hakata to Shin-Kobe operate from around 06:00 until just after 21:00. Shinkansen services operate from Platforms 1 and 2 at Shin-Kobe Station.
OTHER TRAIN LINES
A couple of local lines operate to and from the station providing access to many destinations including:
Hokushin Line bound for Tanigami.
Seishin-Yamate Line bound for Tanigami, Sannomiya, Myodani and Seishin-cho. For visitors heading into central Kobe and its most popular destinations including Chinatown, services on the Seishin-Yamate Line run to Sannomiya were you can transfer to services running to convenient stops throughout the city such as Motomachi Station – nearby Chinatown – and Kobe Station.
RAIL PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO KOBE
There is no escaping the fact that travel using the shinkansen and other rapid services is expensive. Given the speed and distances covered by these trains, travellers should think of them much like taking a flight, with tickets accordingly priced. International visitors to Japan have the option of purchasing one of several passes which allow for limited use of the San’yo Shinkansen along with unlimited use of numerous other services around Japan, including the:
JAPAN RAIL (JR) PASS
Covering all 9 shinkansen lines in Japan and many other train services, the JR Pass is a great option for visitors planning to use the shinkansen more than a handful of times and/or travel large distances. Travelers have the option of 7, 14 and 21-day passes covering either Ordinary or Ordinary and Green Cars. The JR Pass allows for use of the ‘Sakura’, ‘Hikari’ and ‘Kodama’ services on the San’yo Shinkansen line however it does not allow use of the ‘Nozomi’ and ‘Mizuho’ services. These services can be used but you would need to pay the full-fare.
PURCHASING & ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Passes can be purchased via the official website or via a JR-affiliated sales office. Once you completed payment, you will receive an exchange order. This is a proof of payment and looks almost like a flight ticket with your personal details, type of pass, and validity (three months from the date of issue). It is important to note that the exchange order is not your actual pass and will need to be exchanged for your pass once in Japan. Whatever you do, do not lose the exchange order and prioritise exchanging it for your pass when you arrive.
Before using a pass, it must first be exchanged/activated. It is important to note that JR passes cannot be exchanged/activated at Shin-Kobe Station. Exchanging/activating the pass can however be done at numerous offices located at airports – including Kansai International Airport in Osaka or Narita Airport and Haneda Airport in Tokyo – and major train stations throughout Japan. If you have the time, we recommend activating your pass while at the airport. Otherwise, passes can also be activated at these stations on the San’yo Shinkansen line: Shin-Osaka Station / Okayama Station / Hiroshima Station / Kokura Station / Hakata Station.
To exchange/activate your pass you will need your exchange order and passport. Make sure you allow adequate time to exchange and activate your pass if you are intending to use it on the same day or do so a day or two before you plan to start using it (you can always nominate a later activation date). Once you have your activated pass you are free to ride however you can’t insert your pass into the ticket gates. Simply walk through the side booth (permanently attended by station staff) and show your pass. You will be waved through and you can make your way to the platform.
SHIN-KOBE TOURIST INFORMATION
Open daily from 09:00 to 17:00 (closed Dec.31 to Jan.1), Shin-Kobe Station Tourist Information Center is located on the second-floor of the station and has English-speaking staff on-hand to assist with any transport, sightseeing and accommodation enquiries. Other languages such as Chinese and Korean are available over the phone. Free WiFi is available inside along with a charging station.
ACCOMMODATION AROUND SHIN-KOBE STATION
There isn’t a huge amount of accommodation in the immediate vicinity of Shin-Kobe Station however the city’s most convenient accommodation area around Sannomiya Station is only moments away by train. For more information including links to accommodation listings, see our ‘Sannomiya Station Area’ hotel page; or for more suggestions of the best areas to stay when visiting Kobe, see the section below.
HOW TO GET TO KOBE
Kobe is quick and easy to reach thanks to the San’yo Shinkansen line running from nearby Osaka to Hakata in Fukuoka. Rapid and local services also connect to Shin-Kobe Station, Kobe Station and Sannomiya Station via regional lines, providing traveller with different transport options to and from the city. Our ‘How to Get to Kobe’ page has everything you need to know about how to get there from common starting points such as Osaka, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Tokyo and beyond.
15 THINGS TO DO AROUND KOBE & WHERE TO STAY
Within easy reach of Osaka, Kobe lies somewhat in the shadow of its larger neighbour and is often overlooked by international visitors. It shouldn’t be. Kobe is a modern city boasting one of Japan’s most famous and vibrant Chinatown areas – the ‘Nankinmachi’ – along with Kobe Harborland, excellent museums and of course plenty of restaurants the world-famous ‘Kobe Beef’. For more information about just what’s on offer and the best areas to stay, see our ’15 Things to Do Around Kobe & Where to Stay’ page.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Shin-Kobe Station and the San’yo Shinkansen are just two parts of Japan’s fantastic rail network. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train is easy and comfortable opening-up all regions of Japan for exploration. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.