Sannomiya Station (JR West)

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Sannomiya Station
Kobe Sannomiya15s3.jpg
South side of station building
Location 1-1, Nunobikichō Yonchōme, Chūō, Kobe, Hyogo
Coordinates 34°41′41.42″N 135°11′41.79″E / 34.6948389°N 135.1949417°E / 34.6948389; 135.1949417Coordinates: 34°41′41.42″N 135°11′41.79″E / 34.6948389°N 135.1949417°E / 34.6948389; 135.1949417
Operated by JR West
Line(s) Tōkaidō Main Line (JR Kobe Line)
  • Bus terminal
Opened 1874
North Side

Sannomiya Station (三ノ宮駅, Sannomiya eki) is a railway station in Nunobiki-chō, Chūō-ku, Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, and is operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West). The station is on the JR Kobe Line which runs between Osaka Station and Himeji Station; part of the Tōkaidō Main Line. As a part of the JR West Urban Network, the following IC cards are accepted: ICOCA, Suica, PiTaPa, TOICA, and SUGOCA.

Sannomiya Station is the main terminal for Kobe and is approximately 2km east of Kōbe Station. At the beginning of the Meiji period commercial and administrative functions were centred around Kobe Station. However, after Kobe opened as a port for foreign trade, and continuing with the post-World War II reconstruction and expansion of commercial areas, as well as moving Kobe City Hall to the Sannomiya area, the district soon became the new city centre.

Even at the present time, Kobe Station is still the representative station of Kobe. For example, in relation to the calculation of Shinkansen fares, Sannomiya Station is not the closest of the old network train stations. On the other hand, the number of passengers using Sannomiya Station is greater than that of Kobe Station. Also, the Kobe Terminal for highway buses is in front of Sannomiya Station, not Kobe Station. Likewise, there are more limited express trains, including overnight trains, which stop at Sannomiya Station than at Kobe Station.

Station layout[edit]

Station placement[edit]

Most of the JR Kobe Line runs on four tracks (複々線, Fukufukusen), meaning that there are two tracks for each direction. Similar to other stations such as Nishinomiya Station, Sannomiya Station is of the island type, with two above-ground platforms which service four tracks. The inner tracks, Nos. 2 and 3, are for all-stations "Local" and "Rapid" trains. The outside tracks, Nos. 1 and 4, are used by "Rapid", "Special Rapid", and "Limited express" trains. Freight trains also pass on these tracks.

Tracks 1 and 4 are capable of accommodating a maximum fifteen-car train, while Tracks 2 and 3 are limited to twelve cars.

The distance to the adjacent Motomachi Station is the shortest anywhere on the JR Kobe Line.


The station has a total of three ticket gates. Access is via the East, Central and West entrances. The West exit provides direct access to the Hankyu [Kobe-sannomiya station]], Hanshin Kobe-Sannomiya Station, and Kobe Subway Sannomiya Station.

Ticket office[edit]

Sannomiya Station has a JR Midori no Madoguchi ticket office. It is open everyday from the first train until 23:00.


1 JR Kobe Line Rapid/Special Rapid Service for Amagasaki, Osaka and Kyoto
Overnight Limited Express Sunrise Seto/Sunrise Izumo for Yokohama and Tokyo
Limited Express "Super Hakuto", "Hamakaze" for Osaka and Kyoto
2 JR Kobe Line Local/Rapid Service for Amagasaki, Osaka and Kyoto
Local for Kitashinchi
3 JR Kobe Line Local/Rapid Service for Nishi-Akashi and Himeji
4 JR Kobe Line Rapid/Special Rapid Service for Nishi-Akashi and Himeji
Chizu Express Chizu Line Limited Express Super Hakuto for Tottori and Kurayoshi

Bantan Line Limited Express Hamakaze for Kasumi, Hamasaka, and Tottori

Rapid Service trains arriving at and departing from Track 4 in the evening do not stop at three stations: Suma, Tarumi and Maiko.

Adjacent stations[edit]

« Service »
JR Kōbe Line (Tōkaidō Main Line)
Nada (JR-A60)   Local   Motomachi (JR-A62)
Rokkōmichi (JR-A58)   Rapid Service   Motomachi (JR-A62)
Ashiya (JR-A54)   Special Rapid Service   Kobe (JR-A63)

Transfer to[edit]

All of the lines below, and their representative stations, are adjacent to JR Sannomiya Station, or are in adjoining buildings, or can be accessed by the underground shopping center, Santica (さんちか).

Surrounding area[edit]

South Side of the Station (from the left, Kobe Kōtsū Center Building, Station Building, OPA, Kobe Shimbun Kaikan (M-INT Kobe)
Central Entrance - South Side
Restaurant Area "Dining Road" - In front of the Central Ticket Gate

The area around Sannomiya Station is the largest business and shopping district in Kobe City.

  • Kobe Shimbun Kaikan (M-INT Kobe)
    • Sannomiya Bus Terminal (M1 - M11)
  • JR Sannomiya Terminal Hotel
    • Bus stops (M12 - M14)
  • Kobe Central Post Office Sannomiya Station Branch
  • Shinki Bus Sannomiya Bus Terminal (M15)
  • Daiei Sannomiya Ekimae
  • Sogo Kobe
    • Bus stops (Y1 - Y7)
  • Sannomiya Chikagai (Santica)
  • Kobe Kōtsū Center Building
  • Kobe Marui
  • Tokyu Hands Sannomiya
  • Ikuta Shrine
  • Sannomiya OPA
  • Kobe City Hall
  • Mizuho Bank Kobe Branch, Kobe Central Branch
  • Kobe Mosque, Kobe Islamic Community Center
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Sannomiya Branch
  • The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Sannomiya Branch
  • Sannomiya Center Gai
    • Bus northbound stops (Hanshin-mae) (S3 - S6)
  • National Route 2
  • Hyogo Prefectural Route 21
  • Flower Road / Hyogo Prefectural Route 30
    • Bus northbound stops (Subway Sannomiya) (N1 - N3)
    • Bus southbound stops (Subway Sannomiya) (N4 - N8)


On the first day of fiscal year 2005, 115,115 people boarded trains at Sannomiya Station, ranking fourth among JR West stations.


  • May 11, 1874: Passenger service begins between Osaka Station and Kobe Station. At the same time, Sannomiya Station opens for passenger service.
  • May 1, 1918: Freight and cargo services moved to Kōbekō Station, and were no longer handled at Sannomiya Station.
  • October 10, 1931: During the change from ground level platforms to overhead platforms, Sannomiya Station was moved from where the current Motomachi Station is to where the station is now.
    • Sogo and other large businesses were moving to the area around the current Sannomiya Station. That area was being developed to be the new center of the city, so it was decided that a new station would be built in that area. The new station built was given the name Sannomiya Station. After the relocation, the former station was reopened in 1934 as Motomachi Station.
  • April 1, 1987 - With the breaking up of Japanese National Railways into separate individual business units, Sannomiya Station began operating under the West Japan Railway Company.
  • January 17, 1995: Due to the Great Hanshin earthquake, all traffic ceased.
  • February 20, 1995: Service between Nada Station and Kobe Station resumed. At that point, part of the platform directly above Flower Road remained removed, so passengers were able to use only the Central and East Entrances. The West Entrance reopened at the end of June.

In the past, Blue Trains (overnight trains with non-sleeper passenger cars) leaving Tokyo Station would stop at Sannomiya Station. However, the last of the Blue Trains that stopped, the Fuji, was merged with the Hayabusa in the route/time-table revision on March 1, 2005, and no longer stops. During the time that the Fuji did stop at Sannomiya Station, the next stop was Ogōri Station (小郡駅) (present day Shin-Yamaguchi Station).


The name of the area, as well as the station's name, originates from Sannomiya Shrine. Until 1931, Sannomiya Station occupied the place where the modern day Motomachi Station has been established. Motomachi Station is now the closest station to Sannomiya Jinja, however, when the new Sannomiya Station was built, the name went with it.

All of the other transportation facilities in Sannomiya are written in Japanese as 三宮, without the Katakana character "". Only JR includes it in the name, written as 三ノ宮駅. It is thought the reason it was included was to prevent people traveling from other parts of the country from misreading the name. The characters of the station's name can be read many different ways. Now, the difference in the name has actually become helpful to travelers.

In similar fashion, when Nishinomiya Station opened on the same day, the character "ノ" was also displayed in that station's name. However, for many years, the city of Nishinomiya requested the name be changed to match the city's name. On March 18, 2007, in coordination with the opening of Sakura Shukugawa Station, the name was changed. However, in the case of Sannomiya Station, while the cost of changing all of the signage in the city would certainly be costly, it remains that there has been no request or demand for the name to be changed.

Golden Bell Plaza[edit]

Near the Central Ticket Gate, is a place with golden bells suspended from the ceiling. This area is called the Golden Bell Plaza. Similar to the Silver Bell Meeting Area at Tōkyō Station, the Golden Bell Plaza is intended to be a familiar place to everyone and a convenient place to meet. The bells were a donation from the Kōbe Central Lions Club.

External links[edit]