Sannomiya Station (JR West)

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This article is about JR Sannomiya Station. For Sannomiya Station (non-JR), see Sannomiya Station.
Sannomiya Station
Kobe Sannomiya15s3.jpg
South side of station building
Prefecture Hyōgo
(See other stations in Hyōgo)
City Kobe
Ward Chūō
Neighborhood 1-1, Nunobikichō Yonchōme
Address in Japanese 神戸市中央区布引町四丁目1-1
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
Opened 1874
Rail services
Operator(s) JR West
Line(s) Tōkaidō Main Line (JR Kobe Line)
Bus Major bus terminal(s) attached to the station
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. Just to the east is where Kobe Station was established. At the beginning of the Meiji period, the heart of downtown was in that area. However, after Kobe opened 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 center.

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 Kōbe 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 Sannomiya Station, and Kobe Subway Sannomiya Station.

Ticket office[edit]

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


1 JR Kōbe 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 Kōbe Line Local/Rapid Service for Amagasaki, Osaka and Kyoto
Local for Kitashinchi
3 JR Kōbe Line Local/Rapid Service for Nishi-Akashi and Himeji
4 JR Kōbe 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   Local   Motomachi
Rokkōmichi   Rapid   Motomachi
Ashiya   Special Rapid   Kobe

Transfer to[edit]

  • Sanyō Shinkansen
  • Access to the Shin-Kobe Station is via Kobe Municipal Subway Seishin-Yamate Line. After arriving at Sannomiya Station, transfer to the subway line and get off at Shin-Kobe Station. An addition fare is required.
  • Many passengers find it easier to board the Shinkansen at Shin-Ōsaka because all passenger lines are accessible in one station.

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, Kōbe Kōtsū Center Building, Station Building, OPA, Kōbe 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 Kōbe City.

  • Kobe Shimbun Kaikan (M-INT Kōbe)
    • 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 Kōbe
    • Bus stops (Y1 - Y7)
  • Sannomiya Chikagai (Santica)
  • Kōbe Kōtsū Center Building
  • Kōbe Marui
  • Tokyu Hands Sannomiya
  • Ikuta Shrine
  • Sannomiya OPA
  • Kōbe City Hall
  • Mizuho Bank Kōbe Branch・Kōbe 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
  • Hyōgo Prefectural Route 21
  • Flower Road / Hyōgo 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 Ōsaka Station and Kōbe 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.

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.

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).

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]