A 289 series EMU on a Kuroshio service in February 2016
Service typeLimited express
First service1 March 1965
Current operator(s)JR West
Former operator(s)JNR
TerminiKyoto, Shin-Ōsaka
Wakayama, Kainan, Kii-Tanabe, Shirahama, Shingū
Distance travelled315.5 km (196.0 mi) (Kyoto – Shingū)
Average journey time4 hours 15 minutes approx (Shin-Ōsaka – Shingū)
Service frequency16 return workings daily
Line(s) usedTokaido Main Line (JR Kyoto Line), Osaka Loop Line, Hanwa Line, Kisei Line (Kinokuni Line)
On-board services
Class(es)Standard + Green
Disabled accessYes
Sleeping arrangementsNone
Catering facilitiesNone
Observation facilitiesYes
Entertainment facilitiesNone
Other facilitiesToilets, Woman-only seats
Rolling stock283 series, 287 series, 289 series
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification1,500 V DC
Operating speed130 km/h (81 mph)
Track owner(s)JR West

The Kuroshio (くろしお) is a limited express train service in Japan connecting Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, Tennōji, Wakayama, Kii-Tanabe, Shirahama, and Shingu via the Tokaido Main Line (JR Kyoto Line), Osaka Loop Line, Hanwa Line, and Kisei Line (Kinokuni Line), operated by West Japan Railway Company (JR West). This article covers the derivative limited express trains, "Super Kuroshio (スーパーくろしお)" and "Ocean Arrow (オーシャンアロー)", the names of which were discontinued from start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012.


Stations in parentheses are not served by all trains.

Trains stop at the following stations:

KyōtoShin-ŌsakaŌsakaTennōji – (Izumi-Fuchu) – Hineno – (Izumi-Sunagawa) – WakayamaKainan – (Minoshima) – (Fujinami) – (Yuasa) – Gobō – (Minabe) – Kii-TanabeShirahamaSusamiKushimotoKozaTaijiKii-KatsuuraShingū

In-car chimes

The 381 series had chimes that matched the image of each station. The chimes will be played before the train arrives at the stations. Its use was discontinued because of the deterioration of the broadcasting equipment.

The chimes for each station are the following with translations of the song names and possible reasons to why those chimes were chosen for each station.

Station names Chimes Remarks
Kyōto Gion Ballad (祇園小唄 Gion Kouta) A song related to Gion, a geisha district in Kyōto.
Shin-Ōsaka Osaka Romance (大阪ろまん Ōsaka Roman) A song related to Ōsaka by Frank Nagai.
Tennōji Railroad Song (鉄道唱歌 Tetsudō Shōka) / Dotonbori March (道頓堀行進曲 Dōtonbori Kōshinkyoku) The station is located near Dōtonbori. Dōtonbori Kōshinkyoku was used from around 1989-1999 in trains heading towards Ōsaka.
Ōtori Town of Song (うたのまち Uta no Machi) Presumed to be the blacksmithing mentioned in the song lyrics. Trains used to stop at this station.
Hineno No song title Kuroshio original chime
Wakayama Ball and Lord (鞠と殿様 Mari to Tonosama) A song related to Wakayama City.
Kainan Oh the Ranch is Green (おお牧場はみどり Ō Makiba wa Midori) The Oishi Kōgen is a plateau that extends from Koya-san to Kainan. The Japanese adaption of the song "Ah Lovely Meadows".
Minoshima The Hill with Blooming Mandarin Flowers (みかんの花咲く丘 Mikan no Hanasaku Oka) Arida is one of the largest producers of mikan in Wakayama Prefecture.
Yuasa Harbor (みなと Minato) The station is located near the Yuasahiro-kō Port.
Gobō Sea (海 Umi) Gobō is located next to the sea.
Minabe Did the Plum Bloom (梅は咲いたか Ume wa Saitaka) Minabe is famous for umeboshi.
Kii-Tanabe Ushiwakamaru (牛若丸 Ushiwakamaru) Tanabe is the birthplace of Musashibo Benkei
Shirahama Music Box of Love (愛のオルゴール Ai no Orugōru) The song has an alternate name (潮騒のメロディー Shiosai no Merodī) and it gives the image of a sandy beach. The song is called Music Box Dancer in English.
Tsubaki The Monkey Palanquin Bearers (お猿のかごや Osaru no Kagoya) The region is the habitat of Japanese monkeys in Wakayama Prefecture. Trains used to stop at this station.
Susami Five Little Pigs and Charleston (五匹の子豚とチャールストン Gohiki no Kobuta to Chārusuton) Susami is famous for inobuta.
Kushimoto Kushimoto-bushi (串本節 Kushimoto Bushi) A folksong of Wakayama Prefecture and related to Kushimoto.
Koza I am the Child of the Sea (われは海の子 Ware wa Umi no Ko) Koza is said to be the birthplace of the Kumano Navy.
Taiji Port of Departure (出船の港 Shussen no Minato) Taiji is the birthplace of whaling in Japan.
Kii-Katsuura Good Hot Water (いい湯だな Iiyu Dana) Nachikatsuura is one of the leading hot spring resorts in Wakayama prefecture along with Shirahama.
Shingū Pigeon Coo (鳩ぽっぽ Hato Poppo) Shingū is the hometown of Kume Higashi, the lyricist.

Osaka Station, Nishikujo Station, Izumi-Fuchu Station, Izumi-Sunagawa Station, and Fujinami Station are not included in this table as there were no chimes recorded.

Rolling stock

New 287 series EMUs were introduced on Kuroshio services from start of the revised timetable on 17 March 2012. From the same date, the Super Kuroshio and Ocean Arrow service names were discontinued, with services integrated with Kuroshio services.[3]

New 289 series EMUs converted from former dual-voltage 683 series trainsets were introduced on Kuroshio services from 31 October 2015, replacing the last remaining JNR-era 381 series trains.[4] The 289 series fleet consists of five six-car sets and three three-car sets (39 vehicles in total).[2]

Former rolling stock


left: Shirahama, Shingū
right: Shin-Osaka, Kyoto
283 series
(Ocean Arrow type)
1 2 3 4 5 6
O, G R R R R R
287/289 series
1 2 3 4 5 6

See also


  1. ^ "「はるか」地下へ切り替え 東海道線、ホーム開業控え工事" [Work Continues at Osaka Umekita as the Haruka Limited Express Is Rerouted Underground]. Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 14 February 2023. Archived from the original on 14 February 2023. Retrieved 14 February 2023.
  2. ^ a b c JR西日本289系、683系を形式変更し「くろしお」などに投入! 381系は廃車に [JR West to reclassify 683 series to 289 series for introduction on Kuroshio and other services. 381 series to be withdrawn.]. Mynavi News (in Japanese). Japan: Mynavi Corporation. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  3. ^ 平成24年春ダイヤ改正について [Spring 2012 Timetable Revision] (PDF) (Press release) (in Japanese). Japan: West Japan Railway Company Wakayama Branch. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  4. ^ JR西日本 289系 10月31日から運転開始 [JR West 289 series to enter service from 31 October]. Tetsudo Hobidas (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 21 August 2015. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  5. ^ くろしお381系引退へ…パンダシートも見納め [Kuroshio 381 series to be withdrawn – Also end of panda seats]. Yomiuri Online (in Japanese). Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.