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11Sep/190

Shin-Osaka Apartment – May 2019

It's just occurred to me that I've been visiting/staying at this apartment for well-over 10 years now. I first found it via a google search for "long stay apartments" in 2007, when I was planning my first longer-than-usual trip to Japan. The goal was to spend time away from Australia whilst switching jobs... avoiding all those funny clauses in IT contracts.

It turns out the advertisement is still online, 12 years later! Note that the TV/Video doesn't exist anymore... it was analogue terrestrial and, well, I don't think I ever turned it on for longer than 5 minutes... although... Japanese TV Commercials are pretty hilarious. Especially when you have no idea what's going on and just catch the odd (weirdly placed) English adjective. There also is no PC... but there is amazing wifi... Fiber to the wall is the bessssst.

The Location

The apartment is located 10-minutes-walk south of Shin-Osaka Station. I've also proven that it's located a 5-minute-run south! Every now and then, one might wake up late, or take too long getting ready, to realise that their Shinkansen wont wait... And so... One doth run. You also have the Nishinakajima area just south of the apartment, with it's Hankyu Station, Subway Station and host of amenities. There's even a Sega world with original arcade games!

Right near the apartment is a Lawson and a Famimart. Under the railway bridge to the west is a Coco Ichiban Curry House, Daily Yamazaki, Post Office ATM, Yayoiken, MOS Burger, etc... The list goes on! There's a real post office just north-east of the apartment and the staff are very friendly and helped me send some large boxes this time around.

The View

The apartment, unfortunately, faces to the east. Fortunately, the main stairwell (actually, and the fire-escape spiral stairwell) have great views of the main line between Shin-Osaka and Osaka Station.

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Of note, to the right are two repeater signals that you'll want to keep an eye on. Three vertical lights indicates a green signal ahead, diagonal is caution and horizontal is stop.

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They're both at stop above. This can be very handy when trying to work out if a northbound train is operating.

The video above was taken over the course of a fortnight... all services seen are described below.

What can you expect to see?

There's around 8 freight services per day, and on any day at least 75% of those will run. Some might just be loco provisioning whereas others are full services down to Ajikawaguchi. You'll also get all of the north-east Tokaido Line express passenger services. Sometimes there's also random freight movements with DD51s. Of course, the Twlight Mizukaze also passes through on some of its journeys.

So, where to start? Let's get up at 0455 in the morning! First you'll get a southbound freight train... and then the M250 Super Rail Cargo. Note that it doesn't run on Sunday morning.

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Of course, trains this early are only really visible during the summer months when the sun rises very early; thanks to Japan not using daylight savings. The next sweet spot for freight is between 11:15 and 11:55am. Three are due in this period. Sometimes they're just light engines, other times provisioning.

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Some of the shots above were also taken around 4pm, where you'll get two more freights in a half-hour window. Below, we have the odd movements, which I happened to fluke. Note that the Shin-Osaka Webcam comes in really handy here! It gives you visibility north of Shin-Osaka Station which'll give you enough time to put pants on, run outside and get your happy snaps!

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Above is a DD51 towing two Kansai Main Line DMUs southound. I assume these were going via Osaka, anti-clockwise via the Osaka Loop Line (they'd have to reverse to go clockwise), through Tennoji and then east to their depot?

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Meanwhile that HD300 got towed back and forth quite a few times!

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Plus the other express passenger services...

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And then, of course, the main event!

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Trackside - Green Pedestrian Bridge

In the shots above, you can see a green pedestrian bridge running parallel to the tracks. This is a pretty good point in the afternoon when the sun is on the right angle. Of course, the weather doesn't always have to agree... either way, I checked it out when the Mizukaze was due.

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Right before it came through, I had a trifecta of expresses!

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It's a really mean-sounding train... all-diesel so it can run along the entire 'west' coast of Japan.

The Bridges Over The Yodogawa

If you follow the main road (turn right at Family Mart) that runs parallel on the eastern side of the railway, you'll end up on the northern bank of the Yodogawa. This area happens to be a 10 minute walk, just south of the apartment, and provides a nice view of the railway lines. Before getting there though, you have to cross the Hankyu lines. There's then a pedestrian bridge over the road that also gives you a nice bit of elevation.

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From here, you then just get to stare at the JR lines...

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Of course, I was here for a good reason...

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I'll wrap up the apartment post here and post a few more articles soon about other places to visit in the area!

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