Sanjo Station (三条駅 (京都府))

Located in Goken-cho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, Sanjo Station is a station owned by Keihan Electric Railway (KER).

The color used for the platforms of this station is orange. Incidentally, orange means the numerical value three when used to show the electrical resistance volume of a resistor.

KER used to call this station 'Kyoto Sanjo Station' or 'Sanjo Kyoto Station' to underscore the fact that the station was KER's Kyoto terminal.

Now, the station is commonly known as 'Sanjo Keihan', so the Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line and the Kyoto City bus terminal, both nearby, use this name.


Keihan Electric Railway

Keihan Main Line

Keihan Oto Line

Sanjo Station is the terminus for both these lines, but in fact, it functions as an intermediate station because the train schedules are arranged to allow trains to connect.

Furthermore, the station is connected with the line below through an underpass.

Kyoto Municipal Subway

Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line (Sanjo Keihan Station)

Station Layout

Sanjo Station is an underground stop with two island platforms serving four tracks, and is the largest station on the section between Shichijo Station and Demachiyanagi Station, in central Kyoto. Ticket gates and concourses are on sub-level one, and the platforms are on sub-level two. There are two ticket gates, the North Ticket Gate and the Central Ticket Gate. Past the ticket gates, there are souvenir shops selling Kyoto confectionaries and other products.

Elevators in the station building are available for disabled people, with two located on the south side of the central entrance and one each, from the concourse to street level, in the north and south station buildings.

KER Sanjo Station is connected to Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line's Sanjo Keihan Station through an underpass outside the ticket gates.


All the platforms are long enough to accommodate trains up to eight cars long. All Limited Express and K-Limited Express trains leave from Platforms 1 & 3.

A tune is played over the PA system when a train leaves the platform.

Passenger use

With many restaurants and bars nearby, the area is crowded at night with young people, company employees and others.


For the station's surroundings and the bus stop, please refer to the article about "Sanjo Keihan."


A station was first established at the eastern edge of Sanjo-Ohashi Bridge by Keishin Electric Streetcar (later, Keihan Keishin Line).

August 15, 1912: Keishin Electric Streetcar (today's Keishin Line) provisionally opened Sanjo-Ohashi Station.

Formally, the starting point of the line was Furukawacho Station (the present Higashiyama-Sanjo Station), but the actual starting point was Sanjo-Ohashi Station. Conditions laid down by the Kyoto City road administrator meant that the operation of the section between Sanjo-Ohashi Station and Furukawacho Station was only provisional. Sanjo-Ohashi Station was located on the north side of Sanjo-dori Street.

December 13, 1912: A patent was given to Keishin Electric Streetcar for the section between Sanjo-Ohashi Station and Furukawacho Station, so the operation began formally.

October 27, 1915: KER opened Sanjo Station.

February 20, 1923: Keishin Electric Streetcar's Sanjo-Ohashi Station moved next to KER Sanjo Station (later Keishin Sanjo Station).

February 1, 1925: Keishin Electric Streetcar Co., Ltd. absorbed into Keihan Electric Railway Co., Ltd.; line became Keishin Line.

October 1, 1943: Following take over of Keihan Electric Railway Co., Ltd, control of Sanjo Station passed to Keihanshin Electric Express Railway Co., Ltd.

December 1, 1949: Control of Sanjo Station returned to Keihan Electric Railway Co., Ltd, following separation of companies.

November 25, 1949: Keishin Line's Sanjo-Ohashi Station merged with Keihan Main Line's Sanjo Station, and renamed Sanjo Station.

April 1, 1987: Keishin Line's Sanjo Station renamed Keishin Sanjo Station.

May 24, 1987: Keihan Main Line's Sanjo Station became underground station. Separated from Keishin Line.

September 1, 1988: Total smoking ban introduced at the underground Sanjo Station.

October 5, 1989: Keihan Oto Line began operation of section between Sanjo Station and Demachiyanagi Station. Start of mutual line operation by Keihan Main Line and Keihan Oto Line.

March 21, 1994: Fax service introduced at all Keihan station offices.

October 12, 1997: Section between Keishin Sanjo Station and Misasagi Station discontinued; Keishin Sanjo Station closed.

August, 2003: Keihan Info Station opened on Sanjo Station concourse.

January 24, 2004: ATMs installed on Sanjo Station concourse.

June 22, 2007: 'EcoStation21 Keihan Sanjo' multistory bicycle parking lot opened.

November 23, 2007: Convenience store 'Anthree' and 'Shizuya Bakery' opened on Sanjo Station concourse on sub-level one.

Aboveground Station

When the station was above ground, the facilities were located in the southern part of Sanjo-dori Street, or to be more exact, at the southern part of the Sanjo-Ohashi Bridge's eastern edge. The description below is of the situation just before construction of the Keihan Main Line underground station began (around 1978).

Keishin Line numbered not only the platforms for boarding passengers but also the platforms for alighting passengers, while the Keihan platform was unnumbered.

Keihan Main Line

Platform 1

This platform was for passengers going to Uji Station. It was a bay platform, and also served for passengers getting off. It was once one of the through train tracks of 'Keihan Suburban Train Type 60,' and included the Keishin Line's Platform 7 & 8. The platform was short, only being able to accommodate trains up to four cars long.

Platform 2

This platform was for passengers getting on limited express trains. It was a bay platform, and shared the same physical platform as Platform 3 (for alighting passengers) which was on the other side.

Platform 3

This platform was for passengers getting on express or semi-express trains.

Platform 4

This platform was for passengers getting on local trains to Osaka. It faced Platform 3. And it was the platform nearest to the Kamo-gawa River. Because of the platform structure, passengers had to detour to the northern edge of the platform when changing trains between Keihan Main Line (Platform 4) and Keishin Line.

There was a level crossing between Platform 2 and Platform 3 for express train passengers. When the limited express service stopped at Platform 2, both sides of the doors of limited express train opened, so the passengers on Platform 2 could go to Platform 3 through the car.

Keishin Line: The station's platforms were bay platforms, which, from above, looked like the letter 'E,' with the middle two platforms being boarding areas.

Platform 5

This platform was for passengers getting off express and semi-express trains.

Platform 6

This platform was for passengers getting on express and semi-express trains.

Platform 7

This platform was for passengers getting on local trains.
It was one of the through train tracks of the 'Lake Biwa Train.'

Platform 8

This platform was for passengers getting off local trains.

The track between Platform 1 and Platform 7 continued working for a long time after World War Ⅱ(the Keihan Main Line and Keishin Line through train services continued until 1961, and after that, the track was used for deadheading Keishin Line's new rolling stock until after 1965), but about 1970, the track was removed and concrete buffer stops were set up at both ends.

The whole station building stood over Lake Biwa Canal, so people on the station passage could see the canal flowing below. And Platform 4 overhung the riverbank of the Kamo-gawa River.

There was a row of restaurants and souvenir shops on the premises, giving the station the air of a terminus.

The station's north entrance was located at the eastern edge of Sanjo-Ohashi Bridge, where the Statue of Hikokuro TAKAYAMA stands, and the south entrance was located on the corner of Wakamatsu-dori Street and Nawate-dori Street, close to the Keishin Line platforms. There was a taxi stand at the station's north entrance, and a bus stop at the station's south entrance.

After the platforms of Keishin Line were separated from Keishin Sanjo Station, Platform 6 became Platform 1, Platform 7 became Platform 2, and the number of platforms for passengers getting off the train were erased.


After the Keishin Line was closed, the site around the station building was left alone for a while, but in 2003 the business park 'KYOUEN' was opened as part of the area's redevelopment. The complex consists of buildings reminiscent of Edo period merchants' houses, and many of the tenants are newcomers to Kyoto.

Keishin Sanjo Station had no counter for a commuter ticket, so people who wanted to buy one had to go to the underground concourse of Keihan Main Line Sanjo Station.

There was a message board at the west point of Keishin Sanjo Station's ticket gate, but there was no chalk (the situation before 1994 is unclear).

When changing trains from Keishin Sanjo Station to Keihan Main Line, passengers could pass through the ticket gate with a single ticket, but after the opening of the Tozai Line, they had to buy a new ticket (although the situation was improved to some degree on April 1, 2007, by the introduction of PiTaPa, a smart card for payment of amongst other things, railway fares).

For passengers changing trains from Keihan Main Line to Keishin Line (the subway Tozai Line), an announcement in the car gave the destination as 'the direction of Otsu, Ishiyama and Sakamoto' until about 1980s, as 'the direction of Yamashina, Otsu and Lake Biwa,' from around 1990 until the time Keishin Sanjo Station was closed,' and as 'the direction of Otsu and Lake Biwa, or the subway Tozai Line' from 1997 (when Keishin Sanjo Station was closed) until 2003 (Yamashina seems to have been removed because passengers can reach it directly on the Tozai Line).
At present, it is given as 'the subway Tozai Line and the direction of the Keishin Line and Lake Biwa.'

There are many shuttle service trains that run between Sanjo Station and Osaka, and in addition, two local train services per hour leave Sanjo Station for Demachiyanagi Station. However, there are no trains from Demachiyanagi Station to Sanjo Station.

Shuttle trains from Osaka are, as a rule, turn around using the lead tracks located toward Jingu-marutamachi Station. However, deadhead trains occasionally use the double crossing on the track to Gion-shijo Station, a remnant from the time before the Keihan Oto Line opened and Sanjo Station was still the last station.

Until the revision of the timetable in 2000, Osaka-bound trains were split between Platform 3 for limited express and local trains to Yodoyabashi Station and Platform 4 for express and local trains to Uji Station (Keihan). At present KER uses Platform 3 as the main track and Platform 4 as the sidetrack.
(the first train usually starts from Platform 4)

From the opening of the underground station until the inauguration of the Keihan Oto Line, KER had used Platform 1 for express trains, Platform 2 for local trains to Yodoyabashi Station, Platform 3 for local trains to Uji Station, and Platform 4 for limited express trains and evening rush hour local trains to Yodoyabashi Station.

When trains to Demachiyanagi Station are delayed due to a disruption of the schedule, KER reschedules the timetable by stopping some trains at Sanjo Station and turning them back immediately, thereby allowing following trains to make up time.

Adjacent stations

Keihan Electric Railway

Keihan Main Line/Oto Line

K-Limited Express/Limited Express

Gion-shijo Station (Keihan Main Line) - Sanjo Station - Demachiyanagi Station (Oto Line)

Express/Semi-Express/Local train

Gion-shijo Station (Keihan Main Line) - Sanjo Station - Jingu-marutamachi Station (Oto Line)

Kyoto Municipal Subway Tozai Line

Sanjo Keihan Station - Higashiyama Station (Kyoto Prefecture)

Keishin Line (closed in 1997)

Keishin Sanjo Station - Higashiyama Sanjo Station

[Original Japanese]