For the majority of our trip, our JR Pass took care of everything travel related, allowing us to reserve seats on the Shinkansen and to avoid a lengthy queue purchasing tickets during peak hour. When we arrived at our hostel in Osaka, however, we realised that as central as the place was, using the Japan Rail system to get elsewhere was a bit counter-intuitive as Namba station was on its own line which meant numerous train changes for us. The quick fix was to use another train line, which provided a more direct service, saving us time.The concept is actually quite easy. Above the ticket machines there is a map of the network with station names and the price it costs for a one way ticket from your current station. You insert your money and thenselect the monetary value in which your station lies.
Now, I can’t remember if the station names were in Japanese (they were in some stations) or if it was a case of nerves due to it being our first train ticket purchase, but we decided to pressed the help button and have the attendant help us get through this hurdle.
Perhaps it was naive to expect the attendant to come through the door immediately to our right, but I did. To my surprise that door remained closed and instead a square panel opened up between both ticket machines , and the attendant’s entire torso squeezed through the opening as he gave us a brief lesson on how to buy a ticket.
I’ve tried to recreate the scenario below, although it is not to scale and the attendant should be at least 20% larger.