Sonobe Station (園部駅)

Sonobe Station, located in Sonobe-cho Nantan City, Kyoto Prefecture, is a stop on the Sanin Main Line of the West Japan Railway Company (JR West).
The station's abbreviated name (for telegraph) is 'Fuchisono.'

Summary
The line between Kyoto Station and Sonobe Station is in the Urban Network area, nicknamed the Sagano Line. In the information provided, the line bound for Kyoto Station is called 'Sagano Line,' and the line bound for Fukuchiyama Station is called 'Sanin Main Line' (or 'Sanin Line').
However, the timetable board in the station states that the lines for both directions are described as 'Sagano (Sanin) Line.'

Most limited express trains used to pass through this station, but now all trains on the line stop here. Many local trains shuttle back and forth at this station or change their train numbers and couple or split cars. A complete double-track between Kyoto Station and Sonobe Station is to be opened in 2010, and the construction is ongoing.

JR West Kyoto Branch controls the Sagano Line section between Kyoto Station and Sonobe Station, and JR West Fukuchiyama Branch controls the section from Funaoka Station to the western area. ICOCA and J-through cards (refer to ICOCA section about mutually matched IC cards with ICOCA) can be used only for the direction to Kyoto Station. Therefore, a conductor will often check tickets for which wrong IC cards may be used on the trains bound for Fukuchiyama (including trains operated by a single person).

Station layout

Located on the ground, the station has two island-type platforms with four tracks; two platforms are connected by the overpass, which functions as a station house. Additionally, there are many storage tracks in the station yard.

As of mid-July 2007, the incoming information, 'A train will come soon from the direction (of Kyoto or Fukuchiyama) to Platform __,' is announced in a female voice.

As mentioned above, local trains (including rapid trains) stop or shuttle at this station; therefore, the railway systems are arranged so that the platforms are not changed during transfers. Consequently, the departure platforms aren't fixed.
A general guide is as follows:

Platform 1 is mainly for the limited express bound for Nijo and Kyoto. Except for the early afternoon, local trains bound for Kyoto also use Platform 1. Occasionally, trains bound for Fukuchiyama use Platform 1.

Platform 2 is mainly for the limited express bound for Ayabe and Fukuchiyama. Trains bound for Kyoto Station, particularly limited express trains, also use Platform 2 in the morning and evening.

Platform 3 is mainly for local trains bound for Ayabe and Fukuchiyama stations. Infrequently, limited express trains bound for Fukuchiyama and trains bound for Kyoto use Platform 3.

Platform 4 is mainly for rapid and local trains bound for Nijo and Kyoto stations. Other than in the early afternoon, trains bound for Fukuchiyama also use Platform 4.

Passenger use

According to research conducted in fiscal year 2006, each day approximately 4,595 people used the station.
(according to the Kyoto Prefecture Statistics Report)

Station surroundings

The Sonobe tax office

Lawson Sonobe-ekimae

Hokka Hokka Tei Sonobe

Kyoto College of Medical Technology

Kyoto Architectural School of Design (KASD)

Traditional Arts School of Kyoto (TASK)

National Route 9 (which is overlapped by National Route 477)

Rurikei Onsen (hot spring)

Awajiya (a shop of Ekiben (a box lunch sold on a train or at a station))

Bus route

West Japan JR Bus Company

Bound for Fukuchiyama Station

Keihan Kyoto Kotsu

Bound for Kameoka Station or Fukusumi

History

August 15, 1899: The station opened as a station of Kyoto Electric Railway. Transport services for passengers and freight were initiated.

August 1, 1907: Kyoto Electric Railway was nationalized.

November 1, 1971: Freight service ceased.

April 1, 1987: The station became part of the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) due to the division and privatization of JNR.

Adjacent stations

West Japan Railway Company (JR West)

Sagano Line/Sanin Main Line

The stop station for the Limited Expresses 'Tanba,' 'Kinosaki,' 'Hashidate,' 'Maizuru' and 'Tango Discovery'

Rapid (operating as a local train between Sonobe and Fukuchiyama)/Local

Yoshitomi Station (Kyoto Prefecture) - Sonobe Station - Funaoka Station (Kyoto Prefecture)