Tarumi Station lies in-between Shioya and Maiko, only about 20 minutes away from Sannomiya Station in Kobe, a major coastal city in Hyogo Prefecture, and about 45 minutes from Osaka. With the rapid train stopping in Tarumi, one has almost immediate access to both the sea and the mountain ranges, like Rokko-san, that stand not too far away.
Tarumi Station is very spacious and accommodating for the large number of people who pass through this station every day. In 2012, it was ranked 20th for the number of people passing through JR West stations at an average of about 30,000 people per day.
Tarumi Station provides easy access to Port Bazaar, a huge outlet mall to the south of the station. There are also many popular fishing spots along the coast, just minutes from the station. At the station, you can also pick up many pamphlets on local events and fun things to do in the area.
From the train platform, you can catch a glimpse of the Akashi Kaikyo bridge to the west, which leads to Awaji Island. You can also peak through the trees into Kai Jinja, directly south of the station a little to the east. On the northern side, one can see the bus terminals and various shopping plazas available for people visiting Tarumi.
The station itself is very easy to navigate. There are two main ticketing gates – east and west. Both the east and west sides have their own bus terminals just outside the exits, as Tarumi station is very wide. There is a smaller ticketing gate called Plico in the middle of the station that provides easy access to the variety of shops in the Plico shopping area inside the station. Right next to JR Tarumi Station in the same building is Sanyo Tarumi Station, which is a stop along the Sanyo Electric Railway.
The station itself has many shopping opportunities for people passing through. With the smell of fresh croquette and fresh bread and baked goods greeting customers as they walk through the station, it’s hard not to get hungry. There are also two long shopping “streets”, Plico and Molti, running the entire length of the station, filled with a large variety of clothing, accessory, and other shops. My family and I often buy gifts at the station, because it is so convenient to do so right before getting on the train to visit friends and relatives. The choices are top quality, and the shops tend to sell things that are famous in Kobe, such as pudding and other local delicacies.
The best part is that the JR West employees are very friendly. They answer questions and are eager to help. I had trouble scheduling my shinkansen (bullet train) to Tokyo, and they were very patient and polite. They also helped me find various train schedules. I know that I can count on the JR employees, especially at Tarumi Station, to help me out.