How to Get to and around Hiroshima and Miyajima
Hiroshima Prefecture is located in the southwest of Japan, in the western region of Honsu Island, the biggest island in Japan. You can take a bullet train from some neighboring cities, such as Kyoto, Osaka and Okayama, to get directly to Hiroshima. Furthermore, people usually take a trip to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima which is just a short ferry ride.
In Hiroshima there are several ways to get around, such as public buses and trams. Besides public transportation, you can also take a taxi or rent a private car, though the costs will be higher.
- You can get to Hiroshima by JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen from Kyoto, Osaka, and Okayama. The length of the trip depends on which train model you choose.
- There are many kinds of trains on the Sanyo Shinkansen Line, for example Hikari, Kodama, Sakura, Mizuho and Nozomi. Those trains are covered by the JR Pass, except for Mizuho and Nozomi.
- The most popular means of transport to get around in Hiroshima are public bus, tram, and taxi.
- There are two direct ferries from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island.
- You can get around Miyajima Island on foot.
How to Get to Hiroshima
Hiroshima station and other stations are connected by the Shinkansen lines. So, people usually choose a bullet train as their way of transportation to Hiroshima. It is the quickest and most comfortable travel option.
Please note that travelling to Hiroshima will be much easier if you have a Japan Rail Pass because almost all Shinkansen trains are covered by the JR Pass. Other means of transport to reach Hiroshima are local (regular) trains or buses.
Getting from Kyoto to Hiroshima
If you travel from Kyoto, you can take the Shinkansen Hikari or Kodama to Shin-Osaka Station. Then, at Shin-Osaka, you need to switch to the Shinkansen Sakura to Hiroshima. The trip takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes with the fare being around 10,570 yen.
If you want a direct trip to Hiroshima from Kyoto, you can use Nozomi train for around 11,500 yen, and the trip will be around 95 minutes. But since the Nozomi train is not covered by the JR Pass, you need to buy a ticket at the Kyoto station.
Other travel options are by bus or local train. It can be an economical choice for you to use a bus or regular train to get to Hiroshima. One way trip from Kyoto to Hiroshima by highway bus will take you about 7-9 hours, and about 6-7 hours by regular train with several transfers. The cost will be around 5,500 to 6,500 yen by bus or regular train.
Getting from Osaka to Hiroshima
If you travel from Osaka, then you can take a bullet train from Shin-Osaka Station (please note that there is Osaka Station and Shin-Osaka Station). You can choose either Sakura Shinkansen or Hikari Shinkansen train, and they are covered by the JR Pass.
The journey takes around 1 hour and 32 minutes with a Sakura train and 2 hours and 13 minutes with a Hikari train. The price for a normal bullet train from Osaka to Hiroshima is around 9,700 yen.
Some train models like Mizuho and Nozomi can be faster (around 80 minutes), but they are not covered by the JR Pass. So, if you want to use the Mizuho or Nozomi train you can go to the ticket window and buy a ticket there. The price would be around 200 yen higher for a reserved seat.
You can go to Hiroshima from Osaka by regular train, however, the journey will take about 6 hours and you need to transfer several times. Of course, the cost is more affordable than the Shinkansen train, it would be around 5,620 yen.
Getting from Okayama to Hiroshima
If you travel from Okayama, then you can use the Sanyo Shinkansen Line from Okayama to Hiroshima. There is a train every 15 minutes from Okayama to Hiroshima. You can choose whether to use Hikari, Sakura, or Kodama train, since they are covered by the JR Pass.
But again, if you want to take a faster train, the Mizuho or Nozomi, you can buy the ticket at the ticket window. You can reach Hiroshima in around 40 minutes and the cost is about 4,600 to 7,000 yen.
How to Get Around Hiroshima
The most common ways to get around in Hiroshima are by public bus, tram, private car, or taxi. Some people rent a bike too, but it depends on your situation and preference. There is one particular bus that is operated by JR Pass, called Mapple-oop.
This bus runs every 30 minutes. It connects Hiroshima Station with the area around Shukkeien, Hiroshima Castle, and the Peace Memorial Park.
Public Transport — Tram and Bus
Hiroshima has lots of bus routes in downtown areas, as well as in its suburbs. The Hiroshima Bus Center is located on the third floor of Sogo Department Store, northeast of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. You can find bus stations easily in Hiroshima.
You can drop the exact amount of money in the “fare box” located beside the bus driver. The name of the next stop and the fares are displayed on a monitor at the front of the bus. If you don’t have small coins you can change your money in the money-changing machine located next to the bus driver. Press the bell before want to you get off.
Hiroshima also has trams, known as “Hiroden”, sometimes they are also called Hiroshima’s streetcars. It is a convenient and cheap transportation mode. There are eight routes inside Hiroshima city and one route to Miyajima.
Renting a car is a good option if you plan to explore rural areas where public transportation cannot reach. Rented cars are available in Hiroshima, but it’s quite expensive. Besides being expensive, traffic in large cities tends to be heavy and parking is inconvenient and costs more.
Unless it’s a big family with at least 5 people, we recommend other public transportation as a more economical option.
If you need a taxi, you can find vacant taxis at stations. There are also many taxis downtown which you can flag down; just look for the taxis with illuminated signboards, which means they are vacant.
The taxi door for you to use is on the left and it is automated. Tell the driver your destination and pay the fare that is shown on the taximeter. The fare depends on the size of car, the travel-time and distance. The base taxi fare in Hiroshima is 580 to 640 yen.
How to Get to Miyajima from Hiroshima
There are two most common ways for people to reach Miyajima Island from Hiroshima. The first option is by direct ferry from Peace Memorial Park, the second option is from Miyajima-guchi Port.
Miyajima is a small island. Once you reach it, you can just get around on foot.
Direct Ferry from Peace Park
The Aqua Net Ferry travels directly to Miyajima from Peace Memorial Park. It takes 45 minutes. The cost is 2,000 yen one-way and 3,600 yen return.
Ferry between Miyajima-guchi and Miyajima
There are two ferry companies from Miyajima-guchi Port, JR Miyajima Ferry and Miyajima Matsudai Kisen. The transport fare from Miyajima-guchi port to Itsukushima Shrine is 180 yen for both companies.
First you need to catch a train from Hiroshima to Miyajima-guchi Station. From there you cross the road to the JR Line Ferry that goes to Miyajima Island. The train to Miyajima-guchi is operated every 10-15 minutes.
Guided Tour of Hiroshima Highlights and Miyajima Island
Hiroshima is a very popular city in Japan, as well as in the whole world. You may want to know when the best time to visit is and what to do. To guarantee you the utmost experience in this city, we recommend you a guided tour package with English-speaking guides to help you maximize your time and enjoyment in the city.
Explore Hiroshima with Asia Highlights
If you are interested in getting a deeper understanding of Hiroshima and Miyajima, we recommend you join our guided tour for Hiroshima Highlights and Miyajima Island. Our professional staff and tour guide will help you to maximize your time and experience in this “Peace City”.