It's easy to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima - you can take a shinkansen (bullet train) direct from Tokyo to Hiroshima. Read the full details below.
Nozomi shinkansen © Herry Lawford
The Tokyo To Hiroshima Takeaway
The Nozomi shinakansen (bullet train) is the best way to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima.
The Nozomi shinkansen is the fastest type of bullet train and takes 4 hours to travel between Tokyo and Hiroshima direct.
If you have a Japan Rail Pass, you cannot use it on the Nozomi shinkansen. However, you can use the Japan Rail Pass to take the Hikari shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka station. At Shin-Osaka you can then change onto the Sanyo Shinkansen (Sakura train) to continue on to Hiroshima. The trip is only slightly slower by Hikari/Sakura shinkansen.
You can buy the Japan Rail Pass online at Voyagin.com, which is an official partner of JR Rail. (See our detailed guide to buying and making the most of a Japan Rail Pass if you're undecided about getting one).
The Tokyo To Hiroshima Details
Tokyo to Hiroshima is a 4-hour direct train journey on the Nozomi shinkansen. The Nozomi is the fastest type of shinkansen.
While the flight time from Tokyo to Hiroshima is only one and a half hours, by the time you factor in travel to and from the airports, check-in and waiting time, taking the bullet train is quicker.
You can purchase Tokyo to Hiroshima shinkansen tickets online at Voyagin.com and have them delivered to your Tokyo hotel.
If you are using a Japan Rail Pass, you can't use the Pass on the Nozomi shinkansen. You can only use the Pass on the slower Hikari, Sakura or Kodama types of shinkansen.
However, it's still easy to get from Tokyo to Hiroshima using a Japan Rail Pass. Catch the Hikari shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka station, and then change at Shin-Osaka onto the the Sakura shinkansen to travel from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima.
Be sure to check the train timetables carefully to avoid a long wait at Shin-Osaka. See below for links to English language timetable information. You can also check at the JR office at your departure station before you depart to ensure you've understood the information correctly.
There is also a coach option for Tokyo to Hiroshima. Willer Express provides a 10-hour Tokyo to Hiroshima coach at around Y7100.
Do You Need Reserved Seats on the Shinkansen?
Normally, you don't need a reserved ticket to get a seat on the shinkansen. Just buy an unreserved ticket and show up and board the next shinkansen going your way. However, if you are traveling at rush hour (between 7am and 9am and 4pm and 7pm) or during peak travel seasons (31 Dec-3 Jan; the first week of May and mid-August), consider buying reserved tickets in advance. If you buy a shinkansen ticket online a seat is reserved for you automatically.
With a Japan Rail Pass, you can make reservations at any JR ticket window, up to one month in advance of your travel. You cannot reserve from overseas.
HINT: If you have unreserved tickets and you find that the unreserved cars are full on the next train heading out, just stand in line at the boarding spot for the next train so you can board it first – this will usually guarantee a seat and you probably won't have to wait more than 15 minutes.
First and Last Shinkansen Departures
During the day, there are several shinkansen every hour between Tokyo and Kyoto. You rarely have to wait more than 10 minutes for a train. The approximate first and last departures are listed below:
Westbound (Tokyo-Kyoto): 6:00am first / 7:50pm last
Eastbound (Kyoto-Tokyo): 6:14am first / 9:30pm last
Shinkansen Schedules and Timetables
Tokyo To Hiroshima By Plane
You can also get from Tokyo to Hiroshima by plane, but it's probably longer than taking the shinkansen when you factor in travel to the airport and waiting time. You can check flight times and prices from Tokyo to Hiroshima on 12Go and compare them to train times for the same journey.
Tokyo To Hiroshima By Bus
The cheapest option to get from Tokyo to Hiroshima is by bus. Willer Express offers buses between Tokyo and Hiroshima. You can purchase tickets on the Willer Express website. You can also book buses at 12Go.
Japan Travel Itineraries
If you're thinking of Hiroshima as part of a travel itinerary for Japan, see our 7 to 10 day Japan Itinerary: Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Hiroshima for ideas on how to plan out your time. And see all our other Japan Itineraries for more inspiration on where to go and how to get there.
Hiroshima and Miyajima Travel Guide:
To make the most of your time, see our in-depth guide to visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima on our companion website InsideKyoto.com
- Hiroshima and Miyajima Travel Guide Overview
- Things To Do In Hiroshima and Miyajima
- Hiroshima and Miyajima Walking Tour
- Best Places To Eat In Hiroshima And Miyajima
- Hiroshima And Miyajima Itineraries
- Hiroshima And Miyajima Cherry Blossoms
- Hiroshima And Miyajima Fall Foliage
- Hiroshima And Miyajima Districts
- Best Ryokan In Hiroshima And Miyajima
- Best Hotels In Hiroshima And Miyajima
- How To Get To Hiroshima and Miyajima
- Getting Around Hiroshima and Miyajima
- When To Go To Hiroshima and Miyajima
Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online with Klook for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- Get esssential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)