Jan 8, 2016

How much does it cost to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima?

How much does it cost to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima? photo

Hiroshima, the last economic bastion of Japan’s East Coast commercial/industrial highway. Beyond here, we leave the island of Honshu and cross the Inland Sea over to Kyushu.  A lot has been written about Hiroshima’s tragic past, its emergence from which is nothing short of remarkable.  It is now one of Japan’s most vibrant and attractive cities, as well as being an important place for business and commerce.  So, how much does it cost to get there from Tokyo?  (All costs and fares are listed in Japanese Yen and based on bookings, in most cases, one month in advance direct from source.)

*NB - This post was updated as of September 2017

Flights to Hiroshima

Most departures from Tokyo to Hiroshima will use Haneda Airport.  Hiroshima is serviced by Hiroshima Airport (HIJ).  The flight times are around 1 hrs 30 mins.  It used to be that the LCC Spring Airlines operated flights from Tokyo to Hiroshima.  At the time of updating this post, however, those flights no longer seemed to be in service.

Flag Carriers

ANA and JAL operate services between Tokyo’s Narita Airport (ANA only) and Haneda Airports (ANA and JAL), and Hiroshima Airport.

ANA (from Haneda) - A lot to choose from, with negligible price differences between weekdays and weekends ... 

One wayReturn
Flex Fare34,89069,780
Flex Round trip FareN/A61,380
Basic Fare14,79030,580
Value Fare12,69025,380
Premium Flex Fare41,09082,180
Premium Basic Fare20,79042,580
Premium Value Fare18,69037,380

JAL - All flights from Haneda.  

One wayOne way J ClassReturnReturn J Class
12,690 - 17,89022,79025,380 - 35,08045,580

Hiroshima Airport is around 30 km to the east of downtown Hiroshima, on the way to Onomichi.

Access to / from Hiroshima Airport is by bus.  From the airport to Hiroshima Bus Terminal, Hiroshima Electric Railway operate services which take ^ mins with fares of 1,340 yen.  The same company also run a service between the airport and Hiroshima Station (Shinkansen exit).  Journey times ~ 45 mins / fares 1,340 yen.

How much does it cost to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima? photo

Shinkansen to Hiroshima

At this kind of distance the choice between flying or the Shinkansen for journeys from Tokyo to Hiroshima becomes harder to make.

The JR Tōkaidō Shinkansen and Sanyō Shinkansen link Tokyo (depart Tokyo Station), Shin-Osaka (Station) and then Hiroshima Station.  It's possible to make the run in one go with Nozomi trains.  This is fastest train option available between the two cities.  Another option would be to change at Shin-Osaka.  By way of contrast we detail fares (and times) for Hikari services to Shin-Osaka and then Hikari or Sakura trains from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima.  

Train(s)Unreserved seatReserved seatGreen seatTime (mins)
Nozomi (direct)18,04018,88026,210~ 240

Hikari / Sakura

(change at Shin-Osaka)

18,04018,36025,690~ 700

First departure from Tokyo Station - 6:00 (Nozomi, arrives 9:49)

Last (direct) departure from Tokyo Station - 19:50 (Nozomi, arrives 23:53)

Buy a reserved seat ticket if traveling during pre/post work rush times.  If you’ve the money, maybe the Green seats will help to make the journey more comfortable.  As the table shows, at this kind of distance it makes little sense to use any Shinkansen other then the Nozomi.  

However, if shaving a couple of thousand yen off the costs is worth it, keep an eye out for the Platt Kodama (ぷらっとこだま).  This plan can save 2,000 yen on fares for the Kodama Shinkansen down to Shin-Osaka where you could then change to the Sakura Shinkansen for Hiroshima.  Tickets available from JR Tokai Tours offices.

How much does it cost to get back from Hiroshima?  No ‘return’ fares here, so just double the price of getting there.

The Japan Rail Pass is valid for Hikari and Kodama trains as far as Shin-Osaka.  Not Nozomi trains.  It’s also valid for the Sakura Shinkansen.

Express / Rapid / Local trains from Tokyo to Hiroshima

Hardcore traveller will be looking at journey times of around 14 hours to get down to Hiroshima without using the Shinkansen.  Costs are in the 16,000 - 18,000 yen range.  You could be on a flight or a Shinkansen for this kind of money, so using local trains makes little sense at all.  The seasonal Seishun 18 Kippu allows or unlimited travel on local trains for 2,370 yen a day.  The ticket must be bought in a "5-day" pack so will costs will come to 11,850 yen.  If you've the time and are up for an adventure, this could be an interesting way to travel to Hiroshima.  Read more about the Seishun 18 Kippu on City-Cost here.

Buses to Hiroshima

Buses between Tokyo and Hiroshima take 12 - 14 hrs (overnight).  In Tokyo, the largest number of services depart from Shinjuku Station (Busta) or Tokyo Station (Yaesu exit). In Hiroshima many buses arrive/depart at JR Hiroshima Station.  

One way fares are in the 5,000 - 10,000 yen range.  At this kind of distance, services are more limited and will likely be night buses. Book in advance if you want as much comfort as possible. Arguably the easiest service to make use of for English speakers is WILLER. 

We found night buses to Hiroshima from Shinjuku (Busta) Station with fares from ~ 6,000 yen for a RELAX[NEW] seat.

From Tokyo Station (Yaesu exit), fares from 7,200 yen (with Chugoku JR Bus Company, via WILLER).

If you can handle the Japanese, website BUSReserve.JP might reveal some of the cheapest bus fares.

Night bus booking sites Bus-Channel can get you started in English, but ultimately you’ll be directed to Japanese language sites when making bookings.  We spotted buses from Tokyo to Hiroshima listed as low as ~ 5,500 yen.

Driving to Hiroshima

If driving, expect to pay ~ 18,000 yen in highway tolls (source: NEXCO - Nippon Expressway Company).  The drive takes about 10 hours for those who know the way.  We used NEXCO to conduct a junction-to-junction expressway route search starting at Shibuya and then exiting at Ogawa (大川) about 1 km southeast of Hiroshima Station.  We can be exactly sure of this route but maybe it starts on the Metropolitan Expressway No.3 Shibuya Route leading onto the famed Tomei Expressway.  North of Nagoya change onto the Meishin Expressway.  As you approach the northern reaches of Osaka a tricky looking section sees you change onto the Chugoku Expressway and then quickly onto the Sanyo Expressway all the way to the outskirts of Hiroshima.  The final leg is on the Hiroshima Expressway Route 1 to the exit at Ogawa.  

The cost of renting a car in Japan is significantly more expensive if picking up / dropping off in separate locations.  A k-car with a Tokyo pick up / Hiroshima drop off over a period of one day might be in the 60,000 - 70,000 yen range.  If you can drive back to Tokyo from Hiroshima then, by way of contrast, the same car might be 20,000 - 25,000 yen for a period of four days.

*NB - This post was updated as of September 2017

If you’ve your own answers to the question,  How much does it costs to travel from Tokyo to Hiroshima?, we'd love to hear them.  Drop your comments and questions below.



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