Can You Do a Day Trip From Tokyo to Hiroshima? The Crazy Guide

Planning a trip to Japan? With its tragic history and irresistible beauty, Hiroshima is a city that shouldn’t be missed when traveling to Japan. However, for travelers with limited time, a day trip from Tokyo might seem like the only option. This guide explores the possibility of a one-day adventure from Tokyo to Hiroshima. I will help you weigh the pros and cons, suggest alternative itineraries, and offer valuable tips for those who are still determined to try this exhausting journey.

Going to Hiroshima on a day trip from Tokyo is technically possible, but not ideal. With 4 hours each way on the bullet train, you will have very limited time to explore this historic city. For a more pleasant experience, it is better to spend at least one night in Hiroshima.

Now, let me give you all the information you need to make the best choice for your itinerary. I will focus on the most common questions travelers have when they explore the feasibility of a day trip to Hiroshima.

Is it Worth Going to Hiroshima For a Day?

Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome
© Ana Costa

As you can imagine, visiting Hiroshima for a day can be a memorable and enriching experience, but it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to determine if it’s worth it for your travel plans. Let’s see the reasons why visiting Hiroshima for a day might be a good idea or not:

Pros:

Big History: Hiroshima is famous because of what happened there during a war a long time ago. Going there lets you see where something very important happened and helps you understand how people there want peace now.

Cultural Attractions: Hiroshima has a lot of interesting things to see, like the Hiroshima Castle or the Shukkeien Garden, for example.

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Great Food: Hiroshima is famous for its special foods, including Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (a delicious pancake), or fresh oysters. If you’re a foodie, you need to try them.

Pretty Views: There are some incredibly nice natural places to see in Hiroshima, like Miyajima island, with a big red torii (gate) in the water. Exploring these places is relaxing and you can take great photos.

Cons:

Limited Time: The biggest issue of a day trip to Hiroshima is the limited time available to explore all its attractions properly. With only a day available, you will probably feel rushed and unable to experience everything the city has to offer.

Travel Time: Hiroshima is located approximately 800 kilometers (500 miles) west of Tokyo, and requires several hours of travel by Shinkansen (bullet train). Even if you choose the fastest Shinkansen service (Nozomi), you will spend a lot of time in transportation.

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Cost: Traveling to Hiroshima from Tokyo, especially for a day trip, can be expensive, considering the transportation costs, admission fees to attractions, and meals.

While it is incredibly rewarding to visit Hiroshima (I honestly loved it), it’s essential to consider the pros and cons I listed above to determine if it fits your travel preferences and expectations. It would be better, for instance, to do a day trip from Osaka or Kyoto. You would spend less time on transportation, and have more time for sightseeing.

If you’re still unsure about this day trip, you will find information about transportation to Hiroshima and a full-day itinerary below. You can also read my other articles about Hiroshima and Myajima.

How Long is The Train From Tokyo to Hiroshima?

Hello Kitty Shinkansen
© Ana Costa

The train ride from Tokyo to Hiroshima typically takes around 4 to 5 hours, depending on the type of Shinkansen you choose and any transfers required. To help you with this, here’s a list of the Shinkansen services between Tokyo and Hiroshima:

Nozomi Shinkansen:

  • Type: Fastest Shinkansen option.
  • Stops: Direct service with no intermediate stops.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 4 hours.
  • Cost: Around 18,000 to 20,000 yen for a one-way ticket.

Hikari Shinkansen:

  • Type: Slower than Nozomi but faster than Kodama.
  • Stops: Limited stops between Tokyo and Hiroshima.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 4.5 hours.
  • Cost: Around 17,000 to 19,000 yen for a one-way ticket.

Kodama Shinkansen:

  • Type: Slower Shinkansen service.
  • Stops: Makes all stops along the route.
  • Travel Time: Approximately 5 hours or more.
  • Cost: Around 16,000 to 18,000 yen for a one-way ticket.

The Kodama Shinkansen is the one that offers the cutest Shinkansen service. You can check my full article about the Hello Kitty Shinkansen to know what it is and see amazing pictures of this train.

There are also local trains on the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Line that are cheaper (around 10,000 to 12,000 yen for a one-way ticket), but they make countless stops along the way and take approximately 8 to 9 hours to reach Hiroshima. Therefore, local trains are not an option if you want to do a day trip to Hiroshima.

If you want to save money on transportation for this day trip, you might want to consider getting the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass or the JR West All Area Pass. Both passes cover the trip from Osaka to Hiroshima, but you have to include other trips in the area for the pass to be worth it. I recommend putting all your planned trips on paper with the estimated cost and then comparing them to the price of each pass.

You may also like:

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Day Trip Itinerary From Tokyo to Hiroshima

Miyajima Island © Ana Costa

To help you prepare for a crazy long journey, I set up this detailed itinerary with the estimated times. Feel free to use it for your trip, or to inspire your personalized itinerary.

Morning:

  • 6:00 AM: Depart from Tokyo Station to Hiroshima via Shinkansen (Nozomi bullet train). The train ride takes close to 4 hours.
  • 10:00 AM: Arrive at Hiroshima Station. Take the bus, the Hiroden Streetcar, or a taxi to the Peace Memorial Park.
  • 10:30 AM: Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Spend about 2 hours exploring the park, reflecting on the atomic bomb’s impact, and learning about Hiroshima’s history.
  • 12:30 PM: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near the Peace Memorial Park. Budget around 1,500 to 3,000 yen per person for a meal.

Afternoon (2 options):

Option 1 (Continue visiting Hiroshima)

  • 1:30 PM: Take the streetcar or taxi to Hiroshima Castle. Spend an hour exploring the castle grounds and learning about its history. Admission costs around 400 yen.
  • 3:00 PM: Visit Shukkeien Garden, a beautiful traditional Japanese garden located near Hiroshima Castle. Spend about an hour strolling through the garden and enjoying its serene ambiance. Admission costs around 300 yen.

Option 2 (Go to Miyajima)

  • 1:30 PM: Take the streetcar from GenbakuDome-mae to Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi (it passes every 10 minutes). The ride takes just under 1 hour.
  • 2:45 PM: Take the JR ferry to Miyajima Island. The ride takes 10 minutes and costs around 200 yen. You also have to pay the visitor’s tax of 100 yen. Spend an hour exploring Itsukushima Shrine; the admission costs around 300 yen if you are not visiting the Treasure Hall.
  • 4:00 PM: Visit Miyajima Omotesando shopping street on your way back to the ferry.
  • 5:00 PM: Catch the JR ferry to Miyajimaguchi, then walk for 10 minutes to reach the train station.
  • 5:40 PM: Take the train (JR Sanyo Main Line) to Hiroshima Station. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Hiroshima station, and it costs more than 400 yen.

Evening:

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  • 6:30 PM: Buy a bento box at the station and catch the Nozomi Shinkansen to Tokyo; you’ll arrive around 10:30 PM. Be careful because the last Shinkansen to Tokyo will be around 8:00 PM.

Travel Tips to Make The Most of Your Day Trip

Hiroshima Shukkeien Garden
© Ana Costa

Get the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass: This 5-day pass can be used on the Shinkansen ride from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima, and it costs only 17,000 while a Shinkansen ticket between these two stations costs almost 10,000 yen one way. This pass can also be used for the Miyajima ferry and other rides using JR trains between Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and other cities in the Kansai Area (check the map here).

Book Shinkansen tickets in advance: If you want to keep up with your tight schedule, you have to plan your transportation ahead of time. Book everything you can to avoid wasting time or stressing out on the day. Also, check when’s your next train if you missed the first one.

Start early: Hiroshima is far from Tokyo, so it’s important to start your journey early to maximize your time in the city. I recommend getting the first Shinkansen at 6:00 AM.

Pack Light: Since it’s a day trip, pack only the essentials and avoid carrying unnecessary weight. Do not bring your luggage with you on a day trip. You can leave it in the lockers at a train station or use a luggage transfer service and send it to your next hotel.

Optimize Your Itinerary: You can follow the itinerary I gave you above, or you can adapt it to your needs and interests. Prioritize must-visit attractions, and make sure you allow enough time for transportation between two places.

Stay Flexible: It’s essential to have a plan, but remain flexible in case of unexpected delays or changes to your itinerary. You might have to skip the next attraction if you are having a hard time keeping up with your schedule.

How Much Does a Day Trip From Tokyo to Hiroshima Cost?

Hiroshima Castle
Hiroshima Castle
© Ana Costa
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Based on the itinerary above, you should budget between 42,000 and 45,000 yen just for transportation, food, and admission tickets. Of course, you should add a good amount for souvenirs, shopping, or unexpected expenses (like grabbing a taxi if lost). Below, you’ll find the list of estimated costs:

  • Shinkansen round-trip ticket: Approximately 40,000 yen (depending on seat class and booking time).
  • Lunch: 1,500 to 3,000 yen.
  • Hiroshima Castle admission: Around 400 yen.
  • Shukkeien Garden admission: Around 300 yen.
  • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum: Around 200 yen.
  • Miyajima ferry and visitor’s tax: Around 300 yen.
  • Itsukushima Shrine admission: Between 300 and 500 yen (depending on what you choose to visit).
  • Streetcar fare: Approximately 200 to 500 yen (one way, depending on your destination). Consider buying the Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass that covers certain types of transportation in Hiroshima.

As you can see, the biggest cost concerns transportation, making this trip a little expensive if you’re only going for a day. However, if you already have a Japan Rail Pass that covers the JR lines throughout Japan (there’s an extra fee to use the Nozomi), or if you have the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass or the JR West All Area Pass, this day trip becomes less expensive.

Although it is technically possible to visit Hiroshima in a day from Tokyo, keep in mind that this is a very limited time to experience all the city has to offer. When possible, consider spending at least a night in Hiroshima for a more fulfilling experience, but I know that not all travelers have this choice.

I hope you have a clear idea of what a day trip to Hiroshima will look like, and that you found useful information in this post. If you need help with your day trip, feel free to leave a comment below.

Have a nice trip!

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