Spending a couple of nights in Hiroshima can be a good idea so you can start to get to know this vibrant urban city.
Of course, that includes the place that memorializes the tragedy that Hiroshima is known for.
It can also be a good idea to spend a day in Miyajima from Hiroshima!
Is it easy to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima by train?
It can be pretty easy.
If you’re traveling with a JR pass, it does require a transfer though. So, it’s not as easy as traveling from Osaka to Hiroshima where you can get a direct train.
Although if you’re traveling without a JR pass, you can find a direct train that will get you to Hiroshima without a transfer.
Either way, there are frequent enough timings that it can be pretty convenient.
If you’re looking to get to Hiroshima using your JR pass, you basically have 2 options.
If you don’t have a JR pass, you have one best option to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima by train.
- Taking 2 shinkansen bullet trains (JR pass option)
- Hikari shinkansen
- Sakura shinkansen
- Taking 1 JR train and 1 shinkansen bullet train (JR pass option)
- JR rapid train
- Sakura shinkansen
- Direct Nozomi shinkansen bullet train
- Local trains from Kyoto to Hiroshima
How to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima with a Japan rail pass
Cost with JR pass: FREE!
- SHINKANSEN BULLET TRAIN ONLY
- Kyoto to Shin-Kobe: Hikari shinkansen train (30 minutes)
- Shin-Kobe to Hiroshima: Sakura shinkansen train (1 hr 15 min)
- Time: 1 hr 50 min
- JR RAPID TRAIN + SHINKANSEN BULLET TRAIN
- Kyoto to Shin-Osaka: JR rapid train (25 minutes)
- Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima: Sakura shinkansen train (1.5 hours)
- Time: 2 hr 5 min
You won’t have to pay anything extra for any portion of the journey if you have a JR pass.
The one small downside of traveling with a JR pass is that it won’t give you access to the fastest trains.
In the case of Kyoto to Hiroshima, it means that you can’t take the direct and fastest Nozomi shinkansen.
This means that you don’t have a direct train option.
The need to transfer trains when traveling with a JR pass may be a slight inconvenience. But in terms of time it takes to get to Hiroshima with the JR pass compared to the Nozomi, it’s a minimal difference of 10 to 20 minutes.
In terms of which of the above options you want to take, it’ll mostly depend on the timing and when you’ll be leaving Kyoto.
There are frequent enough Hikari and Sakura train timings that you can find this option several times throughout the day.
How much does it cost to get to Hiroshima from Kyoto WITHOUT a Japan rail pass?
Now, let’s say you’re trying to figure out if you should have your JR pass activated when you go to Hiroshima, or you won’t be traveling around Japan at all with a JR pass.
Listed prices are approximate just so you can start to get at least a little bit of an idea.
Option 1: Shinkansen bullet train – Nozomi
Cost: 11,210 yen (US$100)
- NOZOMI SHINKANSEN BULLET TRAIN: Kyoto station to Hiroshima station
- Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Since you are traveling without a JR pass, you can take the direct train to get to Hiroshima.
This is the fastest option. It’s also the most expensive as it’s a bullet train.
Option 2: Local trains to Hiroshima
Cost: 6,480 yen (US$60)
Or maybe even less than $30.
As you can imagine, taking the local train from Kyoto to Hiroshima will be a LOT slower compared to taking the bullet train.
Remember that the bullet train takes around 2 hours to get to Hiroshima from Kyoto.
But if you’re not short on time and you’re trying to save a little bit of extra money, this is an option you can consider.
Kyoto to Hiroshima by local train:
- 3 different trains, so 2 transfers
- Train #1: 2 hours (Kyoto to Aioi Hyogo)
- Train #2: 1 hour 10 minutes (Aioi Hyogo to Okayama)
- Train #3: 2 hours 50 minutes (Okayama to Hiroshima)
- Total time from start to finish including transfer time: Around 6 hours
This is NOT the only route available. But this is just to give you an idea of what it may take to go for the cheaper train option.
Depending on the time you leave, you could be looking at 2-3 train transfers, and it may take longer than 6 hours.
Now, what is this $30 ticket price for Kyoto to Hiroshima?!
This is for people traveling in a group.
It’s said to only be for a limited time, but there is a “seishun 18” day pass.
You can use this for unlimited train rides on JR trains that are local trains and rapid trains. You can’t use it on shinkansen trains, and you can’t use it on JR trains that require a seat reservation.
The other “catch” is that you need to buy a pack of 5 train tickets. It’s actually sold as a ticket package of “5 days worth of travel.” So you can think of this as 5 separate day passes.
The seishun 18 pass costs 11,850 yen (US$105).
Even if you don’t use of all 5 of the train tickets, it can work out to be cheaper to buy the pack if you’re traveling in a group.
- For a family of 5, this works out to around $21 each
- For a family of 4, this works out to around $25 each with 1 extra unused ticket
- If you’re a group of 3, this works out to around $35 each, with 2 unused tickets
You can check here to see if the seishun 18 pass is currently available and for additional details. You’ll buy this pass once you’re in Japan at JR ticket offices.
Public transportation apps to download before your trip to Japan:
- Google Maps
- Navitime for Japan Travel
Have these apps on your phone and you’ll become a pro in no time at navigating public transportation in Japan!
When you’re ready to head to Hiroshima, use your current location to figure out exactly how to get to Hiroshima!
Top tips for using Navitime to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima
- To search shinkansen timings for a JR pass, see the option “tourist pass”
- To search local trains only, unclick the following under search options: shinkansen, added-fare trains, city bus
Things not to miss at Hiroshima Peace Park
Okay, so now that you have a better idea of how to get to Hiroshima, next up!
Here are some of the top things to see at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park:
1. Atomic bomb dome ruins
2. Peace memorial museum
3. Children’s peace monument
Plan your trip to the Hiroshima peace park
For more details on Hiroshima itinerary planning, be sure to see these details for what not to miss with a visit to the Hiroshima peace park.
Another place not to miss when you’re in Hiroshima: Miyajima
Miyajima is about an hour away from Hiroshima, and it’s considered to offer the top 3 most scenic views in Japan.
Here are some of the top things to do on Miyajima island:
2. Visit to Daisho-in Temple
3. See the floating torii at high tide
Plan your trip to Miyajima
You can make it a day trip to Miyajima from Hiroshima by following this one day Miyajima itinerary.
There is also a direct ferry to Miyajima from the Hiroshima peace park if you’re looking to combine Hiroshima and Miyajima in one day.
HAPPY KYOTO TO HIROSHIMA PLANNING!
Plan out your time in Hiroshima!
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
Among the top 3 things people get specific for a trip to Japan
- JR pass for quick and easy long distance train travel (see price here and see here how to calculate train routes to figure out it's worth it for you)
- Pocket wifi to make travel in Japan easier (see price here)
- Travel insurance for natural disasters just in case especially for travel disruptions (see price here and see here for past natural disaster that affected foreigners)