Hiroshima station guide. How to change the trains, Shinkansen and local train to Miyajima. How to catch tram and loop bus Meipuru-pu.

Overview of Hiroshima station south side (C) Taisyo [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.1 jp ], via Wikimedia Commons
Overview of Hiroshima station south side (C) Taisyo [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.1 jp ], via Wikimedia Commons

Hiroshima is one of most popular places to visit in Japan. Many of you use Hiroshima station to visit not only Hiroshima but also Miyajima and Iwakuni.

In this post, I would like to explain about Hiroshima station’s structures with many photos. And I will also explain you to transfer to the local train to Miyajima and Iwakuni, streetcar to downtown and how to catch tourist loop bus.

Hiroshima station overview

Local train at track #1
Local train at track #1

Hiroshima station is very accessible from Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Hakata. Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen connects these cities directly or one transfer. There is no express trains to arrive and depart at Hiroshima station other than Shinkansen. Only rapid and local trains arrive and depart at Hiroshima station. These trains are basically local commute trains. Please see the list below to find the trains to arrive and depart at Hiroshima station:

  • Sanyo Shinkansen to/from Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Hakata
  • Sanyo line to/from Miyajimaguchi (Miyajima), Iwakuni, Okayama, Onomichi, Mihara
  • Kabe line to/from Kabe
  • Kure line to/from Kure, Hiro
  • Geibi line to/from Miyoshi, Shimofukakawa

Hiroshima station structure, tracks and platforms

Walkway in the bridge connects all platforms.
Walkway in the bridge connects all platforms.

Before I start to explain, please see the link below. Unfortunately English map is not available. JR Wast provides the station map in Japanese only in the following link. It is in Japanese but it may help you to see what Hiroshima station looks like:

JR West official site, Hiroshima station map (Japanese)

Hiroshima station is three levels structure. On the ground level, there are conventional lines platforms. Shinkansen platforms are located on third level.

These platforms are connected by the bridge at the second level. And all conventional platforms are connected by underground path too.

Departure information board at Shinkansen transfer gate
Departure information board at Shinkansen transfer gate

Platforms

Track# Lines/Trains Destination
1 Local train on Sanyo line, westbound Miyajimaguchi, Iwakuni
Local on Kabe line
*peal hour departure only
Kabe
2 Rapid train on Sanyo line, westbound Miyajimaguchi, Iwakuni
Local on Kabe line
*peal hour departure only
Kabe
3,4 Local and Rapid on Sanyo line, westbound
*weekday morning peak hour and a few rapid trains departure only
Miyajimaguchi, Iwakuni
Local on Kabe line Kabe
Local and Rapid on Kure line Kure, Hiro
Local and Rapid on Sanyo line, eastbound
*late night departure only
Saijo, Mihara
5,7 Local and Rapid on Sanyo line, eastbound Saijo, Mihara
Local and Rapid on Kure line Kure, Hiro
8,9 Local and Rapid on Geibi line
*mostly departure from track #9
Shimofukawa, Miyoshi
11,12 Sanyo-Kyushu Shinkansen Hakata, Kumamoto, Kagoshima-Chuo
13,14 Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo

Hiroshima station does not have many tracks. It is easy to find the platforms and tracks. Most of you take Shinkansen and conventional train to Miyajimaguchi and Iwakuni. Miyajimaguchi is the gateway to world famous, Miyajima.

How to access to Miyajima from Hiroshima

Most of trains to Miyajimaguchi and Iwakuni depart from track #1. It is located beside south ticket gate.

As you see, there are four tracks, #11 to #14, and two platforms for Shinkansen.

Shinkansen platforms
Shinkansen platforms
Signage near Shinkansen ticket gate
Signage near Shinkansen ticket gate

It has only two directions, westbound (Hakata, Kagoshima) or eastbound (Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo). Please make sure which direction you will go before proceeding the platform.

Ticket gate/Exit

South ticket gate from outside. Track #1 is seen just behind the ticket gate.
South ticket gate from outside. Track #1 is seen just behind the ticket gate.

There are six ticket gates and one Shinkansen transfer gate in Hiroshima station.

At south side, there are three ticket gates. South gate is the primary ticket gate of Hiroshima station. It faces a part of downtown Hiroshima. Streetcar and many of city bus services depart from south side. One of three gates is located at underground path that is called Underground south gate. The last gate at south side is called “Asse gate”. This is located at the south end of the bridge. It is connected to third floor of the shopping complex in the station building, “Asse”.

At north side, there are three ticket gates as well. Two of three gates are located at second floor. Those are called “Shinkansen ticket gate” and “Conventional ticket gate”.

Shinkansen ticket gate (left) and Conventional line gate (right)
Shinkansen ticket gate (left) and Conventional line gate (right)

Those are not called “North” gate. Each gate is connected to conventional line platforms and Shinkansen platforms. The last one of three gates is located on the ground floor and it connects to underground path. This gate is called Underground north gate.

And there is Shinkansen transfer gate inside ticket gate. This gate divide into bridge inside ticket gates, conventional lines part and Shinkansen part. You will go through this gate when you change Shinkansen and conventional trains.

Shinkansen transfer gate
Shinkansen transfer gate

As you read, Hiroshima station has two sides at south and north. Both side have the station building and there are many shops and restaurants. But south side is much busier. If you want to go through Hiroshima station to access to other side without ticket, there is the underground public path.

Public underground path. This is a different underground path from the path to connect platforms.
Public underground path. This is a different underground path from the path to connect platforms.

You can use this path to get other side of station.

Hiroshima Dentetsu (a.k.a. Hiroshima Electric Railway or “Hiroden”), Hiroshima station

Hiroshima Electric Railway, Hiroshima-eki station
Hiroshima Electric Railway, Hiroshima-eki station

Hiroshima Dentetsu is officially called Hiroshima Electric Railway. But local residents call this train company, Hiroshima Dentetsu or “Hiroden” (HIROshima + DENtetsu).

This train company is a local private railway lines and operate many of streetcars in Hiroshima. Any of JR deals, such as JR Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass or Sanyo Sanin Area Pass do not cover this train. But this train company offers one day pass. Please find more information at the link below:

Hiroshima Electric Railway, Economical Ticket

This streetcar connects most part of downtown Hiroshima, such as Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Hondori that is downtown core of Hiroshima and Miyajimaguchi. Miyajimaguchi is, as you probably know, the gateway to World Heritage Site, Miyajima. You can get the ferry from there. You may take JR train to get Miyajimaguchi too.

Station structure, ticket gate and platform

2016-winter-japan-trip-058

This is a tram station. There is no ticket gates but there is Hiroden Information booth. If you want to use day pass, you can purchase it at this booth. You also can buy it in the streetcar.

If you use single fare, you can pay in the tram basically. But in peak hours, some staff take care of passengers at the station. You can pay the fare to the station staff.

Interior of Hiroden tram
Interior of Hiroden tram

Buy the way, this tram station is located in front of JR Hiroshima station. In Japanese, this station is called “Hiroshima-eki station”. That means Hiroshima-station station. When you use timetable search engine, “Hyperdia”, you will find “Hiroshima” and “Hiroshima station”. Hiroshima is JR Hiroshima station and Hiroshima Station is Hiroden’s station. It may make you be confused. Please keep it in your mind if you search the timetable at Hyperdia.

Tourist Loop Bus, Meipuru-pu bus stop

JR tourist loop bus Meipuru-pu
JR tourist loop bus Meipuru-pu

As I explained, south side is the primary place of Hiroshima station and there are many bus stops. But the tourist loop bus Meipuru-pu depart from north side.

JR Bus Meipuru-pu official site

Meipuru-pu has very common city bus accommodation.
Meipuru-pu has very common city bus accommodation.

This bus connects most of tourist spots, such as Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Hondori, Hiroshima Castle. It is very convenient service for overseas tourists. And also if you are JR pass user, this bus service is fully covered. Please be careful that other JR deals, like Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass, Sanyo Sanin Area Pass do not cover this bus. However one day ticket is only 400 yen. Single fare is 200 yen. If you ride this bus twice, it is paid off. If you want to visit many places in downtown Hiroshima, day pass is highly recommended.

I hope this post will assist you to make a plan to visit Nagano.

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