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Japan is considered as a premiere tourist destination not just in Asia but also across the globe! Japan offers many astounding views that tourists can enjoy, and two of those places are Osaka and Hiroshima. Let’s take a look how you can maximize your travel from Osaka to Hiroshima.
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Osaka and Hiroshima are significant cities in the Kansai region. Here's why it's worth the trip to both of these okonomiyaki rivals:
Take a look at the largest castle during the Sengoku Period in Japan - the Osaka Castle! Built in 1583 by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a Japanese feudal lord known as the second "Great Unifier", it is one of the must-see landmarks in Osaka because of its architecture and history-rich museum. Don't forget to drop by the Dotonbori Area to experience an all-out Osaka local food cuisine. Try out wide-variety of foods from the famous takoyaki, okonomiyaki, king crabs, and plenty more to eat out your heart's desire. And while you’re there, don't forget to take a pic with the iconic Glico running man! If you want some twist in your itinerary then head to America-mura where East meets West! This is the youthful area in the center of Osaka perfect for fashionistas with its numerous clothing and accessories shops and a lot of clubs perfect for those who want a taste of nightlife in Osaka.
※ Japan Encyclopedia, "Toyotomi Hideyoshi," p.993 ※ Osaka Castle, "History"
The one thing that comes to mind when Hiroshima is mentioned will always be the atomic bomb dropped during the Second World War. You can visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial or the Atomic Bomb Dome to commemorate the symbolism of the dome that continuously fights for the extinction of all nuclear weapons and promote peace all over the world. Take a peaceful stroll around this area where you can also find the Peace Bell, the Children's Peace Monument, the Flame of Peace, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and many more meaningful places. Remember to visit the Carp Castle of Japan, the Hiroshima Castle. Not only will you find its moats filled with carps, but you will also find history restored in this place after its destruction during the bombing of Hiroshima. This castle was built during the Sengoku Period by the feudal lord Mōri Terumoto who belonged to the council of five elders decided by Hideyoshi Toyotomi himself. Now it is a symbol of Hiroshima's past before the Second World War.
So what’s the best way to travel between the two cities?
Want a quick getaway? Don't worry! It only takes 2 hours travel time or less via Shinkansen bullet train! Find the Shin-Osaka Station and from there take the Sanyo Shinkansen Line to Hiroshima Station. You might be confused between the Mizuho, Nozomi, Sakura, and the Hikari shinkansen trains so here's the difference:
If you want to arrive at Hiroshima in about an hour and twenty minutes, then Mizuho and Nozomi's outstanding performance is the way to go. However, both of these aren't covered by the Japan Rail pass so it costs about 10,800 yen for a reserved seat, 9,900 yen for a non-reserved seat.
If you want to take advantage of your JR pass then choose the Sakura or Hikari model which would take you 1 hour and 45 minutes at most or the Kodama model which would take between 2 hours and a half to 3 hours depending on the time of day. Without a JR pass, a reserved seat costs around 10,600 yen.
There are online bookings available for hassle-free travel or purchase tickets at any JR station. These rates and approximate travel time were accurate at the time of publication.
Or maybe if you have the time and want to experience a regular train commute in Japan at a cheaper cost then Japan's local trains are your good options! It would take about 6 hours worth of commute and 2 or 3 line transfers so don't get lost with all confusing train lines. It would cost you around 6,000 yen minimum for a regular fare but it could cost only 2,410 yen per day if you use the Seishun 18 Kippu or the Youthful 18 ticket, available on school holiday seasons three times a year. It costs 12,050 yen for a ticket, but you can use it up to 5 days or share it with 4 other people for one day. You can always purchase tickets at most JR stations but remember to check the schedule as well as when it’s on sale before trying it out!
※ JR East Japan Railway Company, “Seishun 18”
Although Japan is famous for its fast-tracked bullet trains, you might also be intrigued by the Japanese bus system. A lot of bus companies in Japan operate during the day and night from Osaka to Hiroshima and vice-versa. A bus from Willer Express for example, can take up to 6 hours travel and one-way fares can cost from 3,000 to 8,000 yen depending on the bus type and travel date.
※ Willer Express, "Hiroshima Bus Route"
Another bus option is the JR bus from Osaka Station. Just go to the JR Express Bus Terminal and a daytime trip takes around 5 to 6 hours hours and can cost as cheap as 4,500 yen up to about 8,000 yen depending on your chosen service and time. However, JR buses aren't covered by the JR Pass so take note of that. Or maybe you're looking to save time and hotel costs? Then sleep soundly on the way to Hiroshima using an overnight bus! Plenty of time to doze off after a whole day trip around Osaka and just in time to enjoy a good morning at Hiroshima! Take a look at your options at Japan Expressway Bus Net.
A single day trip from Osaka to Hiroshima may seem too overwhelming considering all of the Instagram-worthy backdrops, mouth-watering dishes and unique destinations that you can find there. It wouldn't justify all the wonders that make up years of both its history. To make your Osaka-Hiroshima vacation worth in your lifetime, grab your Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass now!
What are its benefits? Enjoy those Instagram-worthy backdrops, mouth-watering dishes and unique destinations all you want without feeling pressed for the time of your next train or bus! The Kansai-Hiroshima Pass gives you unlimited ride coverage not only all over the Kansai area and Hiroshima, but also to Okayama, Takamatsu, Kinosaikonsen, Amanohashidate, Tottori, Kishi, Shirahama, Kii-Katsuura and even for Kyoto! Yes, you can kill three birds with one stone with this rail pass. Through this pass, you can finally see not only Hiroshima and Osaka Castle but even Kyoto's historic Nijo Castle.
You can use the Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass for boarding non-reserved seats in either of the Hello Kitty Shinkansen and the Sanyo Shinkansen that goes between Shin-Osaka and Hiroshima. It could also be used for express trains such as the Haruka, Kounotori, Kuroshio, Thunderbird, and the Super Hakuto which goes between Kyoto and Kamigori but an additional fare would be given for the Super Hakuto and Super Inaba that goes between Kamigori and Tottori. This pass can be applied for Rapid Services, Special Rapid Services as well as local trains that are covered by the JR-West conventional lines. It also covers buses within the valid bus routes that are covered by the West Japan JR Bus. You can even use this pass for boarding the JR-West Miyajima Ferry that goes between Miyajimaguchi and Miyajima. If you would like reserved seats, there are Limited Express Reserved Seats available at JR-West Ticket Offices and other location offices.
The Kansai-Hiroshima Pass has a five (5) day validity period and it is available for both adults and children. You can purchase directly at the JR-West Online Train reservation site where an adult pass costs 14,500 yen and a child pass costs 7,250 yen respectively. (If one would purchase this from the JR-West station ticket counter, an adult pass would cost an additional 200 yen while the child pass would cost 100 yen more meaning it’s cheaper to reserve it online. Or you can purchase one from a selected travel agent overseas to get an adult pass at 13,700 yen and a child pass at 6,850 yen.)
You can only avail yourself of this rail pass if you have a passport issued by a foreign government. You need to identify as a Temporary Visitor (basically a tourist) when you enter the country so that you could utilize your rail pass. Reservations must be done a month prior to your boarding date. The Kansai-Hiroshima Pass can be used for the whole year and is valid for continuous days.
※ West Japan Railway Company, "Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass Information"
A well-planned and worry-free trip is better than a simple quick getaway. Impulsively deciding on a vacation could make you lose all of the hidden gems that Hiroshima and Osaka can offer but with the Kansai-Hiroshima Pass, you can go all-out with the destinations and sight-seeings you've been imagining and drooling over on the Internet. Use this chance to discover more about Hiroshima and what was the first known capital of Japan, Osaka. (And you can even add Kyoto on your list as well!) Remember to always practice basic Japanese conversation skills, brush up on Japanese do's and don'ts when travelling and always respect and preserve anything that you would encounter on your trip as a way of truly appreciating the Japanese culture and history. Do not be afraid to travel more ways than one by trying the Shinkansen or the bullet train, all the Express and local trains, daytime and overnight buses and even the ferries if you're feeling luxurious so that you can experience more of Japan. Remember: a life well-spent is a life well-traveled.
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