Exploring Hiroshima

Vol.08 Means of transportation in Hiroshima city
Let’s Ride the Streetcars and Buses in Hiroshima

With bus and streetcar routes running across the city and the prefecture as a whole, the network is often the cheapest and most efficient way to move around Hiroshima.

Quaint Old Streetcars

For commuters, it’s one of the most convenient ways to travel around Hiroshima and is known as the “museum that moves.”
Keep an eye out for some special streetcar carriages during your travels around Hiroshima. The 651 and 652 carriages both survived the atomic bombing in 1945 and still run today.

The two streetcars that survived the atomic bomb

The two streetcars that survived the atomic bomb

The inside of the historic streetcar 651

The inside of the historic streetcar 651

How to Ride the Streetcar (Hiroshima Electric Railway)

Keep in mind you pay as you get off the streetcar, tickets are not sold.

1. Before getting on a streetcar
Confirm that the streetcar is going to your destination.
You can identify the destination of a streetcar by the route number and the sign located in front of the streetcar.

2. Get on the streetcar
Get on the streetcar through the doors marked “Entrance.”

3. Before getting off the streetcar
When you want to get off, push the buzzer by the window when your destination is announced.Streetcars with a conductor have no buzzer, so come to the exit door directly.

Push when you approach your streetcar stop

Push when you approach your streetcar stop

4. Get off the streetcar
Get off the streetcar through the exit door near the driver or the conductor.
You pay into the fare boxes positioned at the exits, but be careful, they only accept exact change. If you need to break a 1,000 yen note or change a coin, the change machine is on the front of the fare box. Make sure you break notes larger than 1,000 yen before you ride.

The price of one journey inside of Hiroshima city is fixed at 180 yen for adults and 90 yen for children. (For Hakushima Line connecting from the city center Hatchobori to Hakushima, it’s 130 yen for adults and 70 yen for children. Also, the price of Miyajima Line is different. For example, from Hiroshima city to Miyajima-guchi, it’s 280 yen for adults and 140 yen for children.)

The fare box at the front of the streetcar

The fare box at the front of the streetcar

There’s a special Christmas streetcar that runs in December. It has been running every Christmas season since 1991 and Santa hitches a ride on Christmas Eve to give out presents to children.

 This is the special Christmas streetcar

This is the special Christmas streetcar

Riding the Buses

Hiroden’s buses

Hiroden’s buses

Next, we introduce you to the bus services. Not only can you ride the buses in Hiroshima city, but you can also take them to the suburbs; some of the buses run on expressways as well. Nine bus companies operate their services in Hiroshima city. Although their operation areas are different, we now show you how to ride Hiroden’s buses.

Many aspects of riding the buses are similar to riding the streetcars. The only big difference is the route fares change depending on the length of your journey.

When you board the bus through the middle doors, take one of the small paper tickets from the ticket machine. You pay when you get off. The number printed onto the ticket stub shows where you boarded the bus.

If you’re paying by cash, make sure you take this ticket when you board

If you’re paying by cash, make sure you take this ticket when you board

Check your fare using this screen at the front of the bus

Check your fare using this screen at the front of the bus

Push the bell to stop the bus as you approach your destination. You pay and disembark from the front of the bus. Check the number on your ticket with the same number on the screen at the front of the bus and the fare should appear underneath.

The buses come equipped with the same fare box system as the streetcars. Again, they only accept exact fares, so break 1,000 notes or coins in the change machine. If you have notes larger than 1,000 yen, make sure you break them before you board.

Push this bell when you approach your stop

Push this bell when you approach your stop

This fare box only accepts exact change

This fare box only accepts exact change

Special Passes

Hiroden offer some discounted passes to make their transports even more affordable. For the streetcars, you can purchase a one day pass for 600 yen (300 yen for children) or a one day pass including the ferry to Miyajima for 840 yen (420 yen for children). You can buy them from the driver or the conductor, or at hotels and information centers around Hiroshima.
Find out more information here.

If you prefer a more comprehensive pass, look to the Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass. It’s an unlimited boarding and disembarking pass within the designated routes for foreign visitors to use a bus on major routes within Hiroshima prefecture, an express route bus, streetcar on all lines, and Ferry (Miyajima sea lane). There are several types of passes depending on the usage period and area, so you can choose the one that suits your itinerary.
Find out more information here.

 Left: Hiroden 1 Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass (All Hiroden streetcar lines & ferries from Miyajima-guchi to Miyajima) and 1 Day Streetcar Pass ​Right: Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass

Left: Hiroden 1 Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass (All Hiroden streetcar lines & ferries from Miyajima-guchi to Miyajima) and 1 Day Streetcar Pass
​Right: Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass

Main Transportation in Hiroshima City


Words & Photography by Tom Miyagawa Coulton (Visited in December 2017)

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