As a stop on the San’yo Shinkansen line, Himeji Station is quick and easy to reach from nearby cities including Osaka, Kobe and Hiroshima while multiple limited express services run to multiple regional destinations. On this page you will find the following information:
Most famous for its castle – considered the most beautiful in Japan and a World Heritage site – Himeji can be enjoyed as a day-trip or overnight stay with the mountain temple complex of Mount Shosha also should not be overlooked.
It is important to note that this page is intended for international visitors who will primarily be interested in using the shinkansen and does not include complete information about all services and facilities at the station.
TRAIN LINES / SERVICES TO HIMEJI STATION
Himeji is serviced by multiple lines of which the San’yo Shinkansen and several limited express services will be of most interest to international visitors:
Running from Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station (Fukuoka), the San’yo Shinkansen offers the most convenient route to Himeji and other destinations in western Japan. Multiple services run along the line, of which the ‘Nozomi’ and ‘Mizuho’ are the fastest but often do not stop at Himeji. For holders of the Japan Rail (JR) Pass, it’s also important to note that those two services are not covered however any of the other services running on the line – including the ‘Sakura’, ‘Hikari’ and ‘Kodama’ – can be used at no additional charge. Stops on the line include:
Shin-Osaka / Shin-Kobe / Nishi-Akashi / Himeji / Aioi / Okayama / Shin-Kurashiki / Fukuyama / Shin-Onomichi / Mihara / Higashi-Hiroshima / Hiroshima / Shin-Iwakuni / Tokyuama / Shin-Yamaguchi / Asa / Shin-Shimonoseki / Kokura / Hakata (Fukuoka).
Regular services run to and from Himeji Station every day. The earliest shinkansen services from Himeji bound for Shin-Osaka – a journey of around 30 minutes – depart just after 06:00 with the latest just after 23:00. Services bound for Hakata also start just after 06:30 and run until around 21:00. Services from Shin-Osaka bound for Himeji start from around 06:00 and run until around 23:30, while direct services from Hakata to Himeji operate from around 06:15 until just after 21:00. Shinkansen services operate from Platforms 11 to 13 at Himeji Station.
OTHER TRAIN LINES
Multiple local lines operate to and from the station providing access to many destinations including:
Bantan Line bound for Teramae and Wadayama.
Kishin Line bound for Harima-Shingu and Osaka.
JR Kobe Line bound for Kakogawa, Sannomiya and Osaka.
San’yo Main Line bound for Aioi, Banshu-Ako, Kamigori and Okayama.
A range of limited express services including the ‘Hamakaze’ to Osaka and Kinosaki Onsen, the ‘Super Hakuto’ to Osaka and Tottori and the ‘Sunrise Izumo/Sunrise Seto’ to Shizuoka, Yokohama and Tokyo, along with Takamatsu, Yonago, Matsue and Izumoshi all operate to and from Himeji Station making it easy to get to.
RAIL PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO HIMEJI
There is no escaping the fact that travel using the shinkansen and other rapid services is expensive. Given the speed and distances covered by these trains, travellers should think of them much like taking a flight, with tickets accordingly priced. International visitors to Japan have the option of purchasing one of several passes which allow for limited use of the San’yo Shinkansen along with unlimited use of numerous other services around Japan, including the:
JAPAN RAIL (JR) PASS
Covering all 9 shinkansen lines in Japan and many other train services, the JR Pass is a great option for visitors planning to use the shinkansen more than a handful of times and/or travel large distances. Travelers have the option of 7, 14 and 21-day passes covering either Ordinary or Ordinary and Green Cars. The JR Pass allows for use of the ‘Sakura’, ‘Hikari’ and ‘Kodama’ services on the San’yo Shinkansen line however it does not allow use of the ‘Nozomi’ and ‘Mizuho’ services. These services can be used but you would need to pay the full-fare.
PURCHASING & ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Passes can be purchased via the official website or via a JR-affiliated sales office. Once you completed payment, you will receive an exchange order. This is a proof of payment and looks almost like a flight ticket with your personal details, type of pass, and validity (three months from the date of issue). It is important to note that the exchange order is not your actual pass and will need to be exchanged for your pass once in Japan. Whatever you do, do not lose the exchange order and prioritise exchanging it for your pass when you arrive.
Before using a pass, it must first be exchanged/activated. It is important to note that JR passes cannot be exchanged/activated at Himeji Station. Exchanging/activating the pass can however be done at numerous offices located at airports – including Kansai International Airport in Osaka or Narita Airport and Haneda Airport in Tokyo – and major train stations throughout Japan. If you have the time, we recommend activating your pass while at the airport. Otherwise, passes can also be activated at these stations on the San’yo Shinkansen line: Shin-Osaka Station / Okayama Station / Hiroshima Station / Kokura Station / Hakata Station.
To exchange/activate your pass you will need your exchange order and passport. Make sure you allow adequate time to exchange and activate your pass if you are intending to use it on the same day or do so a day or two before you plan to start using it (you can always nominate a later activation date). Once you have your activated pass you are free to ride however you can’t insert your pass into the ticket gates. Simply walk through the side booth (permanently attended by station staff) and show your pass. You will be waved through and you can make your way to the platform.
HIMEJI CITY TOURIST INFORMATION CENTER
Open daily from 08:30 to 18:30 (closed Dec.29-30), Himeji City Tourist Information Center is located on the first-floor of the station, next to the Himeji Castle / North Exit. English-speaking staff on-hand to assist with any transport, sightseeing and accommodation enquiries. Chinese-speaking are also sometimes on-hand to assist. Free WiFi is available inside.
ACCOMMODATION AROUND HIMEJI STATION
The area surrounding Himeji Station has a good range of accommodation including mid-size, Western-style business hotels. For more information including links to accommodation listings, see our ‘Himeji Station Area ‘ hotel page.
HOW TO GET TO HIMEJI
A convenient stop on the San’yo Shinkansen line, Himeji Station is easy to move to and from with the city’s main attractions within easy reach of the station. Our ‘How to Get to Himeji’ page has everything you need to know about how to get there from starting points including Kobe, Osaka, Tokyo and beyond.
10 THINGS TO DO AROUND HIMEJI & WHERE TO STAY
Only 30 minutes from Osaka using the San’yo Shinkansen, Himeji is home to Japan’s most beautiful and renowned castle – a World Heritage site and without question, the pride of the city. Our ’7 Things to Do Around Himeji & Where to Stay’ page has everything you need to know to get the most out of your visit to the castle while discovering the Himeji’s other attractions and the best places to stay.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Himeji Station and the San’yo Shinkansen are just two parts of Japan’s fantastic rail network. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train is easy and comfortable opening-up all regions of Japan for exploration. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.