How to Get to Himeji
Running from Shin-Osaka Station to Hakata Station in Fukuoka, the San’yo Shinkansen includes a stop at Himeji Station, making it quick and easy to get to. On this page you will find the following information:
Himeji can be enjoyed as a daytrip from Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto or Hiroshima or as an overnight visit staying at a hotel around the station. The city is most famous for its iconic castle – considered the most beautiful in Japan – along with the mountain temple complex of Shoshazan Engyo-ji. While there isn’t enough in the city to keep you entertained for more than a day, Himeji is well-worth visiting if only to see the castle and can be easily incorporated into an itinerary including other destinations in western Japan.
The following information is intended for international visitors, most of whom will have a Japan Rail (JR) Pass. For that reason, this page focuses on train travel and only uses buses in the absence of a good option to use the train network. Most but not all services are covered by the full JR Pass. Let’s start with the obvious question:
WHERE IS HIMEJI?
Himeji is a small city in Hyogo Prefecture in the Chugoku region of western Japan. Kobe is the nearest major city – around 60km to the east of Himeji Station – with Osaka also located to the east – around 95km from Himeji. To the west, Okayama is also around 95km from Himeji while Hiroshima sits around 240km to the west. Himeji along with all of the cities mentioned – Osaka, Kobe, Okayama and Hiroshima – are stops on the San’yo Shinkansen line making them quick and easy to move between. Most visitors heading to Himeji will do so as a daytrip or overnight visit, before moving onto their next destination.
HOW TO GET TO HIMEJI
In this section you will find information how to reach Himeji from the following starting points:
We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and in recognition that most international visitors will be using the train network to move around Japan, most directions are for using the trains. If there is alternative option i.e. express or local bus, that is notably faster or economical, we also include that information.
FROM KOBE / between 15 to 40 minutes
Himeji Station is a stop on the San’yo Shinkansen line, making it quick and easy to reach from Kobe. Regular services throughout the day run between Shin-Kobe Station and Himeji Station, taking 15 to 25 minutes / JPY2750. Alternatively, rapid services running on a standard rail line take around 35 minutes / JPY990 from Kobe Station and 40 minutes / JPY990 from JR Sannomiya Station to reach Himeji.
FROM OSAKA / between 30 to 60 minutes
Reaching Himeji from Osaka is also quick and easy. The San’yo Shinkansen runs from Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji Station – 30 minutes / JPY3280 – with frequent services throughout the day. Alternatively, rapid and local services run from Osaka Station to Himeji Station, taking 60 minutes.
FROM KANSAI AIRPORT / 95 to 120 minutes*
The easiest way to reach Himeji by train from Kansai International Airport is to take the Limited Express ‘Haruka’ to Shin-Osaka Station – 50 minutes – and then switch to the San’yo Shinkansen bound for Himeji – a total journey time of 95 minutes / JPY5110. Alternatively, you can take local lines to reach Shin-Osaka Station however they take around 30 minutes longer and require multiple transfers. For that reason, we recommend using the service above using the Limited Express ‘Haruka’.
*this journey can be notably longer depending on your transfer time and the services running from Shin-Osaka Station.
FROM KYOTO / 45 to 90 minutes
Kyoto Station is a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen line, allowing travellers to use direct services from Kyoto to Himeji Station. Regular services run throughout the day, connecting the two stations in around 45 minutes / JPY4840. Alternatively, you can use the JR Special Rapid Service to reach Himeji from Kyoto via Osaka Station. This option takes around 90 minutes / JPY2310.
FROM HIROSHIMA / between 60 to 90 minutes
From Hiroshima Station, services on the San’yo Shinkansen line take between 60 to 90 minutes to reach Himeji (depending on which service you choose) / JPY7910. There are regular services throughout the day.
FROM NAGOYA / between 80 to 95 minutes
Nagoya is a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen line. Services from Nagoya Station run regularly throughout the day, taking around 80 to 95 minutes / JPY8240 to reach Himeji Station – noting that some services require you to transfer at Shin-Osaka Station or Shin-Kobe Station.
FROM TOKYO / between 175 to 220 minutes
As the terminus of the Tokaido Shinkansen line, Tokyo Station is a convenient starting point from where to reach Himeji. Frequent services depart Tokyo throughout the day, taking 175 to 220 minutes / JPY15,400 to reach Himeji Station – noting that some services require you to transfer at Shin-Osaka Station or Shin-Kobe Station.
FROM NARITA AIRPORT / approx. 250 minutes
From Narita Airport, you can take either the Narita Express (NEX) to Tokyo Station or the Keisei Skyliner to Nippori and switch to a local line to reach Tokyo Station. Once there, transfer to a shinkansen service bound for Himeji. The total journey takes around 250 minutes and costs around JPY18,000 – noting that while the NEX and shinkansen services are covered by the JR Pass, the Keisei Skyliner is not.
FROM HANEDA AIRPORT / approx. 220 minutes
From Haneda Airport, take the Keikyu Main / Airport Line Rapid service to Shinagawa Station – a journey of only 15 minutes – and then switch to the shinkansen bound for Himeji Station – a total journey time of around 220 minutes / JPY15,700.
FROM NAGANO / approx. 275 to 295 minutes
When heading to Kobe from Nagano Station, you can do so via Nagoya or Tokyo. To do so via Nagoya, take the Limited Express ‘Shinano’ from Nagano to Nagoya Station and switch to a shinkansen service bound for Himeji Station – a total journey time of around 275 minutes / JPY13,910. Alternatively, to do so via Tokyo, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Nagano to Tokyo Station and switch shinkansen services to one bound for Himeji – approx. 285 to 295 minutes / JPY20,680.
FROM KANAZAWA / approx. 195 to 210 minutes
From Kanazawa Station, take the Limited Express ‘Thunderbird’ service to Kyoto Station, and once at Kyoto, switch to a shinkansen service bound for Himeji – a total journey of 195 to 210 minutes / JPY9020.
7 THINGS TO DO AROUND HIMEJI & WHERE TO STAY
If you’re considering heading to Himeji then it’s almost certainly the city’s famous castle that is tempting you to visit. As Japan’s largest and best-preserved original castle, Himeji is also considered the most beautiful and is well-worth making the effort to get there. Our ‘7 Things to Do Around Himeji & Where to Stay’ page lists the best attractions in the city and nearby areas, along with the best areas to stay while there.
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Heading to Himeji using the rail system is quick, easy and comfortable. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train opens-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.