Friday, February 24, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Hiroshima JR Station 広島駅, Hiroshima Electric Railway 広島電鉄電車

Hiroshima JR Station (広島駅)  is a major train station on Sanyo Shinkansen line (山陽新幹線) and Sanyo main line. Hiroshima is the most populated and developed city in Chugoku region. Hiroshima is also home to the baseball team, Hiroshima Toyo Carp (広島東洋カープ) and their base is at Mazada Zoom Zoom Stadium, which takes about 10 minutes to walk to from the train station. I could still remember vividly when we first visited Hiroshima (came here by Setouchi Marine View train on Day 3), we were overwhelmed by crowds of excited fans, all donned in uniform red coloured jersey and holding on to various merchandise at the train station. Realised later that there was a baseball match held on home ground on the day of our visit which explained the exhilarating ambience felt in the town.

Stadium tour! If you are a baseball fan or interested to explore the base camp of Hiroshima Toyo Carp, you will be interested to join the guided tours offered by the stadium on stipulated dates. Currently, there are three courses to choose from, Standard (スタンダード), Backyard (バックヤード) and Ground (グラウンド). The participation fee is 1,000 yen for the Standard course, and 1,500 yen separately for Backyard and Ground course. For people visiting for the first time, the Standard course, which covers areas such as party floor, press room and third bullpen, is recommended. Reservation can be done through the website provided below. Do note that for all the guided tours, the explanation will be carried out in Japanese. This is a place I will want to visit when I am in Hiroshima next time!
Hiroshima Toyo Carp Stadium Tour (in Japanese):

Shinkansen and limited express trains serving Hiroshima JR Station include:
(1) Nozomi, the fastest speed Shinkansen commuting between Tokyo and Hakata, via Okayama and Hiroshima in Chugoku region.
(2) Mizuho, the fastest speed Shinkansen commuting between Shin Osaka and Kagoshima Chuo, via Okayama and Hiroshima in the Chugoku region.
(3) Sakura. This shinkansen commutes between Shin Osaka and Kagoshima Chuo, via Okayama, Fukuyama, Hiroshima and Shin-Yamaguchi in the Chugoku region.
(4) Setouchi Marine Liner (瀬戸内マリンビュー), commutes between Mihara and Hiroshima via Kure line and operates only on weekends and public holidays. 


What's nearby?

(1) Hiroshima Electric Railway 広島電鉄電車 or Hiroden in short, on the South Exit of train station.
Similar to more populated cities, Hiroshima city has its own extensive network of electric tram. There are a total of 9 lines and streetcar 1, 2, 5 and 6 departs from Hiroshima Station.
- Streetcar 1: Hiroshima Ekimae > Hatchobori > Kamiyacho-higashi > Hiroshima Port
- Streetcar 2: Hiroshima Ekimae > Hatchobori > Kamiyacho > Genbaku Dome-mae > Miyajima-guchi
* Not recommended to take streetcar to Miyajima-guchi from Hiroshima Station because duration taken is significantly longer (1 hour) than conventional trains (30 mins).
- Streetcar 5: Hiroshima Ekimae > Hijiyama-shita > Hiroshima Port (32 mins)
- Streetcar 6: Hiroshima Ekimae > Hatchobori > Kamiyacho > Genbaku Dome-mae > Eba

Fare (Between Hiroshima Ekimae and Genbaku Dome-mae, Hiroshima Port): 180 yen
1 day pass = 600 yen
1 day pass (inclusive of Miyajima Matsudai ferry) = 840 yen

(2) Bus stops, on both exits of the train station.
There are a few bus operators in Hiroshima, namely Hiroshima Bus (広島バス), Hiroden (which also operates the electric tram) and JR Chugoku Bus.

South Exit
There are numerous buses operated by Hiroshima Bus and Hiroden which pass by Hatchobori (八丁堀), Kamiyacho (紙屋町), Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム) and Peace Memorial Park departing from the bus stops located in front of South Exit. To name a few:
- Platform 3: Hiroshima Bus 24 for Hatchobori, Kamiyacho, Hondori and Peace Memorial Park (180 yen).
- Platform 6: Hiroshima Bus 25 for Hatchobori, Kamiyacho and Genbaku Dome (180 yen).
- Platform 17: Hiroshima Bus 21 for Mazada Stadium (180 yen).

Shinkansen Exit
- Platform 2 for Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus Meipuru~pu めいぷる~ぷ.
Offered by JR Chugoku Bus, this is a loop service bus which offers visitors a convenient way to explore sightseeing spots within the city. There are a total of three routes (Orange, Green and Lemon), and all three routes pass by Atomic Bomb Dome (原爆ドーム), which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, and Peace Memorial Park. The busiest shopping street/area in the city is at Kamiyacho (紙屋町) and Hondori (本通り). Both are actually located some distance away from the main train station and are accessible via electric tram and loop bus.
  • Orange Route covers Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum (Shukkeien), Hiroshima Castle, Hiroshima Museum of Art, Kamiyacho, Hatchobori and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. I utilised this bus route to get to Hiroshima Castle. 
  • Green Route covers Hatchobori and Oknomi-mura.
  • Lemon Route covers similar route as Orange Route except it does not drop by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art. 
Fare = 200 yen/trip
1 day pass = 400 yen
* Note: For travellers holding on to nationwide Japan Rail Pass, they can board this bus at no additional cost. Ironically, JR West Pass are not accepted on this bus.
Bus schedule:

- Platform 5 for Hiroshima Airport limousine bus service. It takes about an hour to commute between Hiroshima Airport and the train station.
Fare = 1,340 yen
Bus schedule:


Commemorative stamps:

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