As Japan’s capital and major transportation hub, Tokyo makes an ideal base for exploring the nation by its excellent network of some of the world’s fastest trains. From Kyoto to Hiroshima, here are popular destinations you can visit by train.
Kyoto — 2 hours and 50 minutes from Tokyo
Those with limited time in Japan who don’t want to miss the sights of Kyoto can zoom there and back on a day trip by rail from Tokyo. This culturally rich city also serves as a first stop on many multi-day tours of the country, with high-speed trains departing from Kyoto Station to other points of interest.
Mt. Fuji — 2 hours and 20 minutes from Tokyo
While there’s no Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji, a number of nearby stops offer connections to various areas on the mountain via bus service. It’s possible to get off at stops along the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train line to transfer to local buses that continue on to Mt. Fuji. Alternatively, some travelers head to the famous peak, along with Hakone, Lake Ashi and Mt. Komagatake, by coach and continue on to Kyoto via bullet train.
Hiroshima — 1 hour and 40 minutes from Kyoto
If you have a few days to spare outside of Tokyo, consider continuing your high-speed train journey from Kyoto on to Hiroshima. Touring this city offers sober insight into the aftermath of the Aug. 6, 1945, bombings.
Nara — 2 hours and 20 minutes from Kyoto
Nara, another destination often visited by bullet train from Tokyo by way of Kyoto, was Japan’s first permanent capital. It’s home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wealth of pagodas, temples, and Buddhist shrines.
Nagano — 1.5 hours from Tokyo
Nagano, home of the famous snow monkeys, is also known for its natural hot springs, snow skiing in winter, and summer alpine hiking.