I'm going to Japan in May with my girlfriend, we are starting in Tokyo, then heading to Kyoto, Osaka and finishing in Hiroshima.

We are then flying back home from Tokyo 16th May at 8am. We are planning on riding the shinkansen on the 15th in the morning some time from Hiroshima to Tokyo where we will spend the night.

Is this a good idea? Obviously Japanese public transport is famed for its reliability but I can't help but think we are cutting it fine heading back up the day before the flight.

Has anyone got any advice or done a similar journey themselves?

Thanks for any replies!

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    I'm voting to close this question as opinion based as what I think is a good idea might be someone else's opinion of a terrible idea – Uciebila Nov 7 '19 at 15:33
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    I think getting back to Tokyo the day before is the best and stress free solution. – Max Nov 7 '19 at 15:52
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    If your flight from Tokyo leaves 8am and the first train from Hiroshima to Tokyo arrives 10am - it is after all a 4 hour train ride, it is probably not only a 'good idea', but a necessity to travel to Tokyo the day before if you want to catch your flight. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 7 '19 at 15:59
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    You should be fine as long as you're in Tokyo on the 15th. I have done this journey, and went even further to Nagasaki and Sasebo. You can go from Nagasaki to Tokyo in about 8 hours on a Nozomi train and about 4 hours from Hiroshima to Tokyo. If you're spending any time in Hiroshima, I highly suggest taking the girlfriend to Miyajima/Itsukushima island, the most romantic place in Japan. – AussieJoe Nov 7 '19 at 18:39
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    Comment on the close vote: While opinions on "good idea" may differ, objectively there is nothing risky about taking a shinkansen from Hiroshima to Tokyo on the day before your flight and it can easily be done. – averell Nov 8 '19 at 7:33

I have travelled from Fukuoka to Tokyo (and then NRT) on the Shinkansen lines that are available through the Japan Rail Pass. I believe it was the Sakura and Nozomi (layover at Shin-Osaka) trains I took on that trip back.

The journey from Hakata Station to where I was staying in Tokyo (Asakusa) was around 6 hours. Hiroshima is a bit closer to Tokyo than Fukuoka, so the travel time may be less.

I recommend HyperDia for scheduling, it should give you fairly accurate routes with prices. Google Maps is also useful.

I'm not going to specify if it's a good idea to take a train on a day's notice, but you can probably make an informed decision using these resources instead.

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    For the same of exactitude. I want to clarify that Nozomi trains are not included in the Japan Rail Pass. – meego Nov 7 '19 at 16:03
  • Fair enough, I think it might have been a special case since the trains were packed full that time (Golden Week). – Eriol Nov 7 '19 at 16:13
  • @Eriol If it was Golden week there are even less reasons for JR Pass holders to be allowed on the Nozomi’s as Japanese are fully exhausting their limits (although I hear the New Year’s holiday may be worse). I strongly suspect you took a Hikari out of Shin-Osaka; it only takes twenty or thirty minutes longer than a Nozomi and it’s the same trainsets. – Jan Nov 11 '19 at 12:59

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