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Local Transportation

Local Transportation

Suggested Routes for Popular Destinations

Note: These are all suggestions based off of Hyperdia. Train routes/fares differ depending on date & time.

Hikone to Kyoto, 48 minutes, ¥1,110

  • Hikone—Kyoto (JR Special Rapid Service, ~48 minutes)

Hikone to Osaka, 76 minutes, ¥1,890

  •  Hikone—Kyoto (JR Special Rapid Service, ~48 minutes)

  •  Kyoto—Osaka (JR Special Rapid Service, ~28 minutes)

Hikone to Tokyo, 154 minutes, ¥12,060

  • Hikone—Maibara (JR Biwako Train Line, ~6 minutes)

  • Maibara—Tokyo (Shinkansen Hikari 504, ~145 minutes)

Methods of Transportation

local train
Biwako Line Special Rapid Service

Local trains are ideal for traveling anywhere outside of Hikone. Most train stations in Japan have English signs and directions for international travelers. Ticket machines are relatively easy to use—simply select your destination on the map chart, choose and insert the appropriate amount of money listed, and receive a ticket to be inserted at the gate. Some stations will require a transfer to a different train line which will be indicated on the charts at the station.

A great resource for checking on train fares and schedules is Once you insert a location and time of departure, Hyperdia will calculate the total time, distance, and fare for the best routes to get to your destination (all in English).

For a video tutorial on buying train tickets by machine in Japan, please visit


Tokaido Shinkansen

Bullet trains are the ideal mode of transportation for long distance travel (e.g. Shiga to Tokyo). They also tend to be the most expensive. If you use Hyperdia to plan a long distance trip, a bullet train route will most likely appear with the option of a reserved seat, non-reserved seat, and a green seat (most expensive and luxurious choice). The cars of a shinkansen are divided up by these seats (non-reserved car and reserved car).

Passengers usually receive two pieces of tickets (base fare ticket and supplement ticket) when traveling to any given destination. The standard process for getting on a bullet train is similar to using a local train with one key difference--both shinkansen tickets will need to be inserted at the same time into the gate machine before proceeding to the platform.

For more information regarding shinkansen tickets, please visit

Bicycle parking lot

Bicycling is the main mode of transportation for JCMU students. Most places in the local area accessible by bicycle and train. Each JCMU student is issued a bicycle, helmet, and a bike lock to be used during the program. If you cannot ride a bike, you may find travel to and from the grocery store, train station, and elsewhere difficult.

JCMU students MUST wear a helmet when riding bicycles at all times to ensure safety. If a student is found to be riding a bicycle without a helmet, the bicycle will be taken away for several days which makes traveling away from the Center very difficult. Any damage or lost bike parts will result in a fine.

For more information, check out pages 18-19 in the JCMU Handbook.