Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Best Guide to How to Get to Hirosaki by Public Transport

Hirosaki is one of the most popular destinations in Aomori Prefecture. Especially during the cherry blossom season from mid-April to the beginning of May, more than two hundred thousand people would visit the city in the north. So, if Hirosaki is on your itinerary for your upcoming Japan trip, read on for how to travel to Hirosaki!

Table of Contents

How to Get to Hirosaki from Aomori/Shin-Aomori Station

By Train:

  • Take the limited express – Tsugaru (つがる) to get to JR Hirosaki Station.
  • You can also take the local train from Shin-Aomori Station to Hirosaki. It will just take a little bit longer than the limited express.

If you plan to take the limited express or the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami, find your carriage’s indicator at the platform.

When we visited Hirosaki, the indicators were hung in the air instead of on the ground. 

During the cherry blossom season, Hirosaki Sakuramatsuri Limited Express might be operating. It is another option for getting to Hirosaki.

Tips:
☛ Sit on the right-hand side when you are on the local train from Aomori to Hirosaki. You can see the magnificent Mt. Iwaki between Kawabe (川部駅) and Hirosaki Station.
☛ Reserve your tickets in advance if you plan to take the limited express to Hirosaki during the peak season. Purchasing a reserved ticket shortly before the train departs usually means no seats left for you to book.

How Much Does It Cost and Take to Get to Hirosaki from Aomori/Shin-Aomori Station

  • If you take the local Ōu Line, it costs 680 yen, and takes 45 minutes to get to Hirosaki from Aomori Station.
    • From Shin-Aomori Station, it costs 590 yen to get to Hirosaki by Ōu Line.
  • If you take the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami, it costs 1,520 yen, and takes 34 minutes to get to Hirosaki from Aomori Station.
    • From Shin-Aomori Station, it costs 1,430 yen to get to Hirosaki by Resort Shirakami.
  • The limited express, Tsugaru, costs 1,530 yen, and takes 34 minutes to get to Hirosaki from Aomori Station.
    • From Shin-Aomori Station, it costs 1,440 yen to get to Hirosaki by Tsugaru.

How to Get to Hirosaki from Tokyo

By Train:

  • From Tokyo Station (東京駅), take the bullet train, Hayabusa or Hayate (はやぶさ・はやて), to Shin-Aomori Station (新青森駅). From Shin-Aomori Station, change to the limited express or local train to Hirosaki.
    • The whole trip without waiting time should take around 4 hours if you take the limited express.
    • It costs 17,800 yen if you take the bullet train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori and change for the local Ōu Line. If you take the bullet train from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori and change for the limited express, Tsugaru, it costs 18,650 yen.

Tips:
☛ If you plan to take a bullet train from Tokyo to Aomori, refer to our article on The Best Seats on the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Hokkaidō for which side of the train has a better view!
☛ Sit on the right-hand side when you are on the local train from Aomori to Hirosaki.

By Airplane + Bus:

  • You will need to get to either Haneda Airport (羽田空港) or Narita Airport (成田空港). From there, fly to Aomori Airport (青森空港) and then change for the airport connection bus to Hirosaki Bus Terminal (弘前バスタミナール). The bus trip should take you around an hour without traffic jams. Depending on which airport you are flying from, your time on the airplane shouldn’t exceed 1.5 hours.
    • The bus service running between Aomori Airport and Hirosaki is by Kōnan Bus (弘南バス). When you arrive at Aomori Airport, head to bus stop no. 1 (if you are heading to the Aomori Airport from Hirosaki, head to bus stop no. 5).
    • This one-hour bus journey will cost you 1,200 yen (600 yen for kids between 6 and 12 years old). There is currently no discount offered for return trip tickets.
    • For the bus timetable, please refer to Kōnan Bus’s website HERE.
      • Hirosaki Station = 弘前駅
      • Aomori Airport = 青森空港
      • If you need assistance interpreting the timetable, please contact us HERE, and we will get back to you.

By Bus:

  • There are quite a few places from Tokyo where you can catch a direct bus to Hirosaki. It will take you between 9 to 9.5 hours to get to Hirosaki.

How to Get to Hirosaki from Akita and Other Parts of Aomori Prefecture

By Train:

  • From Akita Station (秋田駅), take the JR Ōu Main Line (奥羽本線) bound for Hirosaki and get off at Hirosaki.
    • It takes around 2.5 hours to get to Hirosaki by taking the Ōu Main Line, and costs 2,640 yen.
  • A faster way to get to Hirosaki from Akita Station is by taking the limited express, Tsugaru.
    • It takes around 2 hours to to get to Hirosaki by taking the limited express, Tsugaru, and costs 4,330 yen.
  • You can also take the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami, from Akita Station or one of the stations along the route.
    • It takes 5 hours to get to Hirosaki by taking Resort Shirakami, and costs 4,910 yen.

How to Get to Hirosaki from the Kansai Region, Including Osaka and Kyoto

By Train:

From Shin-Osaka Station (新大阪), take the bullet train Nozomi (のぞみ) to JR Tokyo Station. From there, refer to the top of how to get to Hirosaki from Tokyo! Going from Osaka to Tokyo will only take 2.5 hours if you take Nozomi.

By Airplane + Bus:

From any airport in Osaka, flying to Aomori Airport should take around 1.5 hours. Then refer to the above for how to get to Hirosaki with an airport connection bus.

How to Get to Hirosaki from Other Parts of Japan

The public transportation you can take to get to Hirosaki is more or less the same as from Tokyo or the Kansai region. You will either need to get to Aomori Airport or Shin-Aomori Station and change to the local train/bus.

Use one of the Japan Transport Apps to map out the best route to get to Hirosaki.

A List of JR Passes that Covers Aomori Prefecture

Below is a list of JR passes covering Aomori Prefecture and other regions. Please keep in mind that depending on your itinerary, a JR pass may or may not be worthwhile for your trip. You can estimate the transportation cost using one of Japan’s Transport Apps and compare the total price to a JR pass.

Tip: During the cherry blossom season, the local trains to and from Hirosaki are packed. If you have one of the JR Passes that covers Aomori Prefecture, reserve your seats on one of the limited express or the sightseeing train, Resort Shirakami.

Explore Hirosaki

As one of the best destinations in Japan’s Tōhoku Region, Hirosaki has many charms. Whether it is historical buildings, cultural properties, or natural attractions, the city has a little bit of almost everything!

So, find out more of our other recommended spots around the park with our Hirosaki City article!

Hirosaki-Castle-Aomori-Japan
Click the photo to find out about other awesome attractions in Hirosaki!

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