Hierarchical TiO2-CuInS2 core-shell nanoarrays were fabricated directly on conducting glass substrates (FTO) via facile and low-cost hydrothermal and polyol reduction methods for photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting using TiO2 branched nanorod arrays (BNRs) as the reactive framework. An enhanced optical property of the core-shell structure was discovered. Firstly, TiO2 BNRs-CuS core-shell structure was synthesized through successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR). Subsequently, TiO2 BNRs-CuInS2 core-shell structure was derived from TiO2 BNRs-CuS core-shell structure. On the basis of optimal thickness of the CuInS2 shell, such a TiO2 BNRs-CuInS2 core-shell structure exhibits higher photocatalytic activity, the photocurrent density and efficiency for hydrogen generation are up to 19.07 mA cm-2 and 11.48%, respectively, which are probably because of the improved absorption efficiency and the appropriate gradient energy gap structure. The TiO2 BNRs-CuInS2 core-shell structure can be promising building blocks in photoelectrochemical water splitting systems.