Sample itinerary of day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto

One of well known places in Japan, World Heritage Site, Miyajima Itsukushima shrine.  ©Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO
One of well known places in Japan, World Heritage Site, Miyajima Itsukushima shrine. ©Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO

Hiroshima and Miyajima are very popular and obviously these are “Big Name”s in Japan. Some of you want to visit these place but you may be hesitating to visit there because of tight schedule.

If you stay in Osaka or Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima can be visited as day trip. If you can stay there for even one night, that is much better. But you may prefer to have “Baggage Free” day trip.

In this post, I show you sample itinerary to visit Hiroshima and Miyajima as day trip.

*The information in this article is current at the time of writing.

From Osaka / Kyoto to Hiroshima

Kyushu Shinkansen Sakura and Mizuho give you direct trainsfer to Shin-Osaka from Kyusyu.
N700 series Shinkansen fleet is used for Mizuho and Sakura.

If you stay in Osaka, get Shin-Osaka station to catch Shinkansen. If you stay in Kyoto, you can catch Shinkansen at Kyoto station.

If you use JR Pass, as probably you know, you cannot take Nozomi and Mizuho. Only Hikari, Sakura and Kodama are covered by JR Pass. But there are a few Hikari that take you to Hiroshima from Kyoto directly. Please check Shinkansen timetable at the link below:

Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen westbound timetable

As of Nov 2014, only these Shinkansen trains go directly Hiroshima from Kyoto.
Hikari 491
Kyoto 07:20 – Shin-Osaka 07:35 – Hiroshima 09:06
Hikari 493
Kyoto 08:02 – Shin-Osaka 08:17 – Hiroshima 10:01
Hikari 495
Kyoto 08:23 – Shin-Osaka 08:39 – Hiroshima 10:44

If you miss these trains, you have to transfer at Shin-Osaka or Okayama.

If you do not use JR Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass is recommended.

Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass. Perfect deal for the traveller who wants travel both Kansai and Hiroshima.

This pass is sold at 13,000 yen. This is cheaper than round trip fare to Hiroshima from Shin-Osaka. But this pass does not cover Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to the east. You cannot take Shinknansen from Kyoto. If you stay in Kyoto and intend to use this pass, you have to take Rapid or local train to get Shin-Osaka from Kyoto. Special Rapid train runs every 15 minutes and connects Kyoto and Shin-Osaka in less than 30 minutes.

Most convenient and the fastest train among Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. Special Rapid Service

Trip to Miyajima

You have to visit at low tide if you want to walk around Torii.  	©Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO
You have to visit at low tide if you want to walk around Torii. (C) Hiroshima Prefecture / ©JNTO

If you go to Miyajima first, you need to transfer to local train at Hiroshima station. If you have 10 minutes, you can transfer. Local trains run every 10 to 15 minuted to Miyajimaguchi that is the nearest station to the ferry to Miyajima. And it takes about 30 minutes to get Miyajimaguchi. I have visited Miyajima and wrote about access there from Hiroshima before. Please find more information at the link below:

How to access to Miyajima from Hiroshima by local train. No extra charge for Japan Rail Pass user.

Most of you spend half day in Miyajima and half day in city of Hiroshima. You can visit either Miyajima or Hiroshima at first. But if you want to walk down floating Torii gate at Itsukushima shrine in Miyajima, you visit there at low tide. You can find updated tide table of Miyajima at this fishing site.

You will spend 45 minutes for each way from Hiroshima to Miyajima. I suggest you to have 4 hours, 2 hours transfer and 2 hours sightseeing, for Miyajima.

Sightseeing in Hiroshima

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is one of Must-See in Hiroshima. ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is one of Must-See in Hiroshima. ©Yasufumi Nishi/©JNTO

Most of sites are very accessible from Hiroshima station by street car. But my reader told me loop bus is free for JR Pass user.

Hisoshima Sightseeing Loop Bus, “Meipuru-pu”

As far as I know, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass does not cover this bus service. Even if you pay, this bus covers most of popular sites in Hiroshima. One day pass is only 400 yen.

Street car is most popular transportation in city of Hiroshima. ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau
Street car is most popular transportation in city of Hiroshima. ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau
If you want to see more places that is not covered by loop bus, you can take Hiroshima Railway’s street car, a.k.a. “Hiro-den”. One day pass is 600 yen.

Hiroshima Electric Railway economical ticket

If you spend 4 hours for Miyajima, you still have 7 hours for Hiroshima until the last Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka. You may add some more time for Miyajima. It depends on how many places you want to see in Hiroshima.

From Hiroshima to Kyoto / Shin-Osaka

There is no direct Shinkansen train from Hiroshima to Kyoto. If you take the last Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka, there is no Shinkansen train to Kyoto. Even if you have JR Pass, you have to take local train to Kyoto. Please see Shinkansen timetable below:

Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen eastbound timetable

As of Nov 2014, these Shinkansen trains will be your last departure to Shin-Osaka.
Hikari 444
Hiroshima 21:58 – Shin-Osaka 23:32
Mizuho 610 (Sanyo Area Pass user only)
Hiroshima 22:13 – Shin-Osaka 23:37

If you need to take subway to get Namba or other subway stations, it is very tight if you take Hikari 444. The last subway departs from Shin-Osaka is 23:44. Usually you can transfer from Shinkansen to subway in 12 minutes. But if you want to avoid risk, take earlier Shinkansen.

If you need to go to Kyoto, the last train is Special Rapid 00:30 departure to Kyoto. But if you take this train, you can get Kyoto but you cannot get any other places in Kyoto by public transportation. If you do not stay around Kyoto station, take earlier Shinkansen.

Sample itinerary

My suggested itinerary is as follows:

From Shin-Osaka
08:07 Shin-Osaka
Sakura 547
09:39 Hiroshima

10:00 Hiroshima
Local train
10:27 Miyajimaguchi

10:40 Miyajimaguchi
Ferry
10:50 Miyajima

From Kyoto
08:02 Kyoto
Hikari 493
10:01 Hiroshima

10:15 Hiroshima
Local train
10:41 Miyajimaguchi
10:50 Miyajimaguchi
Ferry
11:00 Miyajima

Sightseeing and easy lunch at Miyajima.
Same itinerary for Osaka and Kyoto departure after visiting Miyajima.

13:30 Miyajima
Ferry
13:40 Miyajimaguchi
13:58 Miyajimaguchi
Local train
14:25 Hiroshima

Hiroshima has one of the best Okonomiyaki in Japan!  ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau
Hiroshima has one of the best Okonomiyaki in Japan! ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau
Sightseeing and dinner at Hiroshima. Enjoy Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (savory pancake Hiroshima style) for your dinner!

20:48 Hiroshima
Sakura 570
22:21 Shin-Osaka

If you take Sakura 570, you can get back to any places in Osaka and Kyoto by public transportation.

At last, I recommend you to take Sakura (or Mizuho) than Hikari. Because reserved seat accommodation is much better. Sakura and Mizuho has 2+2 layout. Hikari has 2+3 layout. Sakura and Mizuho’s seat is much wider. You find many photo of seat and interior at the link below:

Tokaido Shinkansen image gallery. Check the interior and accommodations.

Kyushu Shinkansen N700 series for Mizuho, Sakura and Tsubame image gallery

185 thoughts on “Sample itinerary of day trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto”

  1. Hi Takeshi, our itinerary is as follows:
    Day1 -4 Tokyo
    Day 5 – Lake Kawaguchiko
    Day 6-10 – Kyoto (including Nara)
    Day 11 – Hiroshima and Mijayima
    Day 12-14 – Sapporo (flying)
    What train tickets would you suggest?

    1. Hi Justyna,

      I would like to make sure a few things:

      1. Are you going to Lake Kawaguchi as day trip from Tokyo or drop by there on the way to Kyoto?
      2. Are you going to take a flight from Hirsohima to Sapporo?
      3. Are you going to leave Japan from Sapporo?

      Please let me know these above things.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,
    I have a JR pass and I’m in Osaka. I want to go to Hiroshima, Kyoto, Nara and possibly Miyajima island if time permits. I’m in Osaka only until 3/9

    1. Hi Andrea,

      You can visit Hiroshima and Miyajima in one day as I explained in the post above. Kyoto and Nara are closed to Osaka and very easy to make day trip. You can use JR pass to get Nara and Kyoto. Please see the links below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html
      http://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-kyoto-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. Hi, I am arrriving in KIX on 23 Mar 7am. Planned trip as follows: From KIX take a bus journey to Hiroshima. Stay 3 nights in Hiroshima and Miyajima. Then travel from Hiroshima to Osaka by Shinkansen. Stay the remainder days at Osaka. Fly out on 31 Mar. 2 adults and 1 child.

    I want to have rail and walking options. Please advise if I should get a JR Pass before arriving in Japan. If yes, how much will it be of help throughout my stay. Intend to use public transport as much as possible.

    From Malaysia

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    could you recommend an itinerary for 3 weeks in Japan? I will be arriving and flying back at Tokyo, Haneda. I would like to travel Hokkaido, Osaka, Tokyo and Hiroshima.
    Would you recommend to buy the JR Pass and will it be the most affordable route?

    1. Hi Megan,

      Sorry but I do not customize an itinerary because once I do it, everybody may ask me and it’s too much for me. Please understand.
      But you can find some resources in the link below. I have many 7 days and 14 days sample itinerary. It may help you to build your plan.
      http://jprail.com/category/sample-itineraries

      JR pass may be the best deal but you have to build your plan and make sure where you go and how long you stay in each place. You cannot find the best deal before you complete this job.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Megan,

        I can share my itinerary with you that I followed. I had 10 days in Japan and have covered all these areas with JR pass (7 days) and the Kansai Area pass for 3 days. Feel free to drop me an email or you can see a rough sketch in the blog below that I shared with Takeshi. The places I covered were Osaka, Kyoto, Himeji, Hiroshima, Sapporo, Hokkaido.

        Regards
        Andy

  5. Hi! my journey:
    Day 1 (17.03) – Arrive to KIX at 18hrs.
    Day 2 (18.03)- Sightseeing in Osaka.
    Day 3 (19.03) – Day trip to Hiroshima + Train to Kyoto
    Day 4,5,6 (20/21/22.03) – Sightseeing in Kyoto
    Day 7, 8, 9 (23/24/25) – Sightseeing in Tokyo.
    Day 10 – (26.03) – departure from Tokyo NRT

    Any recommendation/important thing that I should know? or do?

    Thanks!

  6. Hi Takeshi,
    I am interested in buying a 7 day JR Pass if it would be of value to me.
    I will be arriving at the Yokohama port on a Saturday morning and traveling into Tokyo Station. If I have a pass, can I use it to get to the Tokyo Station? And if so, where would I activate my pass before boarding?
    After 2 days in Tokyo, I will be taking 2 trips.
    My itinerary:
    Early Monday morning – Tokyo Station to Kyoto
    Late Tuesday afternoon – Kyoto to Hiroshima/Miyajima
    Late Wed afternoon – Hiroshima to Tokyo Station
    Early Thursday morning – Tokyo Station to Narita Terminal 2
    I would appreciate your knowledge and input. I am interested
    in taking the Shinkansen trains.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Teresa,

      Actually you can exchange it at Yokohama station too. Of course you can do it at Tokyo station. But if you exchange it at Yokohama station, you can take JR train to get Tokyo. Please see the list of exchange place in the link below:
      http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/exchange.html
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information/odawara-station-guide-how-to-transfer-to-the-train-to-hakone.html
      http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e1638.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. We are traveling from Kobe to Hiroshima and Miyajima for a day. How do we use our JR Pass for the local train from Hiroshima and ferry from Miyajimaguchi? Can we obtain tickets in Kobe or must they be obtained in Hiroshima?

  8. Hye Takeshi,

    The info were so helpful and it does help me a lot in planning for my itinerary. However I’m still pretty much confuse with the transportations. I hope you could help me out.

    My itinerary:
    Day 1 (30/4) Arrive in Osaka (KIX), head over to my hotel
    Day 2-Day 4 (1/5-3/5) will be sight-seeing in osaka
    Day 5 (4/5) travel to kyoto
    Day6- Day 7 ( 5/5-6/5) sightseeing in kyoto
    Day 8 (7/5) travel to amanohashidate
    Day 9 (8/5) travel to nara
    Day 10 – Day 11 ( 9/5-10/5) travel to hiroshima and miyaji
    Day 12 (11/5) travel back to osaka
    Day 13 Day 14 ( 12/5-13/5) flightback from KIX.

    This is just a rough planned itinerary, but it would be helpful if you could suggest the best subway pass i should get to travel around or is there any changes in my itinerary to make the trip more convenient?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi tilly,

      You can use Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass for day 8 to day 12. It covers Amanohashidate, Hiroshima, Miyajima and Nara.
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/kansai-hiroshima-area-pass-perfect-deal-for-the-traveller-who-wants-travel-both-kansai-and-hiroshima.html

      This pass does not cover Amanohashidate now. But it will cover Kyoto Tango railway from Fukuchiyama to Amanohashidate after April. So when you travel, you can get Amanohashidate without extra charge by this pass.

      You may choose one of the deals for KIX-Osaka in the link below:
      http://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Single ticket is okay for Osaka to Kyoto and find some deals in Osaka and Kyoto at the links below:
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
      http://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  9. Thank you so much for the information on the Sample itinerary trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka/Kyoto. As my knowledge of Japanese is very limited, your suggestions and various links are very precious time saving. I read about all the different types of discounts for short term tourist in Japan. However, i would like to ask if there are any types of discounts on trains for those how are staying a year in Japan? I am in Japan for one year and so cannot use normal tourist deals. Is there an English website that would help me to find discounts for people in my situation? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Agnieszka,

      Actually I have never seen the site which provide info about local deals in English. And also as far as I know, the deal for local residents to cover Hiroshima and Miyajiama is very limited. Most affordable one is Kodama Ofuku Kippu (round trip ticket by Kodama). You cannot take the fastest train, Nozomi and Mizuho. This ticket allows you to take the slowest train, Kodama or a few of Hikari. Unfortunately there is no info in English. I put the link in Japanese.
      http://tickets.jr-odekake.net/shohindb/view/consumer/tokutoku/detail.html?shnId=116000094

      I think it’s very very hard to find the deal for locals without Japanese unfortunately.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  10. Thank you for this information. I was going to skip Miyajima [spending a few days in Osaka]. I have added it as a day trip along with Kyoto.

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