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.
From Osaka / Kyoto to Hiroshima
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:
As of Nov 2014, only these Shinkansen trains go directly Hiroshima from Kyoto.
Kyoto 07:20 – Shin-Osaka 07:35 – Hiroshima 09:06
Kyoto 08:02 – Shin-Osaka 08:17 – Hiroshima 10:01
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.
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.
Trip to Miyajima
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
As of Nov 2014, these Shinkansen trains will be your last departure to Shin-Osaka.
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.
My suggested itinerary is as follows:
Sightseeing and easy lunch at Miyajima.
Same itinerary for Osaka and Kyoto departure after visiting Miyajima.
Sightseeing and dinner at Hiroshima. Enjoy Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (savory pancake Hiroshima style) for your dinner!
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: