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.

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

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

  1. Greetings Takeshi-san,

    I plan to visit some places for several days. Flexible with time. I am considering the 19,000 yen Sanyo San’in 7 Days Area Pass over the 17,000 yen Setouchi 5 Days Area Pass for more days, making reservations and using the ekiren bicycle rent, and the Kansai One Pass.

    Arrive Leave Place to stay Days For getting around – train, walk, bicycle, maybe bus

    25-Mar Sun 5-Apr Thu Hakata, Fukuoka 11 Fukuoka City Subway 2 Day Pass, Nanzō-in Temple regular fare, Sanyo San’in Area Pass to go to Hiroshima

    5-Apr Thu 7-Apr Sat Hiroshima near station 2
    walk, EKIREN, Meipuru~pu, tram, bus covered by Pass

    6-Apr Fri 6-Apr Fri Miyajima island side day trip
    use Pass

    7-Apr Sat 8-Apr Sun Ogimachi, Takamatsu 1 NOZOMI +JR Marine Liner: use Pass

    8-Apr Sun 8-Apr Sun Sannomiya Station 1
    JR Rapid Service Line from Kobe Sannomiya to Kyoto: use Pass

    9-Apr Mon 19-Apr Thu Gion, Kyoto 10 Subway, walk, EKIREN, maybe bus JR:use Pass till valid

    19-Apr Thu 25-Apr Wed Naniwa ward, Osaka 6 Subway, walk, maybe bus, Osaka Amazing Pass 2 Days
    Osaka Kaiyu Ticket, Namba to KIX regular fare; Fly to Narita

    25-Apr Wed 8-May Tue Asakusa, Tokyo 14 Tokyo Subway Ticket

    What do you think?
    What are the differences between train travelling on weekdays and on weekends?
    How do you know when to use the “Fare Adjustment” machine?
    Can you return the guidebook that comes with a Pass after use?

    Continue the good work
    Thank you

    1. Hi G san,

      You may use either Sanyo Sanin area pass or Setouchi pass from Apr 5. You don’t need both and not get the worth both. Just one of those is okay. If you want to use reserved seat, you can use Sanyo Sanin area pass. Otherwise Setouchi pass is okay. Please see the link below to find the difference between reserved and non reserved.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/reserved-seat-vs-non-reserved-seat-how-to-get-a-seat-on-non-reserved-car.html

      If you purchase Kansai one pass, you can use it in Tokyo as well. It’s same type of card as ICOCA and Suica. You can add some more fund into Kansai one pass in Tokyo as well as you need.

      Regarding fare adjustment machine, it’s hard to explain in words. Some of those machines show only Japanese. Please ask station staff if you want to use it.

      You can keep guide book after using for souvenior.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Dear Takeshi-san,

        What is the best pass that I can use with the Sanyo Sanin Pass for
        1) access from Kyoto to Amanohashidate and back,
        and for slowly visiting
        2) Kyoto for 8 days
        3) Nara for 1 day
        4) Osaka for 5 days
        5) Tokyo for 10 days?

        Thank you very much

        1. Hi G san,

          Sanyo Sanin area pass covers Amanohashidate, Kyoto, Osaka and Nara. But in Osaka and Kyoto, you cannot get many places by JR trains. You may need to pay extra to take subway, city bus and/or Non JR trains. Please see the link below:
          https://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
          https://jprail.com/destinations/kansai-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

          There is no deals to cover Osaka/Kyoto to Tokyo. If you are okay with slower train, you may use Platt Kodama.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/platt-kodama-one-way-deal-among-tokyo-nagoya-kyoto-and-shin-osaka-by-shinkansen.html

          As you thought, subway pass is your choice in Tokyo.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

          1. Hi Takeshi-san.

            Does the Sanyo Sanin area pass coverage not stop at Sonobe?
            Are the Limited Express Hashidate and Kyoto Tango Railway covered?

            Also, what other train passes to use in Fukuoka (to visit Dazaifu and Nanzoin temples and in the city), and Takamatsu? Are JR trains in Takamatsu covered?

            Thank you very much Takeshi-san.
            Best regards

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