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

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

  1. Hello Takeshi-san,

    Thank you for your quick respond.

    In one of your article, you recommended about getting the Rapi:t Tokudane Return-trip ticket (between Namba and Kansai airport) at 980 yen. I haven’t been able to get more information on this online, I presume I can purchase this in the airport? Can I trouble you to show me the link? I guess this is better than getting the Osaka Amazing Pass (Nankai expansion version) ?

    As I will be staying near Kyoto station, I have been told to take Keihan Bus from Namba (OCAT) on a Saturday, using Kansai thru pass. Is it necessary to make reservation?

    Many thanks.
    C

    1. Hi Chris san,

      Unfortunately that deal is no longer available.

      Do you mean Keihan bus to Kansai airport by Kansai thru pass? If so, Kansai thru pass does not cover the bus to KIX. Please see the link below to find “Caution!! The KANSAI THRU PASS cannot be used in the following zones and areas.” at the bottom.
      http://www.surutto.com/images/ticket/kansai_thru_pass/english/en_map.pdf

      It says
      “KEIHAN BUS
      Hirakata City 100yen Bus, Regular Tour Bus,
      Express Bus, Airport Limousine Bus”

      Reservation is not required to take airport limousine bus.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi-san

        What pass would you recommend for the round trip between Namba and Kansai airport then? If there is none at the moment, I believe I should purchase the Osaka Amazing Pass (Nankai expansion version) instead and purchase another ticket in advance at the airport for trip from Namba to Kansai airport ?

        The Keihan bus was meant for trip to Kyoto station from Namba station using the Kansi thru pass. As we we will be travelling with our luggages, I thought it will be easier without all the transfer between lines. No reservation is required for this route, is that right?

        I am also looking at the trip from Kyoto station back to Namba station. There is an option by taking the regular JR Tokaido line, does it go directly to JR Namba station? Is this recommended?

        Thank you!
        Chris

        1. Hi Chris san,

          If you are okay with ordinary train, single fare (920 yen) is most affordable. If you want to take Rapi:t, Namba Access Rapi:t ticket is the lowest. But this deal is sold at the designated travel agency only. You cannot buy it online:
          http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/nambaRT.html

          Otherwise Kanku Webtoku is most common way.
          http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/webtoku.html

          I don’t think Keihan bus from Namba to Kyoto station is covered by Kansai thru pass either. This is a sort of express bus. Kansai thru pass does not cover express bus either. Even if you take this bus by regular fare, you cannot book a seat in advance. Reservation is accepted for the passengers from USJ only. The seat is served first come first serve basis.

          There is no direct trains from Kyoto to Namba. You have to change trains at least once. The suggested routes are the following:

          1. Kyoto (Kintetsu railway) Yamato-Saidaiji (Kintetsu railway) Osaka-Namba
          2. Kyoto (JR Limited Express Haruka) Tennoji (JR ordinary train) JR Namba
          3. Kyoto (JR Special rapid train) Osaka (subway Midousuji line) Namba

          Option 1 is covered by Kansai thru pass fully.
          Option 2 requires limited express fee to take Haruka and you may use Kansai area pass.
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-use-jr-west-kansai-area-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html
          Option 3 is not covered by any passes. You need to pay single fare.

          Cheers,

          Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Dear Takeshi-san,
    Hullo from India!
    We are a group of 8 persons visiting Kyoto, Hiroshima, and and then either Osaka (some of us) or Tokyo (the others), total 7 days, in December. Two of us are over 70 years with restricted mobility (ie, slow walking but without aid). We will be buying the 7 day Japan rail pass covering Kansai-Kyoto-Hiroshima (one way or return ) – Osaka/Tokyo – Kansai/Narita My questions are:
    1. Would you advise us to do a day trip to Hiroshima/Miyajima from Kyoto or is an overnight visit better ?
    2. Is there adequate place for luggage on the trains (we are international travellers with at least a suitcase and small backpack each) ?
    3. How easy or difficult would it be to access the trains with luggage (eg are there lifts at stations or only escalators) and how much in advance should we arrive at the stations?
    Thank you,
    Kind regards,
    Indrani

    1. Hi Indrani san,

      1. If you can stay in Hiroshima, that is much better. As you read the post above, day trip is possible but it may be tough for elderly travelers.

      2. Luggage is always issue on the train. Please see the link below to find more info:
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/travel-tips/baggage/managing-luggage-how-to-carry-your-baggage-on-board-and-how-to-store-your-baggage-at-the-station.html

      3. Most of stations have both escalators and elevators. It’s no problem to move with luggage. Usually you can arrive at the station in 15 minutes before departure time. You can find some stations guide in the link below:

      https://jprail.com/category/travel-informations/basic-informations/station-information

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hi Takeshi san, thanks so much for your prompt response. Your link to the pages about luggage was most detailed and useful!
        Kind regards,
        Indrani

  3. Hi Takeshi-san,
    We arrive at Hiroshima airport on 18 Nov 2017, 09:30 hr and depart from Hiroshima airport on 25 Nov 2017, 10:25 hr.
    I read about 5 days Kansai-Hiroshima Area pass, for 13000 yen.
    Our itinerary is as follows:
    Hiroshima, Miyajima, Okayama, Tsuyama, Himeji, Amanohashidate, Ine, Kinosaki Onsen, Tottori Sand Dune, Kyoto, Kobe night scene.

    Would appreciate your advice on the 5 days Kansai-Hiroshima Area pass.
    1. For online booking of Pass, is the activation date already fix during booking? Can the activation date of the pass change to for example, 2nd day or 3rd day of arrival?
    2. With the Kansai- Hiroshima Pass, what is the better route from Okayama / Himeji to Amanohashidate?
    Does the pass include Kyoto Tango railway with no extra cost?

    Thank you.
    Redzuan

    1. Hi Redzuan san,

      1. Yes. You have to decide the date to start using the pass. If you are not sure, you should purchase it after arrival at Hiroshima station. You can purchase it there but you need to pay 1000 yen extra.

      2. You should go to Osaka or Amagasaki to catch the limited express, Kounotori. You can take Kyoto Tango railway from Fukuchiyama without any extra.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi-san,

    I will be traveling around the West region (Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Himeji, Okayama, Miyajima and Shin-Yamaguchi) for about 13 days. I was thinking of purchasing the Regional Passes JR West Pass – JR Sanyo San’in Area Pass. I noticed I can only purchase a 7 days pass and not like JR pass 7, 14 etc.

    Is there a restriction on how many JR west pass I can use in my 13 days travel? I was planning on buy x2 JR west pass. I will probably activate one at the Kansai airport and travel to Shin Osaka via Kansai airport express Haruka. Then activate the 2nd JR West pass in Hiroshima.

    Thank you.
    Cheers
    Amy

    1. Hi Amy san,

      You can get 2 X this pass. But do you really need it?
      For staying in Osaka or Kobe, you don’t need this pass. If you can complete Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Okayama in 7 days, just purchase one pass. You may use other deals for Osaka, Kobe and Himeji, such as Kansai thru pass or Kansai wide area pass.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/how-to-choose-discount-railway-ticket-and-pass-in-kansai-area.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/the-newest-jr-west-rail-pass-for-kansai-and-okayama-kurashiki-kinosakai-and-shingu-area-kansai-wide-area-pass.html

      Even if you use 2 x Sanyo Sanin area pass, you may not get the worth.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hello, my girlfriend and I are going to Japan in January. My itinerary is as follows:
    13TH JANUARY 2018 TOKYO
    14th JANUARY 2018 KYOTO
    15th JANUARY 2018 KYOTO
    16th JANUARY 2018 HIROSHIMA
    17th JANUARY 2018 HIROSHIMA
    18th JANUARY 2018 FUKUOKA
    19th JANUARY 2018 BEPPU
    20th JANUARY 2018 BEPPU
    21st JANUARY 2018 KOBE
    22nd JANUARY 2018 KOBE
    23rd JANUARY 2018 OSAKA
    24th JANUARY 2018 OSAKA
    25th JANUARY 2018 OSAKA
    26th JANUARY 2018 TOKYO
    27th JANUARY 2018 TOKYO
    28th JANUARY 2018 TOKYO
    29th JANUARY 2018 TOKYO
    30th JANUARY 2018 TOKYO
    31st JANUARY 2018 HOME D:
    We need some advice if our trip is too rushed, we mostly want to visit each cities for food and a bit of sightseeing. Also advice on JR pass. If you have any recommendations, it would really help us a lot. Thank you.

    1. Hi Bryan,

      I don’t think your itinerary is rushed. You can keep this itinerary.

      I think 14 days JR pass is okay for the first 14 days of your trip. You can use other local deal after JR pass is expired. Tokyo subway ticket is most common choice.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/kanto-area/tokyo-kanto-area/guide-to-take-trains-in-tokyo-how-to-choose-the-best-deal-and-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hello Takeshi-san,

    I will be travelling to Osaka and Kyoto from 15th Nov (early morning) and leaving Japan on 23rd Nov.

    15/11 – arrive in Kansai Airport at 5.40am (probably staying in Namba). Osaka Castle, Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum, Dontonbori Shopping, Ebisu Bridge
    16/11 – Universal Studio Japan, Dontonbori Shopping at night if not too tired
    17/11 – Himeji Castle (AM), Kobe (PM)
    18/11 – Nara (half day) probably squeeze in Uji (would that be possible?)
    19/11 – Kyoto
    20/11 – Kyoto
    21/11 – Kyoto
    22/11 – Kyoto
    23/11 – Departing at Kansai Airport

    Which is the best pass to use? Would it better or does it make a difference if we stay last night in Osaka before heading to the airport on 23rd? Could you kindly give some suggestions to my itinerary.

    Many thanks!

    CL

    1. Hi Christina san,

      For arrival day, you can use Yokoso Osaka ticket.
      http://www.howto-osaka.com/en/ticket/ticket/yokoso.html

      Ramen museum is outside coverage area. You need to pay for single ticket about 200-300 yen.

      For 6 days in Himeji, Kobe, Nara and Kyoto, you may use 2 X Kansai thru pass 3 days if you stay in Osaka only.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-use-kansai-thru-pass-compare-pass-and-single-fare.html

      Single ticket is okay for the last day.

      If you intend to stay in Kyoto from 19th, you may use only 2 days Kansai thru pass. You can use single ticket from Osaka to Kyoto. You may add other deal in Kyoto.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-kyoto.html

      Haruka discount ticket is your choice for Kyoto to KIX.
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/how-to-choose-the-deals-for-access-tofrom-kansai-airport.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. Hello Takeshi-san,

        Many thanks for your earlier respond. I have made some changes to my itinerary. Basically we will be staying in Osaka from 15 to 17, Kyoto from 18 to 21 and back to Osaka.

        15/11 – arrive in Kansai Airport at 5.40am (Namba Station). Osaka Castle, Dontonbori Shopping, Ebisu Bridge, etc
        16/11 – Universal Studio Japan, Dontonbori Shopping at night if not too tired
        17/11 – Himeji Castle (AM), Kobe (PM)
        18/11 – Arrive and stay in Kyoto (near Kyoto station) in the morning
        19/11 – Kyoto
        20/11 – Kyoto
        21/11 – Kyoto from morning to late noon and travel back to check in to Osaka’s airbnb (Namba area).
        22/11 – Nara (half day) Back to Osaka for last min shopping
        23/11 – Departing at Kansai Airport at 9.55am
        Please can you advise which best pass to use then?
        On the first day, would it be more cost saving to purchase a separate ticket from airport to Namba station and purchase another One day Osaka Amazing pass – since it’s free admission to most places?
        Also when I checked out the Yokoso! Osaka Ticket as what you suggested earlier, I noticed it says One-way Rapi:t limited express ticket and basic ticket from airport to Namba station. It’s one way but why are there two tickets? My apologies for my ignorance as I find it all too complicated.

        Many thanks!

        CL

        1. Hi Christina san,

          You may use single ticket + Osaka amazing pass if you intend to visit 3 or more attractions on the list of amazing pass.
          https://www.osaka-info.jp/osp/en/facility/free

          If you visit two or less, Yokoso Osaka ticket is better choice. This includes Rapi:t one way ticket + subway 1 day pass. That is why it has two portions.

          You may use Kansai thru pass 3 days for Kobe/Himeji, trip to Nara and Osaka to Kyoto (or Kyoto to Osaka). You can use one day for either Osaka to Kyoto or Kyoto to Osaka. I think you may have sightseeing before/after these trips. So try to use it for the day when you make trips more. Single ticket and other city deal for one day when you don’t use Kansai thru pass between Kyoto and Osaka. You may find the city deals in the links below:
          https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-residents/how-to-choose-the-best-train-pass-for-sightseeing-in-osaka.html
          https://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

  7. Takeshi-san,

    Thank you for quick reply!

    I understand that the pass can only be used on specific trains only so I was wondering if it will be difficult to identify the train that we can board using this 5 Day Kansai Hiroshima pass?

    On the route map from the website, there listed a few specific rail lines, and there is “Conventional lines”, do you know what this means?

    For example, if I am at Nippombashi (Midosuji line) and would like to travel to Kyoto or Hiroshima, can this pass be used or would I need to take normal ticket to a connecting station to be able to use this pass?

    Thank you,
    Sheena

    1. Hi Sheena san,

      Conventional lines means basically all JR lines other than Shinkansen lines.
      This pass does not cover subway line and Non JR line. You cannot take any JR lines at Nippombashi. There are subway and Kintetsu railway stations only. The nearest and most convenient JR station is Tsuruhashi. It’s a few stations away from Nippombashi by Kintetsu line or subway line. You need to pay extra fare for this segment. after Tsuruhashi, you can take JR trains by Kansai Hiroshima area pass. Please see the link below to find the info about train network.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/how-to-transfer-among-kyoto-osaka-and-kobe-compare-japan-railway-and-private-lines.html
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/tips-for-japan-rail-pass/guide-to-take-trains-in-osaka-how-to-choose-the-best-route-by-train-to-get-the-major-spots.html

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  8. Takeshi-san,

    If I buy Kansai Hiroshima 5 day pass, and travel from Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima with Nozomi Shinkansen, even with non-reserved seat, do I have to pay any fee?

    Thank you,
    Sheena

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