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 the Shinkansen. If you stay in Kyoto, you can catch the 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 the Shinkansen timetable at JR Central official site.

As of March 2019, only these following Shinkansen trains which are covered by JR Pass go directly to Hiroshima from Kyoto.
Hikari 481
Kyoto 07:20 – Shin-Osaka 07:35 – Hiroshima 09:06
Hikari 493
Kyoto 08:00 – Shin-Osaka 08:14 – Hiroshima 09:56
Hikari 495
Kyoto 08:23 – Shin-Osaka 08:39 – Hiroshima 10:35

If you miss these trains, you have to transfer trains at Shin-Osaka in most cases.

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 the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to the east. You cannot take the Shinkansen from Kyoto. If you stay in Kyoto and intend to use this pass, you have to take other trains on the conventional lines 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

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:

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.

JR tourist loop bus Meipuru-pu

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

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 March 2019, these Shinkansen trains will be your last departure to Shin-Osaka.
Hikari 444
Hiroshima 21:58 – Shin-Osaka 23:32
Mizuho 612 (Sanyo San’in Area Pass, Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass user only)
Hiroshima 22:12 – Shin-Osaka 23:37

If you need to take the subway to get Namba or other subway stations, it is no problem. The last subway departs from Shin-Osaka is 0:02. Usually you can transfer from Shinkansen to subway in 10 minutes.

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 the public transportation. If you do not stay around Kyoto station, take earlier Shinkansen.

Sample itinerary

My suggested itinerary is as follows:

From Shin-Osaka
08:04 Shin-Osaka
Sakura 547
09:34 Hiroshima

10:00 Hiroshima
Local train
10:27 Miyajimaguchi

10:40 Miyajimaguchi
10:50 Miyajima

From Kyoto
08:00 Kyoto
Hikari 493
09:56 Hiroshima

10:15 Hiroshima
Local train
10:41 Miyajimaguchi

10:50 Miyajimaguchi
11:00 Miyajima

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

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

Sightseeing and dinner at Hiroshima. Enjoy Hiroshima Okonomiyaki (savory pancake Hiroshima style) for your dinner!

Hiroshima has one of the best Okonomiyaki in Japan! ©Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau

20:52 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 (or Nozomi) if you take a seat in the reserved car. Because the 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

If you have extra day in Osaka or Kyoto, you may consider to add Hiroshima and Miyajima day trip.

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

  1. Dear Takeshi,

    Hope you are doing well!
    May we kindly seek your help on what pass to use for our trip. It’s a 9D/8N trip this coming October 2019. We would like to cover Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Himeji, Kobe and Osaka (if possible).

    Day 1: Arrive @KIX at 6:55pm & go directly to Kyoto. (Use Kansai Area One Day Pass + ICOCA). [Stay in Kyoto]

    Day 2: Eastern Kyoto Full Day Sightseeing (Use ICOCA). [Stay in Kyoto]
    (To visit Ginkakuji,Philosopher’s Path, Nanzenji, Eikando, Keage Incline, Heian Shrine, Chionin and Shorenin, Yasaka Shrine,Kodaiji Temple, Higashiyama Streets).

    Day 3: Arashiyama Full Day Sightseeing (Use ICOCA). [Stay in Kyoto]
    (To visit Kinkakuji, Ryoanji, Ninnaji, Togetsukyo Bridge,Teryuji,Bamboo Groves,Jojakkoji, Gioji, Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Streets, to Otagi Nenbutsuji, Daikakuji)

    Day 4: Full Day Nara [Stay in Nara]
    Day 5: Full Day Osaka (Use Osaka Amazing Day Pass) [Stay in Osaka]
    Day 6: Halfday Kobe + Halfday Himeji. [Stay in Kobe?]
    Day 7: Halfday Hiroshima + Halfday Miyajima. [Stay in Hiroshima]
    Day 8: Miyajima to Hiroshima back to Osaka. [Stay in Osaka]
    Day 9: Half day Osaka before our flight departure @KIX at 8:05pm.

    We are looking forward to your advise/suggestions.

    Thank you very much!


    1. Hi Julie,

      You may use Kansai One Pass + Haruka deal for day 1 to 3. This is cheaper than Kansai area pass and Kansai one pass is same type the card as ICOCA but Kansai one pass offers the discount at many attractions:

      You also can use Kansai one pass for Kyoto to Nara and Nara to Osaka. If you want to minimize to travel with the luggage, you can stay in Osaka instead of staying in Nara and Kobe. It is very easy to make a day trip to these areas. If you want to stay in many places, you can stay in Nara and Kobe as well.

      Osaka amazing pass is a good choice for Osaka.

      You can use Kansai Hiroshima area pass for day 6 to 9.

      If you don’t stay in Nara and make a day trip to Nara from Osaka, you can switch day 4 (Nara) and day 5 (Osaka). So you can use Kansai Hiroshima area pass to get Nara on day 5. You can save your fund in Kansai one pass. You can use the fund in Kansai one pass for not only riding the train but also purchasing something to eat and/or drink in the convenience store. Most convenience stores accept ICOCA and Kansai one pass.


      Takeshi /

  2. I’m planning a trip in Dec as follows:
    24 Dec- arrive at Kansai Airport – travel to Hiroshima
    25/26 Dec – either day to day trip to Miyajima ( which day would u recommend?)
    27 Dec – travel to Kyoto
    29 Dec- travel to Osaka
    30 Dec – day trip to Nara
    3 Jan – back to Kansai Airport

    Appreciate if you could recommend the passes needed and places to visit while at Kyoto and Osaka as well.

  3. Hi Takeshi,

    So we are planning a 3 week trip to Japan and it will be our first time to Japan. Going to split the trip into 3 parts (Kyoto/Hakuba-Ski/Tokyo), while in the Kansai area we plan to base ourselves in Kyoto and do trips to different cities and places. I think Kyoto will be a nice contrast because we plan to be in Tokyo for approx. 6 nights.

    Day 1 – Arrival into KIX Airport, check into hotel and explore Kyoto
    Day 2 – Explore more of Kyoto
    Day 3 – Day trip to Osaka (Universal Studios) then into Osaka for shopping/dinner
    Day 4 – Spend the day in Kyoto
    Day 5 – Day trip to Himeji/Hiroshima
    Day 6 – Day trip to Nara
    Day 7 – Train to Kanzawa (Half day exploring) then onwards to Nagano and express bus to Hakuba
    Day 7-13- Hakuba – Skiing
    Day 14 – 21 – Tokyo

    My Question is should I purchase a 5 day Kansai-Hiroshima pass and separate train tickets for Kyoto – Kanzawa – Nagano OR 7 Day JR rai pass?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi May,

      Kansai Hiroshima area pass + regular fare ticket is better choice than JR Pass. If you use JR pass, you must use it for day trip to Hiroshima, Osaka-Kanazawa-Nagano, and you also have to take train from Nagano to Tokyo. You have to do these trips in 7 days period. Otherwise you cannot get the worth of it.

      You may take a limousine bus to get Kyoto from Kansai and use the pass for day 2 to 6.

      You can use Tokyo subway ticket for sightseeing in Tokyo.


      Takeshi /

      1. Thanks Takeshi!

        That information is really helpful .

        Just out of interest on the Kansai Hiroshima area pass I know you can’t book reserved seats, but can you pay extra to get the seats so you don’t have to sit in the unreserved car?

        1. Hi Mav,

          If you want to reserve a seat, you have to pay full fare of reserved seat fee. The extra charge is not the difference of reserved and non reserved.
          e.g. Shinkansen reserved seat fee for Shin-Osaka to Hiroshima is 4,820 yen. Non reserved seat fee is 4,090 yen. The extra charge is 4,820 yen. It’s not 730 yen (4,820 – 4,090).

          Please keep it in your mind. And also you can find some tips to find the seat in non reserved car in the link below:


          Takeshi /

  4. Dear Takeshi-san,

    Thank you so much for all the valuable information that you have shared! It’s really helpful.
    Could you advise me if I should buy the 5 day Kansai-Hiroshima Pass or the Sanyo Sanin Pass? Appreciate if you have any other advice on my itinerary and if there are other day passes I should purchase. I will be travelling with a 3 year toddler. Is this itinerary too hectic?

    I’ve tried really hard to put the travelling together:).
    Grateful to you for your help.

    Day 1: Arrive at 11.30am Itami Airport /Osaka to Kyoto (Hotel beside Kyoto Station)-Downtown Kyoto ,Owl Cafe Kyoto, Shiba Inu Cafe, Gion
    Day 2: Kyoto- Southern Higashiyama, and Fushimi-Inari
    Day 3: Kyoto- Arashiyama, Kinkaku-ji and Daitoku-ji
    Day 4: Kyoto-Hedgehog Cafe, Kurama/Kibune and Northern Higashiyama
    Day 5: Check out Kyoto – Day trip to Nara- Back to Kyoto to take luggage – Take Train to Osaka (check into Hotel beside Shin-Osaka Station) Dotonbori Area > Umeda Sky Building (Osaka)
    Day 6: Osaka – Universal Studios
    Day 7: Osaka -Kurashiki
    Day 8: Osaka -Himeiji/Kobe
    Day 9: Hiroshima /Miyajima (Stay 1 N)
    Day 10: Miyajima /Hiroshima back to Osaka
    Day 11: Osaka -Cat Cafe Mocha, Rabbit Cafe,Osaka Castle > Shinsekai Area > Kuromon Market – KIX Airport, Flight at 9.15pm

    Thank you!


    1. Hi Wendy san,

      I think Kansai Hiroshima Area Pass 5 days is okay for the last 5 days. And I recommend you to drop by Kurashiki on the way or way back to/from Hiroshima. Kurashiki is located between Osaka and Hiroshima. If you go to Kurashiki from Osaka, you have to spend 1.5 hours for one way. It is okay but if you drop by Kurashiki on the way to Hiroshima (or way back), you can save one full day and use this day for trip to Nara. 2 to 3 hours is okay for visiting Kurashiki. I think it is not difficult squeeze Kurashiki into the trip to Hiroshima.

      So my suggested itinerary for day 5 is check out and go to Osaka. You can visit Dotonbori and Sky building. You can add other spots in Osaka. Day 6 is same and you can go to Nara on day 7. You can start using Kansai Hiroshima area pass on this day.

      You may take a bus from Itami to Kyoto and start to use Kansai one pass from day 1 to 6.

      On day 5, if you want to visit several attractions, you may add Osaka amazing pass after arrival in Osaka.


      Takeshi /

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