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 the Shinkansen timetable in JR Central official site:
As of September 2019, only these following Shinkansen trains which are covered by JR Pass go directly to Hiroshima from Kyoto.
Kyoto 07:20 – Shin-Osaka 07:35 – Hiroshima 09:06
Kyoto 08:00 – Shin-Osaka 08:14 – Hiroshima 09:56
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
If you go to Miyajima first, you need to transfer to a local train at Hiroshima station. If you have 10 minutes, you can transfer. Local trains run every 10 to 15 minutes 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. And also JR tourist bus “Meipuru-pu” takes you to most places in Hiroshima.
If you want to see more places that is not covered by this 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 trains from Hiroshima to Kyoto. If you take the last Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka, there is no Shinkansen trains to Kyoto. Even if you have JR Pass, you have to take local train to Kyoto. Please see Shinkansen timetable below:
As of September 2019, these Shinkansen trains will be your last departure to Shin-Osaka.
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 have 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 have to go back 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 train.
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 (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 and Nozomi have 2+3 layout. Sakura and Mizuho’s reserved seat is much wider. You find many photo of seat and interior at the link below:
If you have extra day in Osaka or Kyoto, you may consider to add Hiroshima and Miyajima day trip.