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

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

  1. Hello Takeshi san,

    I understand that there are 3 direct shinkansen from Kyoto to Hiroshima, but no direct to return to Kyoto.

    Are there any direct that pass Kyoto and Osaka, for example, we are going to Hiroshima from Kyoto, so it is fine as we will have a direct shinkansen, but when we leave Hiroshima 3 days later, our next destination will be Nagoya – do we have to stop in Osaka and catch another shinkansen to Nagoya, or can we find direct from Hiroshima to Nagoya?

    Cheers.

      1. Hi Takeshi san,

        Thanks for the info below. Question, when we go go from Hiroshima to Nagoya, via Shin Osaka, do we need to purchase 2 tickets? Hiroshima to Shin Osaka and Shin Osaka to Nagoya? Or just one from Hiroshima to Nagoya?

        Cheers,
        Michael.

          1. Hi Takeshi san,

            Thank you again. The two shinkansen tickets (Hiroshima to Shin Osaka, Shin Osaka to Nagoya) do we buy them both in Hiroshima, or must we buy the Shin Osaka to Nagoya, at Shin Osaka station?

            Cheers,
            Michael

          2. Hi Michael san,

            You can book and purchase at same time in any major JR stations.
            You don’t need to buy at even Hiroshima. You can buy and book before you go to Hiroshima if you have a time to drop by JR station in advance.

            Cheers,

            Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. 12.9.17 landing in narita travel to shin-okubo (the hotel is there)
    12.9.17 short trips in Tokyo
    13.9.17 travel from shin-okubo to Disneyland round trip
    14.9.17 travel from shin-okubo to Disneyland round trip
    15-27.9.17 short trips in Tokyo
    28.9.17 traveling from shin-okubo to Nikko round trip
    29.9.17 traveling to Kyoto from shin-okubo
    29-3.10.17 short trips in Kyoto
    3.10.17 traveling from kyoko to Osaka
    4.10.17 traveling from osaka to Hiroshima round trip
    traveling in hirosima to: mazda plant & museum(starts in 10:00 ends in11:30), hirosima peace memorial, miyajima,

    what is the best ticket to buy?

  3. Takeshi-san,
    Thanks for all the info. My wife and I will be visiting Hiroshima and Miyajima at the end of September. What I am trying to decide is whether it makes more sense to stay in Miyajima for two nights and commute back and forth to Hiroshima for sightseeing, or switch to a Hiroshima hotel for the second night, and accept the hassle of packing/unpacking, checking out/checking in?? Our tentative itinerary is:
    26/9: arrive in Hiroshima on the train from Osaka. Take the train+ferry to Miyajima. Spend the rest of the day and night in Miyajima
    27/9: spend the day in Hiroshima. Spend the night in ???
    28/9: head to Kaga/Kanaswa
    (I am going to have to make the same decision about Kaga and Kanasawa: stay in Kaga and take the train to Kanazawa for sightseeing and restaurants, or switch to a Kanazawa hotel)

    Thank you!
    Reza

    1. Hi Reza san,

      It takes 50 to 60 minutes from Miyajima to Hiroshima by ferry and train, and including transfer time at Miyajimaguchi. If you stay in Miyajima, you will spend this time to get Hiroshima. If you stay in Hiroshima on 2nd night, you can save one hour. And also Hiroshima has many more hotels and cheaper choice than Miyajima. So you can decide which one is better choice for you.

      Regarding Kaga-Onsen and Kanazawa, it’s similar situation. But it take only 30 minutes by train. It’s closer than Miyajima-Hiroshima.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  4. Hi Takeshi!
    We will be traveling to Osaka on December 28-January 1. We have been to Kyoto and Kobe already. I have some inquiries.
    1) What are the other places we can explore for a day trip from Osaka? I was thinking of Hiroshima.
    2) Are the places in Hiroshima open from December 29-31?
    3) We are staying at Swissotel – what is the best train to go to Hiroshima with less transfer? I have 3 children with me ages from 5-10yrs old.

    1. Hi Dulce,

      1. You may visit Kobe, Himeji, and also Kanazawa/Shirakwago can be visited as day trip.
      https://jprail.com/destinations/world-heritage-destinations/how-to-access-to-himeji-and-kobe-from-osaka.html
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/1-day/sample-itinerary-of-day-trip-to-kanazawa-and-shirakawago-from-osaka-or-kyoto.html

      2. Please refer the link below:
      http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2160.html

      3. Take subway Midousuji line from Namba to Shin-Osaka. You can catch Shinkansen to Hiroshima at Shin-Osaka.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Hi Takeshi-San,

    We are a bit confused. We have JR Passes and I read on the internet (http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/purchase.html#step_03) we need to pay an additional charge for taking ”Home liner” or other ”Liner”, I guess it means a direct Shinkansen? For example, you mentionned in this article that JR Pass holders can take the Hikari 491, 493 or 495 Kyoto-Shin Osaka (direct Shinkansen) and no additional charge seemed needed.

    If we decide to take Shinkansen Hikari 463 running from Tokyo to Kyoto, do we have to pay an additional charge ? Moreover, it seems that Nozomi or Mizuho could be taken with an additional charge ?? (“Nozomi” and “Mizuho” trains and the trains marked with ★ in this table require the payment of an additional charge. From : http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/purchase.html#step_03)

    Thanks for the time you are taking for helping us,
    Fab

    1. Hi Fab san,

      Just forget about Home liner and Liner. These are not Shinkansen. It means express trains for commuters. You cannot even find these trains.
      Hikari is covered by JR pass fully without any extra charge.

      Nozomi and Mizuho are not covered by JR pass at all. If you take these trains, JR pass does not cover anything. Even base fare is not covered. Just take other than Nozomi and Mizuho.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  6. Hi

    I am wondering if it is worth getting a JR Pass to go Tokyo, Kawaguchiko (on Sat/Sun Holiday Rapid) to climb Fuji, Kyoto, Osaka – Hiroshima – Osaka – airport.

    thanks
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen,

      You can get the worth of 7 days JR pass by your trip plan. 14 days is too expensive.
      You don’t need to cover whole part of your trip by 7 days pass. As long as it covers from leaving Tokyo to arriving Osaka, 7 days pass works.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  7. Hi. I wonder if Seishun 18 valid for 5 days in a row or 5 times used only (by 1 person)?
    I plan to hop around to Kansai area, for example get off in Osaka, walk around, and continue using the ticket to Ise on the same day, will that be counted as ‘2days’ use?

  8. Hi,

    I was wondering if it was possible to travel from Kinosaki to Miyajima, stay in Miyajima one night, then head back to Hiroshima the next day and head to Osaka after that. I’m hoping to see the Torii in that afternoon and check out Mt. Misen the next morning, then head to the peace park in Hiroshima afterwards. Maybe get some okonomiyaki for early dinner. Then head to Osaka for the evening.

    Thanks in advance!

  9. My family and I will be travelling through Japan this Summer. We will be in Kyoto and are going to go to Hiroshima and Miyajima before heading back to Osaka for three days. Would we be better using a JR Pass or would a simple return ticket from Kyoto to Hiroshima, then a single to Osaka be better value?
    Arigato.

  10. I appreciate your advice on how to get around Japan, especially transportation and how much time to allot for this while sightseeing.

    It will be my first time to visit Japan and plan to see a little bit of the Kansai-Hiroshima region. I have 4 nights and 4 days in Autumn.

    I did not realize that it will be National Thanksgiving Holiday weekend so how will that affect transportation? It will also be cooler so how might that increase “baggage” in terms of extra clothing and need for storage while sightseeing? Is rain expected in this region at this time of the year?

    Arriving very late at KIX, I decided to stay within the KIX area first and start early the next day.

    Day 2 Nov 23 Friday
    Travel to Kyoto, half day sightseeing if this is practical on a holiday.
    Travel to Himeji, Stay overnight in Himeji
    The Himeji Castle and Mt. Shosha/Engyo-ji Temples are target sightseeing areas.

    Day 3
    Travel to Hiroshima/Miyajima. Stay overnight in Miyajima. The Hiroshima Peace Museum and Memorial Park Area, Mt. Misen et are target sightseeing areas.

    Day 4
    Travel to Ohara or Kyoto. Stay overnight in Ohara or Kyoto. Do sightseeing in Ohara or Kyoto. This depends on how realistic it will be with respect to transportation.
    *Open to what is realistic.

    Day 5 Travel to Kibune/Kurama. Head to KIX for 10:45 pm flight.
    Target sightseeing areas are Kibune Shrine/Kurama Temple/Onsen, and Kyoto Station and Kyoto Museums (railway, manga).

    1. Hi Ca,

      Your plan is feasible. You can use Kansai Hiroshima area pass.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/kansai-hiroshima-area-pass-perfect-deal-for-the-traveller-who-wants-travel-both-kansai-and-hiroshima.html

      But you need to add other passes, especially in Kyoto because this pass does not cover city bus, subway and Non JR trains.
      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

      You may get either Ohara or Kyoto. Trip time from Miyajima to Kyoto is around 3 to 3.5 hours. You are able to get Kyoto in the morning. You still can get Ohara but it depends on how much you want to see Ohara. If you expect to stay there one full day, it’s not recommended. You cannot get Ohara in the morning because it takes one hour from Kyoto to get Ohara at least.

      Regarding weather, it’s not cold and weather is rain and shine mix. But it’s mother nature and hard to say.

      Please see the link below to find the info about luggage.
      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

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

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