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Hiroshima and Miyajima in One Day -
A How-To Guide
it can be hard to decide what to do.
Hiroshima and Miyajima are both iconic destinations, steeped in ancient history as well as recent history, plus both places are filled with delicious food options.
This one day itinerary to Hiroshima and Miyajima will help you decide what things to do during your time there no matter how long your visit is.
Here is your how-to guide:
How to Get to Hiroshima and Miyajima from Kyoto or Osaka
1. Kyoto Station and Hiroshima Station are connected by the Tokaido and Sanyo shinkansen lines. Both lines will take you directly from Kyoto to Hiroshima. The journey will take about 1 hour and 40 minutes and the fare for an unreserved seat is 10,570 yen. You can use your JR Pass. In addition, The Nozomi Shinkansen trains only take 1 hour 15 minutes but are not covered by the pass.
2. Shin-Osaka Station and Hiroshima Station are connected by a bullet train – Sanyo Shinknsen Line. The fare is 9,710 yen. Journey times vary according to the model of the train. The faster models like the Mizuho and the Nozomi take just 1 hour and 25 minutes, however they are not covered by the JR Pass. The fastest train covered by the JR Pass is the Sakura train which takes 1 hour 32 minutes.
3. Hiroshima Station to Miyajima Island – trains depart from Hiroshima Station every 15 minutes and will take you to Miyajimaguchi Station. It is about 30-minute ride from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi Station. Once you arrive at Miyajimaguchi Station, follow the signs for Miyajima Island ferry. The ferry is no more then a 10-minute walk from the Miyajimaguchi Station. Both, the train and the ferry are covered by the JR Pass.
Three Absolute Must-Do Things in Hiroshima
There are many things to see and do in Hiroshima. You can easily spend a day sightseeing in Hiroshima. However, I narrowed it down to 3 Absolute Must-Do Things in Hiroshima since our schedule is pretty packed for this one day itinerary.
If you decide to spend an entire day in Hiroshima, then read: 10 Epic Things to Do in Hiroshima You Won’t Want to Miss
Atomic Bomb Dome
Atomic Bomb Dome should be one of the first things to do in Hiroshima. It is an iconic symbol of the “peace city” Hiroshima. Atomic Bomb Dome is also called A-Bomb Dome, Genbaku Dome, or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. It is part of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park serves as a memorial to people killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.
Originally, Atomic Bomb Dome was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. It housed national and municipal governmental offices.
The building was located just 160 meters from the epicenter of the blast. Amazingly, it was one of the few structures in the area to remain upright after the explosion.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange. It opened to the public in 1954. The park has a total area of 122,000 square meters and houses a museum, as well as numerous memorials and monuments commemorating the people who perished during the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.
There are many monuments and memorials throughout the park. Here are the two of them that you should stop by:
Children’s Peace Monument
Children’s Peace Monument is a tribute to Sadako Sasaki and all the children who perished due to the atomic explosion.
Sadako was exposed to the A-bomb at the age of two. Yet, she grew into a strong and healthy girl. However, nine years after the exposure to the atomic bomb radiation, she developed leukemia.
Based on a traditional Japanese belief, Sadako thought that if she folded 1,000 origami cranes she would recover. But, after an eight-month battle with the disease, she succumbed.
Cenotaph, also known as the Memorial Monument for Hiroshima for the A-bomb Victims is located in the center of the park. It consists of a stone coffer beneath an arch. Within the coffer is a record of the names of victims of the atomic bombing.
Cenotaph is inscribed with the phrase: “Let all the souls here rest in peace for we shall not repeat the evil.”
If you are planning to spend a few more hours in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park then read: The Unforgettable Experience of Visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was built by the city of Hiroshima and it was opened to the public 1950.
Museum collects materials that convey the horror of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing. It displays artifacts, photographs, paintings that show Hiroshima before and after the bombing.
It demonstrates the present the current status of the nuclear age.
Three Absolute Must-Do Things on Miyajima Island
Needless to say, you can easily spend a day on Miyajima Island! There is so much to do and explore. In addition, consider spending a least one night on the island. Make sure to read: Why Miyajima Island is a Perfect Day Trip from Hiroshima.
Miyajima Island Floating Torii
The number one attraction as well as the symbol of Miyajima Island is a giant torii (gate). During the high tide, it appears as if the torii is floating out in the sea.
If you are visiting the island during the low tide, you can walk up all the way to the torii and really get the feel of how enormous this structure is.
Interestingly enough, unlike the traditional toriis, which consist of two pillars, the Miyajima Island torii has additional four supporting pillars. All in all, it weights about 60 tons and stands almost 17 meters high.
Next, head on to Itsukushima Shrine. The shrine was built in 593 and became an important place of worship in about 1168. In 1996 the World Heritage Committee officially inscribed Itsukushima Shinto Shrine as a World Cultural Heritage.
Itsukushima Shrine is well known for its unique construction.
It consists of four main areas:
- the Holy Hall where the gods live (Heiden)
- the inner part where only the priests enter (Haiden)
- the external area for worship (Haraiden)
- the noh theater stage
All the sections are connected by numerous boardwalks and supported by pillars above the sea. During the high tide, the shrine looks as if it is floating in the Seto Sea.
Interestingly enough, the reason why the shrine was built out in the sea was because the island was originally thought to be too sacred for commoners to set a foot upon.
Take the ropeway to catch the magificient views of the island.
The ropeway leaves from Momijidani Station. You can take a bus or you can walk to the station.
My recommendation is to walk to Momijidani Station.
It is no more than a 10-minute hike up a slight incline. Simply, take the path leading from Itsukushima Shrine to Momijidani Park.
On the way to Momijidani Station, you will pass through Momijidani Park.
Momijidani Park is a hang out place for the famous Miyajima Island deer. They will be happy to see you and eager to find out if you have any treats. In addition, Momijidani Park is one of the most famous maple leaves parks in Japan. It is an absolute must-do if you are planning your Miyajima Island day trip in the fall.
The ropeway goes from Momijidani Station to Kayadani Station. Once you reach Kayadani Station, you will take a second ropeway to your final destination which is Shishiwa Station.
Shishiwa Station is 430 meters above the sea level. The views of the Seto Sea from the station are breathtaking.
Tickets for the ropeway are available for purchase at several locations on the island. You can purchase one-way ticket or a round-way ticket. It all depends how much time you have to explore the island.
It is important that you check if the ropeway is operating. The service could be suspended due to adverse weather. You can check prices, hours and operation conditions here.
Two Absolute Must-Try Local Delicacies
On the way back to the ferry, check out some local food delicacies.
- Grilled oysters – Miyajima is a must-see place for oyster lovers! There are booths selling fresh or grilled oysters everywhere
- Momiji Manju – Momiji Manju is a small pastry in the shape of a maple leaf. Traditionally, it is filled with sweet red azuki bean paste, however you will find multitude of stalls selling all kinds of momiji. Hands down, it is delicious!
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