One Day in Hiroshima & Miyajima Island, Japan

Miyajima Polaroid

How To Spend One Day in Miyajima and Hiroshima

Miyajima Day Trip & Miyajima Itinerary

Are you ready to experience hidden beauty in Miyajima Island or the emotionally powerful, Hiroshima? Well, then this Hiroshima Itinerary with a Miyajima day trip is perfect for a short stopover. Hiroshima was a very humbling experience for us that has left a mark for a lifetime.  But, before we introduce you to the history of Hiroshima we want to introduce you to nearby, Miyajima Island.

We’ve been to Hiroshima and Miyajima twice now and each time has been very different. The first time we traveled by train and the second time we traveled by rental car but for the sake of this guide, we’re going to tell you about traveling to Miyajima via public transportation. If you want to know more about renting a car and driving in Japan check out our this post.

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

When we arrived in Hiroshima we took the train to Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi Station which is closest to the JR Ferry that will take you to Itsukushima Island (also known as Miyajima Island) to visit the iconic Floating Shrine and see the island. Since we had our JR Pass the ferry was no extra charge otherwise it is 180 yen one-way.

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

The ferry ride is a short trip and allowed us to view the floating shrine on the water as we pulled up. We also noticed after exiting the ferry that there is A LOT of deer on the island and it immediately reminded us of Nara Park. They are super friendly, but don’t leave them alone with your bags – They will eat anything! They even tried to eat our umbrella.

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

While on Miyajima Island your first stop should be to one of the nearby momiji manju shops. Momiju manju is a maple leaf shaped buckwheat and rice cake that is filled with a variety of flavored custards or red bean paste.  Each momiji manju shop is reasonably priced at roughly 180¥-220¥ a piece. Our personal favorites were the classic red bean, lemon, chocolate, and maple.

After, you can stroll down Omotesando Street to grab some sweet treats or snacks on your way to the Floating Shrine, which at high tide you can witness it at its best. But at low tide, you can walk out to where the water once was and even touch the shrine!

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

If you are visiting during low tide, make sure you DO NOT put any coins in the cracks of the shrine. You might notice that others have done this, but it does not bring you good luck, vibes, or anything of the sort. Instead it caused the wood to crack and split more which, in the end, has damaged the shrine tremendously. In fact, as of June 2019 the floating shrine will be under construction to repair such damage.

Our favorite time to visit Miyajima Island is at sunrise or sunset. The way the sky looks on the water and by the mountains is truly something magical. Most people gather together on the side closest to the temple. But we recommend walking to the other side where there is a beach if you’d like to have a quiet place that’s more secluded.

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

Hiroshima Itinerary

“This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.”

We first started our time in Hiroshima by visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome a Japanese World Heritage Site where the first atomic bomb was initially dropped; the Children’s Peace Memorial to commemorate the many children that lost their lives, and the Peace Memorial Museum. All of which was unforgettable and moving. Many people that were just small children when this catastrophic event happened were there speaking to local school children.

As a young child, I (Kallsy) remember reading a book titled A Thousand Paper Craneswhich told the true story of Sadako and how she believed that if she could make 1,000 paper cranes her wish would come true. Unfortunately, Sadako was not able to fulfill this dream and passed away due to the after-effects of the atomic bomb. When you look at our album from Hiroshima, you will see the top of a statue that has the images of children. This was a memorial for Sadako and so many other children that were lost. Seeing the devastation and loss in this perspective was something we could never have imagined. But it was also encouraging to see how only after 70 years a city has overcome every obstacle and rebuilt.

Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Atomic Bomb Dome - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Atomic Bomb Dome - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Atomic Bomb Dome - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Atomic Bomb Dome - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Children's Peace Memorial - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Children’s Peace Memorial
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
The radius of the Atomic Bomb dropped in Hiroshima was catastrophic
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
A little boys bicycle.
Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

Where to eat from Hiroshima to Miyajima

Hiroshima is known for its excellent okonomiyaki, Hassei in Hiroshima was terrific with its portion size and the ability to customize your own plate.

Dining in Hiroshima - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Dining in Hiroshima - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary
Dining in Hiroshima - Miyajima Island & Hiroshima Itinerary

Accommodations for your Hiroshima to Miyajima Itinerary

Since we only stayed one night in Hiroshima, we decided to stay at the Mitsui Garden Hotel. The Mitsui Garden was reasonably priced at 5,090¥ ($48USD) a night. The room was a great value, considering the room was comfortably sized for two people on a one night stay and very clean. It has all basic necessities such as a coffee maker, private bathroom, TV, mini-fridge, and toiletries. But if you are planning to stay for longer than 2-3 days, you might want to find a place that is a little more spacious.


Transportation from Hiroshima to Miyajima Island

One unique characteristic of Hiroshima’s public transit was the electric streetcar. These above-ground trolleys operate very similarly to other public transit in Japan. To utilize the street cars (Hiroshima Dentetsu) first find a streetcar stop/station for your desired car. Utilizing Google Maps can be very beneficial in determining which car you need, what station, and how much it will cost. As similar to buses, enter the streetcar through the “entrance doors”, and pay via cash or transit card when exiting. If you are traveling to Miyajima Island from Hiroshima you will take the streetcar to the JR Ferry. The JR Ferry will take you to the island in roughly 10 minutes for only 180¥ ($1.70USD) each way or for free with the JR Pass.


While you may not need numerous days while visiting Hiroshima or Miyajima Island, it is worth the trip simply for the harrowing history, incredible beauty, and difference in culture. What would you add to your Hiroshima to Miyajima Island itinerary?

After getting a good nights rest, you can pack up and headed to the hot spring town, Kinosaki Onsen.
Like this post? Click and pin for later!
Spending 24 Hours in Hiroshima and Miyajima Island will humble you, haunt you, and blow you away. www.pagesoftravel.org

26 Comments

  • Reply
    Paula
    October 4, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Thank you for all these great posts about Japan. We are heading there in November and I really enjoying reading these.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 4, 2016 at 6:41 PM

      Paula, I’m so excited for your adventure and that you found our Japan guides helpful! It’s by far our most favorite country that we’ve visited. Let us know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley Smith
    October 23, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    I visit a lot of tragic spots (for whatever reason lol) and I know exactly the feelings! I still feel they’re important places to visit though. Your pictures are gorgeous though and those deer are precious. ♡♡

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 23, 2016 at 2:39 PM

      Ashley, I completely agree with you. It’s a humbling experience to visit such places and it really puts things into perspective. Thank you for the compliments!

  • Reply
    Carmen
    October 23, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    I use to read the Thousand Papers Cranes to my 5th graders when I taught US history. The memorial looks just like the pictures in our history books. Very moving!

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 23, 2016 at 8:24 PM

      Isn’t it a touching story? We didn’t take many photos inside the memorial because we were afraid it would be disrespectful, but we tried to take a few so that others could see the devastation second hand. It was definitely very moving!

  • Reply
    Nanie
    October 23, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Very useful post, Kallsy. I’d like to make another trip (or two) to Japan since its just next door. Well, kinda. I understand how you feel. I read 1000 Paper Cranes too when I was younger 🙁

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 24, 2016 at 9:24 PM

      I wish we lived closer! We absolutely love Japan. Seems like many have read that book and I am really glad! 🙂

  • Reply
    Susan
    October 24, 2016 at 5:16 AM

    I remember reading the Thousand Paper Cranes! Thank you such a poignant post. I think it’s really important to also visit places such as Hiroshima and pay respect for what has happened there. I’ve never been, but Japan is on my husband’s wishlist of places to visit.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 24, 2016 at 9:11 PM

      Susan, I’m glad you also remember reading it! It’s a fabulous and humbling book. I highly recommend visiting if you have the chance. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tom
    October 25, 2016 at 4:43 AM

    Very poignant post! Hiroshima is somewhere that I want to visit, especially as a History graduate.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:21 PM

      I hope you make it someday Tom! It’s a very special experience.

  • Reply
    Russell Fernandez
    October 25, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    I can imagine how it would feel being at a place with significant history and hope much the place would have changed since that time. Is live to visit hiroshima for all of its history and paying homage to the countless people that lost their lives. Appreciate the deep insight to the place but also it’s recovering interests that have rebuilt the place.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:26 PM

      Russell, it’s truly amazing to see how much they’ve rebuilt in such a short amount of time. I only wish that the whole world could visit places like this so that we could all understand the need for understanding and peace.

  • Reply
    Lianna
    October 25, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Wow, what a humbling and incredible experience that must have been. I had to do a project on Hiroshima for one of my classes in college, really makes me want to visit and pay respects as well as discover what Hiroshima has to offer. I think you did a great job with this post, lots of information that inspires me to visit even more.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:30 PM

      Lianna, thank you so much. When we decided to visit Japan we knew that we would need to visit Hiroshima and do exactly what you mentioned. It was humbling but also encouraging to see how much they have rebuilt and come together in such a short amount of time.

  • Reply
    Wanderlust Vegans
    October 25, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    Some really great photos, thanks for sharing. We really want to get ourselves to Japan. I can’t believe you found accomodation for under $50USD! Now we are definitely going!

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:28 PM

      Thank you Wanderlust Vegans, it’s well worth a visit! Most people think that Japan is expensive but we found that it’s all about how much to research. Most of our accommodations were around $40-$100USD a night and those that were not it’s because we splurged on a few places. 😉 Hope you make it soon!

  • Reply
    Johann Kuruvilla
    October 27, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    I should commend the resilience and determination of the people of Hiroshima. This is a very touching post. Its great to know that the people have rebuilt their lives after the devastation they went through. Thank you for sharing this post with the world. Hoping someday I get to go here.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 28, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      Johann, you are completely right. It’s amazing that the people in Hiroshima and others around the globe have worked together to restore a place with such devastating history. It was interesting to think that no structure that is currently there was there prior to the atomic bomb drop. I hope you are able to visit someday.

  • Reply
    Brown Gal Trekker
    October 29, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Nice experience it seems and the photos are great. Never been to Japan as it’s a bit pricier for travels. Glad to know there are some cheap accommodations.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 30, 2016 at 2:17 PM

      The flight over to Japan is definitely costly but we found that once we were there it’s more affordable that one would think! I hope you get the chance to visit someday.

  • Reply
    Maria
    October 30, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Beautiful post about Hiroshima and great gallery of images. One can feel the emotions though the way you looked at the city.

    • Reply
      kallsypage
      October 30, 2016 at 5:41 PM

      Maria, it was definitely an emotional experience for obvious reasons. Thank you for reading!

  • Reply
    Joan
    August 28, 2017 at 12:17 AM

    Beautiful pictures! I found your post while researching if it’s possible to see both Miyajima & Hiroshima in 8 hours. From reading your post it seems doable. We are planning to go early next year and our plan is to land in Tokyo at 5 am and then head down to Hiroshima via JR train right away (because the flight to Kansai will arrive there at 2 pm and I read that from Kansai to Hiroshima would be another 3 hours – which meant that we will get there at 5 pm). That meant that we are going to get there at 11 am-12 noon.

    • Reply
      Kallsy Page
      October 21, 2017 at 11:42 PM

      Thank you for stopping by Joan! The JR ride from Tokyo to Hiroshima will be a bit longer but is definitely doable. Are you planning to stay the evening in a hotel nearby? I think you can see Hiroshima and Miyajima in eight hours but I won’t lie, it will be a bit rushed. 🙂 I would suggest you visit Miyajima first (check and see if it’s high or low tide too) and then go to Hiroshima to see the museum and grab something for dinner. Let us know how you like Miyajima and Hiroshima!

    Leave a Reply