Day Trip to Hiroshima & Miyajima From Kyoto / Osaka

Miyajima Shrine Hiroshima with deer Hiroshima

Hiroshima is one of the most famous places in Japan next to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka because of its turbulent history and beautiful nature. The city of Hiroshima is one of the destinations of the Golden Route, a popular choice of (first-time) visitors in Japan. The Golden Route stretches from Tokyo to Kyoto and loosely follows the old Tokaido Road. Other destinations included are Hakone, Nara, and Osaka. The city is beautifully located, surrounded by mountains on one side and the water of Hiroshima Bay on the other side.

Besides its beautiful location, Hiroshima is also a famous place in history, being one of the two cities where atomic bombs were dropped during WWII. Traces of the tragedy are found and honored everywhere in the city center.

Hiroshima is not far away from Kyoto or Osaka and even a one-day trip from both Kyoto or Osaka to Hiroshima is easy enough to do and worth your time, though you can easily spend multiple days in the bustling city.

Must-visit spots in Hiroshima are Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima and Atomic Bomb Dome in the Peace Memorial Park. We make a one-day itinerary for you around those spots!

Book your Hiroshima Private Tour here!

How to get to Hiroshima from Kyoto or Osaka?

Hiroshima is located only 100-120 minutes away from Kyoto and 80-100 minutes away from Osaka by Japan’s well-known Shinkansen, also known as a bullet train. 

If you have Japan Rail Pass, you can take the Shinkansen without any additional costs. However, please note that there are Shinkansen you can’t take with Japan Rail Pass such as Nozomi or Mizuho. Besides these two, you can take pretty much all other bullet trains. Also, you take local trains but this will add another 5-6 hours, so we would recommend taking the Shinkansen to save your time – and have more time for exploring Hiroshima.

If you don’t have Japan Rail Pass and you can take any Shinkansen, then we recommend you to take Nozomi or Mizuho Shinkansen, because it is easy to go to Hiroshima from Kyoto and Osaka without any transit.

Suggested itinerary in Hiroshima & Miyajima

7am – 8am Take the shinkansen to Hiroshima

To make the most out of your one-day visit to Hiroshima, we recommend you arrive there around 9-10 am. If you take the Shinkansen around 7-8am from Kyoto or Shin-Osaka Station, you will arrive in Hiroshima in time.

Shinkansen station Osaka

9am Arrive at Hiroshima Station 

The first destination is Miyajima! Once you arrive at Hiroshima Station, take the JR Sanyo-honsen line to Miyajimaguchi Station (about 25 minutes). You can also get to Miyajima by Hiroshima Electric Railway as a cheaper option though it takes longer (about 70 minutes). We recommend you take JR line, especially if you have the JR Pass since it covers this train.

10am Arrive at Miyajimaguchi 

Miyajima ferry Hiroshima

Miyajima is an island so we have to take a ferry to get there. After you arrive at Miyajimaguchi Station, walk to the ferry port. There are two companies operating ferries to Miyajima: JR and Matsudai Kisen. If you have JR Pass, take the JR ferry because you can be on board without any additional charge. If not, you can choose either one and the price is 180 yen (adult) for a one-way trip.

The fastest way to get to Miyajima is to take the Hiroshima World Heritage Sea Route (¥2,000 for a roundtrip) connecting the Peace Memorial Park and Miyajima island directly. This option is more expensive, but you can easily get to Miyajima from downtown Hiroshima in 45 minutes without any transfers. So when you take a day trip to Hiroshima, this will earn you some extra time to use for sightseeing.

10:30 am Start exploring Miyajima

The ferry will take you to Miyajima in about 10 minutes. Soon after your departure, you will spot the famous red torii gate which looks like it is floating in the sea when it is high tide. This torii gate is a part of Itsukushima Shrine that is designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

If you have enough time, we recommend you to see both high tide and low tide. Check the tide time in Miyajima before your visit and see which time is the best to visit depending on your preference. If the tide level is under 100 meters, you can walk through under the big torii gate, and if it is over 250 meters, you can see the floating shrine and torii gate.

In Miyajima, many deers will give you a friendly welcome. You might know Nara Park is famous for its cute free roaming deer, but here on Miyajima, you can spot them everywhere too! They aren’t shy of people and will come and greet you. Be careful with your food around these curious creatures though, they may try to steal them from you! 

Miyajima Shrine Hiroshima

While waiting for the best tide time, let’s take a walk around the island. From the ferry terminal to the shrine walk along the Omotesando shopping street, this street is the busiest place in Miyajima for souvenir shops and restaurants. The area’s specialty is for its lemons and oysters, you will see them for sale everywhere. As well as the delicious local snack Momiji-Manju, don’t forget to try these local delicacies of Hiroshima.

Momiji-Manju is a maple leaf-shaped Japanese sweets which is Japanese sweet filled with red bean paste. There are more fillings like custard, matcha, chocolate or cheese to choose from and also there are fried ones too, something for everyone!

Momiji-Manju, specialty from Miyajima

If you have more time and can stay in Miyajima, we recommend you go hiking in Miyama. There are several hiking trails leading up to the highest point of the island Mount Misen or you can get there by a cable car (¥1,010 for one way, ¥1,840 round trip).


1:45pm Leave Miyajima

The next stop is the Atomic Bomb Dome. To get to this impressive building, take a ferry back to Miyajimaguchi station and then take Hiroshima Electric Railway to Atomic Bomb Dome from Hiroden-Miyajimaguchi station.

3pm Atomic Bomb Dome and Peace Memorial Park

Hiroshima Atomic Dome Building

The famous Atomic Bomb Dome is one of the few remaining structures after the first ever atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima in 1945. The Atomic Bomb Dome is registered as World Heritage Site and is a reminder of the tragedy of 1945 when two atomic bombs were dropped in Japan.

The Atomic Bomb Dome and the city of Hiroshima serve as a reminder to all of us today, that we should never experience such tragedy again. Each year on August 6 at 8:15, the exact time the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945, a memorial service is held at the Memorial Park. Hiroshima wants us never to forget about the disaster of 1945 and pray for world peace. As the city’s slogan goes: Never Hiroshima again!

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

When time permits, we definitely recommend a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum. It tells the story in an impressive and memorable way. It will be life-changing experience and something important you will remember from the trip. The entrance fee for the museum is set at ¥200.

To make the most out of your limited time in Hiroshima and still learn about the turbulent history of the city, we recommend you join our guided tour!
Book our Hiroshima Private Tour

4:30pm Leave Hiroshima

Walk or take the train back to Hiroshima Station and from there take the shinkansen to go back to Osaka or Kyoto. If you take shinkansen around 5 pm, you will be back in Osaka or Kyoto for dinner.

Recommended hotels in Hiroshima

Other activities

We hope you liked our suggested one-day trip itinerary to Hiroshima! Of course, you can switch the places around and adjust the timing of the trip. When you want to visit Miyajima in the afternoon, you can go to the atomic bomb dome in the morning. If you have any questions about planning, you can always reach out to us. We will happily assist you to make your Japan trip special! 
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Happy traveling!

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