For my second trip to the Kansai region, I wanted to explore somewhere other than Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe. I wanted a fresh landscape. And that's when I discovered Miyajima!
A world heritage site that is among Japan's Top 3 most scenic destinations.
Yes, it's possible to take a day trip to Hiroshima while staying in Osaka! More after the jump.
Miyajima is an island off the coast of Hiroshima. To get there from Osaka, you'll need to ride a local train to the Shin-Osaka station, from there, catch the bullet train/shinkansen to Hiroshima. (Trains depart every 5 minutes or so). Travel time is between 2-3 hours.When you arrive at the Hiroshima station, take the JR Sanyo Line to Miyajimaguchi station (about 25 minutes). Once there, take a short walk towards the JR Ferry Station (you can't miss it, you'll see it once you exit.) The boats leave every 25 minutes if I'm not mistaken. You can visit the information booth at the Hiroshima station to get a free schedule.
|shinkansen kansai pass|
|That brings us to the JR Kansai-Hiroshima pass...which is new and was only made available recently. If you're spending 5 days or so in the area and are planning to take several day trips to nearby provinces (see possible day trips here), I highly suggest getting one of these.|
WHY GET A JR KANSAI HIROSHIMA PASSIt services practically the entire area. Get unlimited FREE subway rides on all JR lines including Shinkansen and JR ferry for 5 days. Train rides aren't that cheap in Japan, short rides (1-4 stops will already cost you about P75 one way. see Japan transportation guide HERE) so you will actually get to save a lot of money with these free rides) And you can get to almost anywhere in the region via JR line. Also, one way fare to Hiroshima via Shinkansen costs around 10,000 YEN so on this one trip alone, you already get to save quite a bit.
WHERE TO GET YOUR JR PASSIt's cheaper to get it offshore in advance. I purchased ours through Friendship Tours (they also handle our Japan Visa applications. Visa fee: P1200 only. highly recommended! No fail.) in Dusit Hotel Makati. They give you a receipt which you need to present at the JR office at major train stations in Japan (or at the airport if you arrive before 10pm) to redeem your pass.
|shinkansen from osaka to hiroshima|
|Don't worry, you can't get lost at the Miyajima station, it's very small and only has one exit. Once you emerge from underground, this sight will welcome you along with the delicious and welcoming smell of grilled Conger Eel.|
Below is the JR Ferry station:
|miyajima jr ferry|
And the Miyajima Port:
The ferry to Miyajima is like the one you take in HongKong to get you to Kowloon and vice versa.
|boat to miyajima|
|A few minutes into the ride and you'll already see these gorgeous layered mountains of Miyajima which FYI, used to be a volcano!|
And finally, The Great Torii of Miyajima!!!
|the great torii of miyajima|
|ferry dock at miyajima|
If I had known it was this pretty, I would've stayed here overnight instead.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN MIYAJIMA
There are a few on the island but I hear they're more expensive than Hiroshima. More info can be found here.
There's lots of souvenir shops, cafes and food stalls along the path to the Great Torii.
|shops on miyajima island|
We had Oyster Kariman which I never had anywhere else in Japan. Super yummy and unique. The crunch of the bread against the gooeyness of the oysters makes you want more and more + it's doesn't feel greasy despite being deep-fried.
|oyster kariman miyajima|
|must try food in miyajima|
|deer of miyajima|
this one followed us aaaallll the way to the great torii. hahaha
but this sweet one was happy to just spend some quiet time with me on the beach...
|miyajima travel guide|
|quiet town of miyajima|
|the great torii miyajima low tide|
|japanese school kids on field trip to miyajima great torii|
|the great torii at miyajima island japan|
|the great torii travel guide|
ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE OPERATING HOURS/FEESOpens at 6:30am - 6:00pm daily.
(5:00pm during winter)
Entrance is 500YEN/220Php
|itsukushima shrine entrance fee|
|Is your P220 worth it?|
For me yes.
Even though there's not much to actually "do" here, but I thoroughly enjoyed walking through its silent halls. It provided a nice respite from the large crowds of tourists outside.
|itsukushima shrine ticket|
|I also had fun imagining how life was for its inhabitants here before during the Shinto period. The place is well kept and maintained which makes it easy to envision a bustling community in and around it.|
|itsukushima shrine compound|
|orange lacquered halls itsukushima shrine|
|itsukushima shrine travel guide|
|miyajima travel blog|
If you're planning a trip to Osaka this summer, I highly suggest considering a side trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima as well. It might cost you a couple more thousand but I promise you it's worth it. It's one of the prettiest places I've ever been to in Japan (which is already so pretty anywhere you go, so Miayajima really is special) and Osaka is a convenient entry point (also Nagoya).
Hope you find this post useful. If you have more questions, feel free to comment below and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Thanks for reading! :)
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