DAY TRIP: OSAKA - HIROSHIMA/MIYAJIMA TRAVEL GUIDE | PHOTO DIARY

Friday, February 17, 2017

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 travel guide
miyajima

TRANSPORTATION


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.

Kansai-Hiroshima-area-pass1
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 PASS

It 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 PASS

It'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.

hiroshima travel guide
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.

miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima

TRAVEL TIP: Follow your nose. Conger eel is a Miyajima specialty. There's a restaurant along the path that serves ONLY 100 bowls of this per day. Just follow the yummy scent. Unlike the unagi we have here, Conger Eel is less slimy and sweet. It's more meaty, a bit tangy and SUPER GOOD!


miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima train station

Below is the JR Ferry station:


miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima jr ferry

And the Miyajima Port:


miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima port

The ferry to Miyajima is like the one you take in HongKong to get you to Kowloon and vice versa.


miyajima hiroshima guide
boat to miyajima
It's a quick (about 10 minutes) and stable ride via calm waters so no need to worry about getting seasick. The ferry is clean and very comfortable. You can choose to stay in an airconditioned room or on the deck. It also has clean toilets.

miyajima hiroshima guide
jr ferry 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!

miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima island

And finally, The Great Torii of Miyajima!!!


miyajima hiroshima guide
the great torii of miyajima
miyajima hiroshima guide
ferry dock at miyajima

If you enjoyed Kyoto, you will FALL IN LOVE with Itsukushima

The small town of Itsukushima is quaint, authentic and beautiful. With a population of only 2,000 people, it is mostly quiet and serene with hundreds of different species of plant and trees offering shade for wooden park benches scattered along its sandy shores.

miyajima hiroshima guide
itsukushima
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.

miyajima hiroshima guide
itsukushima island

SHOPPING


There's lots of souvenir shops, cafes and food stalls along the path to the Great Torii.

miyajima hiroshima guide
shops on miyajima island
miyajima hiroshima guide
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.

miyajima hiroshima guide
oyster kariman miyajima
miyajima hiroshima guide
must try food in miyajima

PLACES TO SEE ON MIYAJIMA ISLAND


We woke up late. Aside from Miyajima, we were also supposed to visit the Peace Memorial A-Bomb Dome, the Park and several other places of interest on Hiroshima but since we were pressed for time, we decided to head straight to Istukushima instead.

When we got to the island, we sort of lost track of time because of how pretty our surroundings were. Also, we couldn't miss the last boat back so we only got to see the immediate areas around the Great Torii which is already fantastic, but if you have more time, here's some of the things you can look forward to as well:

  • THE GREAT TORII - best time to visit? Depends on what you're after, during high tide, it looks like it's floating in the water but you can't get close to it, during low tide, you can walk right next to it. I wanted to see it during high tide but it must've been the season because even at night, the base was still visible.
  • DEERS! - I had more fun interacting with the deers here than I did at Nara park. There, they could get super aggressive but here, they were much more chill and sweet.
  • MIYAJIMA PUBLIC AQUARIUM
  • Municipal Museum of History and Folkore
  • Toyokuni Shrine - you'll see in one of the photos below, it's just a great big (empty wooden hall), a Buddhist library that was never completed
  • Itsukushima Shrine - more below...
miyajima travel guide
miyajima beach
miyajima travel guide
deer of miyajima
ABOUT THE DEERS...
To keep them in check, you're not supposed to feed them. Not saying they won't try and beg and follow you around for food. Resist the temptation and keep papers and maps out of reach. They will grab it from you and eat it!

miyajima travel guide
where to see deer in japan
this one followed us aaaallll the way to the great torii. hahaha

hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima deers
but this sweet one was happy to just spend some quiet time with me on the beach...

miyajima travel guide
miyajima travel guide
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
quiet town of miyajima
miyajima travel guide
the great torii miyajima low tide
miyajima travel guide
japanese school kids on field trip to miyajima great torii
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
the great torii at miyajima island japan
miyajima travel guide
the great torii travel guide

ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE

Considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, the complex dates back to the 6th century with it's majestic Torii Gate as it's most popular feature.

A visit to the gate is free but to explore the compound, you need to pay small fee.

miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima shrine
miyajima travel guide
itsukushima shrine

ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE OPERATING HOURS/FEES

Opens at 6:30am - 6:00pm daily.
(5:00pm during winter)

Entrance is 500YEN/220Php
miyajima travel guide
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.

miyajima travel guide
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.

miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima shrine compound
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
orange lacquered halls itsukushima shrine
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima shrine travel guide
miyjima, hiroshima 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! :)

CHECK OUT MORE JAPAN POSTS HERE

No comments:

Friday, February 17, 2017

DAY TRIP: OSAKA - HIROSHIMA/MIYAJIMA TRAVEL GUIDE | PHOTO DIARY

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 travel guide
miyajima

TRANSPORTATION


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.

Kansai-Hiroshima-area-pass1
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 PASS

It 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 PASS

It'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.

hiroshima travel guide
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.

miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima

TRAVEL TIP: Follow your nose. Conger eel is a Miyajima specialty. There's a restaurant along the path that serves ONLY 100 bowls of this per day. Just follow the yummy scent. Unlike the unagi we have here, Conger Eel is less slimy and sweet. It's more meaty, a bit tangy and SUPER GOOD!


miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima train station

Below is the JR Ferry station:


miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima jr ferry

And the Miyajima Port:


miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima port

The ferry to Miyajima is like the one you take in HongKong to get you to Kowloon and vice versa.


miyajima hiroshima guide
boat to miyajima
It's a quick (about 10 minutes) and stable ride via calm waters so no need to worry about getting seasick. The ferry is clean and very comfortable. You can choose to stay in an airconditioned room or on the deck. It also has clean toilets.

miyajima hiroshima guide
jr ferry 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!

miyajima hiroshima guide
miyajima island

And finally, The Great Torii of Miyajima!!!


miyajima hiroshima guide
the great torii of miyajima
miyajima hiroshima guide
ferry dock at miyajima

If you enjoyed Kyoto, you will FALL IN LOVE with Itsukushima

The small town of Itsukushima is quaint, authentic and beautiful. With a population of only 2,000 people, it is mostly quiet and serene with hundreds of different species of plant and trees offering shade for wooden park benches scattered along its sandy shores.

miyajima hiroshima guide
itsukushima
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.

miyajima hiroshima guide
itsukushima island

SHOPPING


There's lots of souvenir shops, cafes and food stalls along the path to the Great Torii.

miyajima hiroshima guide
shops on miyajima island
miyajima hiroshima guide
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.

miyajima hiroshima guide
oyster kariman miyajima
miyajima hiroshima guide
must try food in miyajima

PLACES TO SEE ON MIYAJIMA ISLAND


We woke up late. Aside from Miyajima, we were also supposed to visit the Peace Memorial A-Bomb Dome, the Park and several other places of interest on Hiroshima but since we were pressed for time, we decided to head straight to Istukushima instead.

When we got to the island, we sort of lost track of time because of how pretty our surroundings were. Also, we couldn't miss the last boat back so we only got to see the immediate areas around the Great Torii which is already fantastic, but if you have more time, here's some of the things you can look forward to as well:

  • THE GREAT TORII - best time to visit? Depends on what you're after, during high tide, it looks like it's floating in the water but you can't get close to it, during low tide, you can walk right next to it. I wanted to see it during high tide but it must've been the season because even at night, the base was still visible.
  • DEERS! - I had more fun interacting with the deers here than I did at Nara park. There, they could get super aggressive but here, they were much more chill and sweet.
  • MIYAJIMA PUBLIC AQUARIUM
  • Municipal Museum of History and Folkore
  • Toyokuni Shrine - you'll see in one of the photos below, it's just a great big (empty wooden hall), a Buddhist library that was never completed
  • Itsukushima Shrine - more below...
miyajima travel guide
miyajima beach
miyajima travel guide
deer of miyajima
ABOUT THE DEERS...
To keep them in check, you're not supposed to feed them. Not saying they won't try and beg and follow you around for food. Resist the temptation and keep papers and maps out of reach. They will grab it from you and eat it!

miyajima travel guide
where to see deer in japan
this one followed us aaaallll the way to the great torii. hahaha

hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima deers
but this sweet one was happy to just spend some quiet time with me on the beach...

miyajima travel guide
miyajima travel guide
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
quiet town of miyajima
miyajima travel guide
the great torii miyajima low tide
miyajima travel guide
japanese school kids on field trip to miyajima great torii
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
the great torii at miyajima island japan
miyajima travel guide
the great torii travel guide

ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE

Considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, the complex dates back to the 6th century with it's majestic Torii Gate as it's most popular feature.

A visit to the gate is free but to explore the compound, you need to pay small fee.

miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima shrine
miyajima travel guide
itsukushima shrine

ITSUKUSHIMA SHRINE OPERATING HOURS/FEES

Opens at 6:30am - 6:00pm daily.
(5:00pm during winter)

Entrance is 500YEN/220Php
miyajima travel guide
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.

miyajima travel guide
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.

miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima shrine compound
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
orange lacquered halls itsukushima shrine
miyjima, hiroshima travel guide
itsukushima shrine travel guide
miyjima, hiroshima 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! :)

CHECK OUT MORE JAPAN POSTS HERE

No comments: