Miyajima Itinerary – Your Guide to a fantastic Miyajima Day Trip from Hiroshima

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Let’s play a game. Think about a typical landmark in Japan…I guess many of you have just thought about this typical orange Torii (Japanese gate) that seems to be floating in the water. Does it ring a bell? Well, this Torii is called the Itsukushima Shrine and is located on Miyajima Island right outside the city gates of Hiroshima.

In this article, you can read our comprehensive Miyajima Itinerary, including the best places to visit on Miyajima and a bunch of helpful travel tips. In this Miyajima 1 day itinerary, you can find for your Miyajima Day trip from Hiroshima.

Quick info about Miyajima

Itsukushima Torii with deer

  • Real name is “Itsukushima.”
  • Island around 20 km South of Hiroshima
  • The size of the island is 30.33 km²
  • The name Miyajima means “Shrine Island”
  • The Itsukushima-Shrine and its famous orange torii belong to the UNESCO World Heritage since 1996
  • Deer is walking around the island freely
  • On the island, you might find snow monkeys
  • Typical souvenir of this island is a wooden rice spoon

Where is Miyajima?

Miyajima Map
Source: Google Maps

Miyajima is located at the gateway to the Japanese city of Hiroshima, around 20 km away. The small island belongs to Hiroshima prefecture. Check our map above for its exact location in Japan.

How to get to Miyajima?

From Hiroshima Station (JR Hiroshima Station), you can take the train to Miyajimaguchi. The duration of the trip is around 30 Minuten and costs 420 Yen (ca. € 3.60/$ 4).

From Miyajimaguchi port, take a ferry. Basically, there are two companies which you can choose from. Each ticket costs 180 Yen (ca. € 1.60/ $ 1.70). So economically speaking it doesn’t really matter which one you are choosing.

But we got recommended to use the JR Line as this one drives by nearer the orange torii. Thus, you get a better view of it.

Miyajima Extra tip: If you are traveling with a JR pass, you can take the JR Line ferry between Hiroshima and Miyajimaguchi free of charge.

Our Miyajima Itinerary for an Amazing Day Trip

miyajima Torii Itsukushima Shrine
The famous torii of the Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima-Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima

Opening Hours Itsukushima: 6.30 am – 6 pm

Entrance Fee Itsukushima: 1,000 yen (approx. € 08.50/ $ 9.30)

Miyajima is particularly famous for the Itsukushima shrine with its orange torii. The unique thing about this Torii is its location in the middle of the water. However, what many visitors don’t know is that the orange gate is not always located in the water. Depending on whether the tide is low or high (depending on the time of day), you can simply walk in the dry to the Torii.

View on Itsukushima Torri during low tide
During low tide, you can easily walk around the torii

This impressive shrine was built in the 6th century and is still considered one of the most popular sights in Japan. Anyway, it has been looking the way you can experience this unique shrine today since the 12th century – 1168, to be precise. The famous 16 meters high Torii, which was once the gateway to the holy island, has also stood since this year.

Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island
Itsukushima Shrine during low-tide

Of course, we arrived on time for the low tide, although we would have loved to see the Torii in the water. When the water finally came back and touched the foot of the Torii, our ferry, unfortunately, already returned back to the mainland. Well, don’t worry. The sight was worth it despite the low tide. So we could at least look at the Torii from the other side, which, actually, is a totally unique outlook you won’t get to see in many travel guides.

Daisho-in Temple

scrolls at Daisho in Temple in Miyajima
Scrolls at Daisho-in Temple

Opening Hours Daisho-in: 8 am – 5 pm

Entrance Fee Daisho-in: free of charge

In addition to the famous Itsukushima Shrine, there are other popular sights and temples to explore during your visit to Miyajima. One of them is the Daisho-in temple. This fantastic temple is only a 15-minute walk from the port.

There are many Buddha statues in the temple, which can be found spread all over the temple complex. Another popular sight at the temple is a large bell that every visitor can ring once. From the top, you also have a great view over the island down to the orange Torii.

daisho-in miyajima ringing the bell

The Daisho-in Temple is considered one of the most important representatives of Shingon Buddhism in all of Japan. Other parts of the temple can be found on the top of Mount Misen, at the foot of which the temple is located.

Mount Misen

Mount Misen, Miyajima Island

Mt. Misen, with its 500 meters, is the highest mountain in the middle of the island. A visit here is ideal for a walk or hiking. But there is also a cable car that can take you up to enjoy an incredible view of the island and its unique nature. On clear days you can even see as far as Hiroshima.

The ascent to the top takes about 1½ to 2 hours and is usually easy to do. There are three different hiking trails to reach the top of the mountain. It is only important that you don’t walk up too late to be back down before dark.

On your ascent, you will find not only peaceful and impressive nature and great viewpoints, but also some religious relics that belong to the Daisho-in temple, which is located at the foot of the mountain.

With a little luck, you can even spot a few wild monkeys next to the little deer on the way up. However, in recent years, many of the monkeys have been brought to surrounding monkey parks. A reason for this is because the population has grown too much.

Important: Even if you take the cable car up, you still have to walk at least 1 km to reach the top of the mountain. Access to the cable car is about a 10-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine.

The Deer of Miyajima

Miyajima deer Japan

Another reason that drives many visitors to the island is the free-roaming deer living there. Similar to Nara, deer can be found on Miyajima as far as you see. So you should take good care of your bags, especially if you carry food around.

We were able to observe several deer who (more or less successfully) attacked visitors in order to steal their food. And when they are not after the food of the visitors, they stop at the street food stands. Because why not try?

hungry deer in Miyajima Island, Japan

Omotesando Street

Omotesando is the main visitor street of Miyajima. Here you will find restaurants, shops, and street food stands (and deer, of course).

There are a lot of delicious Japanese dishes and specialties to try on this street. It is hardly surprising that this street is considered the most popular street on the island.

When visiting Omotesando Street, you should definitely try Momiji Manju, which is so popular here. This is a pastry filled with red bean paste. A typical delicacy for the island, and it’s absolutely delicious.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Miyajima Public Aquarium

Opening Hours Aquarium Miyajima: 09 am – 05 pm

Entrance Fee Aquarium Miyajima: 1.420 Yen (ca. € 12.11/$ 13.30)

There is also an aquarium on the island. If you are interested in sea creatures or are traveling with children, you should definitely not miss this activity. In addition to much interesting fish and exotic marine life, there are special events every day that awaits you. Among other things, seal feeding and Penguin Fun Times are events that are offered at the Miyajima Aquarium.

Miyajima Day Trip or Overnight Stay?

Miyajima is simply a great destination, whether you choose a day trip or an overnight stay doesn’t really matter. Of course, it also depends on how much time you have at hand for your visit. In the following paragraph, you will find the advantages and disadvantages of a day trip to Miyajima and an overnight stay.

Benefits Miyajima Day trip

  • Doesn’t take much time
  • You can also visit the city from Kyoto or Osaka

Drawbacks Miyajima Day Trip

  • not much time on the island, especially if you are arriving from Kyoto or Osaka ⇒ relatively long journey
  • Often you only see the Torii at one time, i.e., either during the high tide or low tide

Benefits overnight stay in Miyajima

  • More flexible regarding time
  • You can experience the torii during different tides (low tide and high tide)
  • You can discover the island with far fewer tourists around
  • Miyajima is the perfect place for an overnight stay in a ryokan

Drawbacks overnight stay in Miyajima

  • Takes more time than a day trip
  • After 6 pm all shops and many restaurants close their doors

deer in Miyajima

The best place to stay in Miyajima

If you decide to stay on this unique island, we strongly recommend that you spend the night in a traditional Japanese ryokan. Even though such an overnight stay is not exactly cheap, it is still considered one of the most extraordinary experiences that you will undoubtedly remember even a long time after your trip to Japan.

Mizuhasou

This typical traditional 1-star ryokan is considered to be the cheapest on the island, but it doesn’t feel cheap in any way. You can choose between traditional Japanese rooms and western furnishings (we definitely recommend the Japanese room!).

The property is within walking distance of the Itsukushima Shrine.

Each room is equipped with a flat-screen TV and a private toilet. However, the bathrooms are shared with the other guests, as is customary in a traditional ryokan.

For the complete Japanese experience, yukata robes and house clothing are also available for all guests. The exceptional breakfast is included in all reservations. Depending on the reservation, a typical traditional Japanese dinner is also included, with fish and seafood lovers, in particular, getting their money’s worth.

Check further information, prices, and availability of Mizuhasou Ryokan

Would you rather stay in Hiroshima?

To check all accommodation in Hiroshima, click here.

FAQ about Miyajima

How much time do I need for Miyajima?

We recommend spending at least one day on the island. If you also want to discover the nearby city of Hiroshima, you should plan a good 2-3 days if possible.

How long does the crossing to Miyajima take?

The ferry crossing from Miyajimaguchi to Miyajima only takes around 10 minutes. During the trip, you have a fantastic view of the island’s famous Torii.

Should I stay in Miyajima?

After the tourists leave the island, it can become very quiet on the island. But if you always wanted to spend the night in a traditional ryokan, Miyajima is the perfect opportunity.

Can I visit Hiroshima and Miyajima in just one day?

In theory, that is possible. To do this, you have to start very early in the morning and are probably on your feet all day. We, therefore, recommend that you plan at least 2 days to explore these two great places in Japan.

What is Miyajima famous for?

Miyajima is especially famous for its Torii, which belongs to Itsukushima shrine. Everyone has probably seen the picture of the famous “Toriis floating in the water” before.

Can I use my JR Pass to visit Miyajima?

Yes, you can. You can take the JR Line ferry from Miyajimaguchi with the JR Pass for free. The same applies to the JR train between Hiroshima and Miyajimaguchi.

Should I stay in Hiroshima or Miyajima?

That is entirely up to you. Those who like it very quiet will find excellent accommodation in Miyajima. If you prefer to stay in a city and want to go out in the evening, you are better off in Hiroshima.

Should I visit Hiroshima and Miyajima from Osaka or Kyoto?

Since the two Japanese cities of Osaka and Kyoto are very close together, the ride on the high-speed train only makes a difference of around 10 minutes. So it doesn’t really matter which of the cities you come from.

What does Miyajima mean?

Miyajima means “shrine island”. The very name already refers to the Itsukushima shrine on the island, which is also the actual namesake of the island.

More Japan

Read more of our Japan Travel Guides to plan your trip to Japan perfectly.


Have you ever been to Miyajima? What was your absolute highlight? Or do you have any questions about the island? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the AuthorVicki

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