Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
Train Or Plane? How To Travel From Tokyo To Miyajima
Miyajima in Hiroshima prefecture is known as one of japan's "Three Beautiful Views". On its grounds is Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site. In this article we explain how to travel to Miyajima from Tokyo, comparing the prices of the various means of
Written by ニコ
The Enchanting Miyajima Island
Miyajima is an island in Hiroshima prefecture and its landscape is known as one of the "Three Beautiful Views" of Japan. The quiet Seto Inland Sea boasts the World Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine, a shrine with a history spanning over 1400 years. The renowned red torii gate floats impressively in the ocean. There are many other historic shrines and temples here as well. This small island even has a mountain whose summit can be accessed by ropeway, as well as beautiful views of cherry blossoms and autumn flowers. You can enjoy strolling around the nature-rich island.
There are many local delicacies including oysters and momiji manju (sweet buns), a treat specific to the autumn season. We recommend you stay a night and take your time exploring the area.
If you've decided to head to Miyajima for your next vacation, we'll be sharing some of the most basic ways to access Miyajima from Tokyo. First, you'll head to Hiroshima by shinkansen or plane, and then ride a ferry to the island.
Traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima by Shinkansen
There is a direct shinkansen (bullet train) route from Tokyo to Hiroshima. The ride is approximately 4 hours long. A shinkansen ride will take longer than traveling by plane, but as there are four trains departing from Tokyo station every hour, it is more flexible and will fit into your plans well, not to mention that it is easier to get reservations.
Fares depend on the season, but as of August 2016, a ticket costs 11,660 yen + 7620 yen for a reserved seat, for a total of 19,280 yen. If you buy a round trip, you will receive a 10% discount on your ticket.
Or, if your plans are already fixed, you can purchase early reserve discount tickets for a much better price than buying on the day of travel.
Traveling from Tokyo to Hiroshima by Plane
Planes from Tokyo to Hiroshima depart from both Narita and Haneda airports. The flight takes about 1.5 hours. Airline companies covering the route are ANA, JAL, IBEX (from Narita), and Spring Airlines Japan (from Narita).
ANA and JAL have the most flights. A one-way Spring Airlines Japan (LCC) flight is the cheapest by far starting at 5000 yen. The other three carriers start at around 12,000 yen at cheapest for early reservations, and usually cost about 30,000 yen for regular bookings.
Flights are shorter time-wise compared to the shinkansen, but if you take into consideration the time it will take you to reach the airport as well as for boarding, there might not be many merits of flying from Narita or Haneda unless you're headed directly to Hiroshima.
Travel from Hiroshima to Miyajima
Once you've reached Hiroshima, it's time to cross the sea to the island. If you came here by plane, you can ride a bus from the airport to JR Hiroshima station (about 50 minutes, 1340 yen). From JR Hiroshima station, you'll head to Miyajimaguchi station on the JR Sanyo Main Line (about 25 minutes, 410 yen), and walk 5 minutes to the Miyajimaguchi harbor to ride the ferry to Miyajima.
Another route is to use the famous tram. If you ride the tram from the Hiroshima Electric Railway Hiroshima station (near JR Hiroshima station) to the Hiroshima Electric Railway Miyajima station, it will take you a little longer than using the JR (about an hour), but you'll be able to see the Hiroshima townscape from its windows. It also passes by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Ferries from Miyajimaguchi departs about every 15 minutes. They're run by the JR West Japan Miyajima Ferry and Miyajima Matsudai Kisen. Approximately 10 minutes on the sea and you'll arrive at Miyajima Pier. The fare is 180 yen one way.
The JR West Japan Miyajima Ferries departing from Miyajimaguchi between 9:10 AM and 4:10 PM are called the "Otoriibin", which run along a route that pass close by the great torii gate. You'l be able to snap photos of both the torii gate and Itsukushima Shrine.