Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
How To Travel From Osaka To Miyajima
Written by ニコ
Miyajima in Hiroshima Prefecture is known for its World Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine. In this article we explain how to travel from Osaka to Hiroshima, how long traveling there will take, fares, and how to ride the ferry.
The Mystic Charm of Miyajima
It is often said that Miyajima an island where mankind lives together with the gods. Located in Japan's Chugoku area, in Hiroshima Prefecture Miyajima is perhaps best known for its impressive World Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine and its red torii (sacred gate) floating on the ocean, but Miyajima is also home to other historical temples and shrines, a famous pagoda, and scores of Japanese deer that freely walk through the island.
The best season to visit here is in the fall, when visitors can enjoy the magnificent autumn leaves. The beauty of the flaming red mountains is nothing short of amazing. The "momiji manju", sweet buns modeled after autumn leaves, as well as oysters, are famous foods and souvenirs here. You'll also be surprised by the friendly deer on the island, but be careful when holding food in your hands.
In this article we'll be explaining how to travel from Osaka to Miyajima. First you'll be heading for Hiroshima station, and then head to the island.
Traveling from Osaka to Hiroshima by Shinkansen
If you're traveling by Shinkansen (bullet train), you'll be boarding at Shin-Osaka Station. You can reach Hiroshima in about 1.5 hours at the shortest. The fare varies but is about several thousand yen. The price for a reserved seat is also several thousand yen for a total of about 10,000 yen.
You can choose from the Nozomi, Hikari, or Kodama trains, as well as the JR West-exclusive Sakura and Mizuho trains. However, the Kodama stops at each of the major stations, resulting in a longer ride.
Traveling from Osaka to Hiroshima by Standard Trains
If you travel by regular trains instead of the shinkansen, the ride will take you about 6 to 6.5 hours, and you will have to transfer many times.
Depart from Shin-Osaka (JR Central Japan, Sanyo Main Line, for Himeji) → Himeji (Sanyo Main Line, for Niimi) → Okayama (Sanyo Main Line, for Mihara) → Mihara (Sanyo Main Line, for Iwakuni) → Arrive at Hiroshima
The merit of this route is its affordability. The above route will only cost you 5,620 yen. If you use an unlimited ride ticket, you can make your trip even cheaper. The "Seishun 18 Ticket", sold in the spring, summer, and winter, is a package of 5 tickets for 11,850 yen. Each ticket can be used for unlimited rides for a day from the first train in the morning until 11:59 PM, for the price of just 2,370 yen. You can share the tickets among whoever you're traveling with (one ticket per person). So if you're a group of five, you can travel to Hiroshima for only 2,370 yen. You can also use the tickets on separate dates during the validity period.
However, these tickets are only available during certain seasons, so you should check beforehand.
Traveling from Osaka to Hiroshima by Express Bus
If you want to travel cheaply, the express bus is for you. From Osaka station's bus terminal, an express bus will get you to Hiroshima in about 5 to 8.5 hours. The fare is about 3,850 to 5,850 yen. There are buses that travel during the daytime and buses that travel at night. Daytime buses are fun if you want to watch the townscape outside pass by. Night buses are good in that you can save a night's worth of accommodation money, but if you're not used to sleeping in a car, you might be even more tired than before you left.
Travel from Hiroshima to Miyajima
First, you'll head from the city area of Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi Station by train. You can choose either the JR or the Hiroden (Hiroshima Electric Railway) tram. If you want to save time, use the JR. If you have time on your hands and want to enjoy the view, use the Hiroden.
From JR Hiroshima station to JR Miyajimaguchi Station costs 410 yen one way, and will take you 28 minutes. The Hiroden costs only 260 yen, but it will take you about an hour and 10 minutes. The stops of the Hiroden are conveniently located in the city areas, and you can just hop on wherever you are, as long as the tram is headed for Miyajimaguchi.
The major stops in the city area are Hacchobori Dentei, Kamiyachonishi Dentei, and Kamiyachohigashi Dentei. The tram will let you enjoy a tourist bus-like experience.
You will pass by the World Heritage Site, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, and see views of the stunning Seto Inland Sea. Unlimited ride-tickets are also available as a set together with ferry tickets.
Ferries to Miyajima are run by JR Ferry and Matsudai Kisen. Both have a fare of 180 yen one way (children are half price). The ride is 10 minutes long. If you hold the JR Pass you can ride the JR Ferry for free.
Miyajima is especially famous for its great torii gate floating on the water. JR Ferries departing from 9:10 AM to 4:10 PM will pass right by the sacred torii. Both ferries depart every 15 minutes.
Once you arrive at the island, be careful of the friendly deer, and visit the Itsukushima Shrine. Souvenir shops are gathered on the corner of the island, you can enjoy the pleasant smell of fresh oysters.
The famous momiji manju are available at various stores, and are made in various unique ways depending on the store, such as by machine, or in the old-fashioned way by hand. They each have different tastes, so it might be fun to compare the flavors from several stores. The renewed Miyaji Marine aquarium is also popular.