Miyajima 1-day itinerary. © touristinjapan.com
Chugoku, Hiroshima, Itineraries

Miyajima 1-day Itinerary

Miyajima is widely considered one of the top 10 destinations in Japan. The sacred island off the coast of Hiroshima appears in almost every list of recommended places to visit in Japan, and for a good reason; it is extremely beautiful and charming. The world famous Itsukushima Shrine (UNESCO world Heritage), the tame Miyajima deer freely roaming the streets like they were humans, the dramatic mountains covered in virgin forest and the numerous hiking trails and temples all make Miyajima so fantastic.

 Miyajima Hotels Hiroshima Hotels Miyajima & Hiroshima Tour Japan Rail Pass

Miyajima has been a sacred island for centuries, and still today remains a very important location for both Shinto and Buddhist religions. The island stands as a stark contrast to the modern and busy Hiroshima City which sits in a flat river delta on the coast of the mainland. While the atomic bomb in 1945 robbed Hiroshima of nearly all traces of it’s ancient history, Miyajima survived and all ancient temples and shrines have been well preserved. Though located a 10 min ferry ride off the coast, Miyajima has in some way turned into the historic district that Hiroshima no longer has.

1-day itinerary Map

1-day itinerary Miyajima

09:00Senjokaku Pavilion
09:30Itsukushima Shrine
10:00Miyajima Museum of History or Miyajima Public Aquarium
12:00Lunch
13:00Daisho-in Temple
14:30Ropeway or Hike to Mount Misen
15:30Mount Misen Observatory
17:00Last ropeway down

Details of itinerary

Senjokaku Pavilion, Miyajima. © touristinjapan.com

Senjokaku Pavilion

Senjokaku Pavilion (千畳閣,), literally meaning “1000 tatami mat pavilion” is a large, unfinished 16th century wooden hall. The hall’s construction was initiated by the former Shogun Hideyoshi who died before it was finished. The sparse hall with it’s many paintings has a mystical atmosphere to it. Near the hall is a beautiful, red 5-story pagoda from 1405. It’s a good place to start the day, before heading on to the ever famous Itsukushima Shrine.

Entrance fee: ¥100

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Itsukushima Shrine, Miyajima. © touristinjapan.com

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine is one of the best known shrines in all of Japan, and a UNESCO world heritage site. The shrine is built in a small cove on Miyajima, and stands on pillars, almost entirely over the water. The iconic torii gate located in the water in front of the shrine is known around the world. Itsukushima Shrine is by many visitors considered the primary attraction of the island – and with good reason. It is a stunningly beautiful shrine.

Entrance fee: ¥300

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Miyajima Museum of History. © touristinjapan.com

Miyajima Museum of History

The time plan should permit you to visit either the museum or the aquarium – pick the one you are most interested in. 

Miyajima History and Folklore Museum introduces visitors to the history of Miyajima, with it’s main focus being on the edo-period (1603-1868). The museum, which is housed in a classic 1800’s house, is centered around a nice garden. There are many interesting objects on display which relate to the history of the sacred island. Visiting the museum provides a good basis for understanding the historic locations you visit during your stay in Miyajima.

If you are following this itinerary, then it is recommended to find a lunch restaurant between the museum and Daisho-in Temple. There are a few to chose from. 

Entrance fee: ¥300

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Miyajima Public Aquarium. © touristinjapan.com

Miyajima Public Aquarium

The time plan should permit you to visit either the museum or the aquarium – pick the one you are most interested in. 

Miyajima aquarium, also called “Miyajimarine” is a municipal aquarium located on the western edge of Miyajima‘s port town. The aquarium focuses mainly on the sea life found in the Seto Inland Sea and the general area around Miyajima. There are, however, also creatures from around the globe. The sea plays a huge role in the daily life on and around Miyajima, so studying the marine life is a valuable insight into the areas culture. The aquarium is highly suitable for travelers with children.

Entrance fee: ¥1420

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If you are following this itinerary, then it is recommended to find a lunch restaurant between the aquarium and Daisho-in Temple. There are a few to chose from. 

 

Daisho-in Temple, Miyajima. © touristinjapan.com

Daisho-in Temple

Daisho-in (大聖院) temple is an important temple in the Shingon Buddhist sect, and a highly important temple on Miyajima. The temple, which was founded by Kukai in 806, is known for it’s beautiful fall foliage and for keeping the same flame burning since the temple was established 1200 years ago (the flame is kept in a building near the peak of Mount Misen). Daisho-in temple is one of the most beautiful locations on Miyajima, and well worth a visit.

Entrance fee: free

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Next stop: If you are following this itinerary, then consider the time before you decide if you want to hike or take the ropeway to Mount Misen. The Daisho-in Hiking Course starts right next to Daisho-in temple, but it takes around 1.5 – 2 hours to hike to the top. Keep in mind that last ropeway down the mountain leaves around 17:30.

 

Mount Misen Observatory, Miyajima. © touristinjapan.com

Mount Misen Observatory

The highest point of the sacred island of Miyajima is Mount Misen (弥山) at 535 meters (1755 ft.). At the very top of the mountain is an observatory, called Mount Misen Observatory, with a stunning view over Hiroshima Bay. The top of the mountain can be reached either by hiking or by taking the ropeway. From Daisho-in it is a 90 minute hike to the top. The ropeway takes around 30 minutes and requires a 20-30 minute hike after arriving near the top.

Entrance fee: free (ropeway is not free)

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Suggested Hotels in Miyajima

Kurayado Iroha
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Iwaso
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Livemax
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Planning your stay on Miyajima

Tours, tickets and experiences

Miyajima and the prefecture of Hiroshima are full of amazing experiences. Adding a couple of experiences or tours could enhance your experience further and let you dive deeper into the local culture of the historic and nature rich Chugoku Region. Below is a selection of tours, itineraries and experiences which you may find interesting.

Experiences

Tours

Internet on the go

Having an internet connection can help you a great deal when navigating the streets of a new place. Booking Pocket Wi-Fi or getting a Japanese SIM-card for your phone can be a great way to help yourself out of a tricky situation or help you get the most out of your day.

Book portable WiFi

Transport on Miyajima

The public transport on Miyajima is strongly limited. There is a shuttle bus, called the “Maple Liner”, which is a minibus operated by the local taxi company Carp Taxi. If you require transport, then taking a taxi may also be an option. Most attractions for one-day visitors of Miyajima are within walking distance of each other, so there may not be a big need for transportation for most people.

? Maple Liner bus schedule

? Miyajima Carp Taxi (operator of Maple Liner)
The maple liner is a shared mini-taxi which runs like a bus.

There is also a ropeway which operates between the town and the top of Mount Misen.

? Miyajima Ropeway official website

Getting to Miyajima

By ferry: the ferry to Miyajima leaves from Miyajimaguchi port. The ferry takes 10 minutes and costs ¥180. There are two companies operating the route, Matsudai and Japan Rail. If you take the Japan Rail (JR) ferry, then the fare is covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

? JR Ferry official website

? Matsudai official website

Train to Miyajimaguchi port: take the JR Sanyo Line from Hiroshima station to Miyajimaguchi station. The ride takes around 30 minutes and the fare is ¥420 (covered by the Japan Rail Pass). Alternatively it’s possible to take tram no.2 from Hiroshima to Miyajimaguchi. The fare is lower at ¥270, but the tram takes around 70 minutes from Hiroshima Station to Miyajimaguchi. From the station, there is a 5 minute walk to the ferry port.

Hiroshima direct ferry: there are direct ferries from Hiroshima to Miyajima. If you have limited time in Hiroshima, this might be the most efficient option. The direct boat leaves from Hiroshima Peace Park (show pier on map), and the ride takes about 45 minutes. The one-way fare is ¥2’200, and a return ticket is ¥4’000. There are 17 daily departures in each direction.

? Aqua Net official website (direct ferry)

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