Looking to do a day trip from Osaka to Hiroshima and Miyajima?
Great! Going from Osaka to Hiroshima on a day trip is easy with the excellent rail network that connects the two and this will show you how to do it and where to go.
Hiroshima is a city in Japan that should be visited as a poignant reminder of the horrors of war and how through hell a city can come back and flourish in the modern age.
Nearby Miyajima Island is an excellent side trip from Hiroshima for shrines/temples and mountain hiking with a view.
Osaka To Hiroshima Day Trip (+ Miyajima Island)
Getting To Hiroshima From Osaka
Get a Japan Rail Pass before going to Japan (get one with that link) as it will save you loads on rail travel in Japan, especially the fast Shinkansen trains.
It’s those Shinkansen trains that make longer distance day trips so much easier.
You can get from Osaka to Hiroshima, depending on the specific Shinkansen taken, in one and a half to two hours and 15 minutes.
The journey by local train will take around six hours and so is not practical for a day trip from Osaka to Hiroshima.
There are buses that go from Osaka to Hiroshima but these take around five hours so are not worth it for the day trip.
Like mentioned before it really is an essential bit of your Japan travel plans to get a Japan Rail Pass before visiting to save you money and time if you plan to move around a lot for these kind of trips.
What To Do In Hiroshima
Hiroshima travel tip: get a Visit Hiroshima Tourist Passto help you out with your sightseeing in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
The simple truth is there isn’t a ‘lot’ of traditional stuff to do in Hiroshima and that’s because the whole city was wiped out in World War 2 when there first atom bomb ever used was dropped on the city at 8.15am on 6th August 1945.
That is one of the main things to do in Hiroshima: visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
I started at the famed Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome. The dome was very close to where the atomic bomb exploded on Hiroshima but it’s structure survived and is still standing today (with renovation works).
It is a symbol of destruction and yet endurance for world peace today.
Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome.
After seeing the Atomic Bomb Dome walk across through the Peace Park and to the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims.
Walking in Hiroshima Peace Park.
The Hiroshima Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims lies in the park as you walk through the park towards the Peace Memorial Museum.
All the names of people killed in the atomic bomb explosion are inscribed in the stone vault.
The whole area is a poignant reminder on the hours of war and the horrors of nuclear warfare.
Hiroshima Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims.
Through the cenotaph you can see the Atomic Bomb Dome.
After the dome, park, and cenotaph head to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and learn the horrifying history of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
I didn’t take any photos inside the museum. It was very emotional to visit.
It’s an education on and an understanding to remove the world of all nuclear weapons.
A must visit.
To be honest I didn’t actually make it to Hiroshima Castle myself (the pic is a stock photo for the post), mainly due to my time limit, but also because I had seen so many castles by then.
However I have heard it is a beautifully reconstructed (like everything in Hiroshima it was destroyed by the atomic bomb) castle and has a wooden exterior.
If you are short on time, want to get to Miyajima, and plan to see or have seen other castles in Japan, then I would say to skip the castle like I did.
But if you get to Hiroshima early enough and love castles or won’t have the opportunity to see other castles in Japan then try and get to it.
If you do want to visit you can find more information on Hiroshima Castle here.
Also known as Itsukushima Island, Miyajima Island is an essential part of the Hiroshima day trip as it’s not that far away and a beautiful place to visit.
Getting From Hiroshima To Miyajima
Every 15 minutes or so a train leaves Hiroshima for Miyajima mainland station which takes roughly 25 minutes. At the station you then take a ten minute ferry ride to Miyajima Island.
The Japan Rail Pass covers part of the journey.
What to do on Miyajima Island
The Itsukushima Floating Tori Gate is the famous photo to get on Miyajima Island.
When the tide is high it appears to be floating on the water (hence the name).
When I arrived it was low tide but at least then one could walk out close to it. On the way out at the end of the day the sea had come up and submerged the base of it.
The gate is about a ten minute walk from where the ferry will drop you off.
Itsukushima Floating Tori Gate.
The nearby Itsukushima Shrine is definitely worth checking out after taking a look at the Tori gate.
It’s a small complex and the view across to the Tori Gate is superb, especially when it’s high tide and the water is under them.
Praying with monk inside the shrine.
The best way to get to the top of Miyajima is to take the ropeway (cable car).
It’s a several minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine to the ropeway station.
On the way up the cable cars go close to the forest canopy and offer awesome views.
At the top of Miyajima you can walk around some short trails and there are two observatories for great views, the Shishiwa Observatory and the Mount Misen Observatory.
There are a few temples and shrines to see on the top as well.
Spend a bit of time up there to take in the peace of the place.
View from the top of Miyajima.
If you are feeling up to it you can also hike back down the mountain on a trail that doesnt take too long to go down. But if you’re short on time by this point then take the cable car to be safe.
But if you hike down you may be able to see a deer or two.
A deer seen while hiking on Miyajima.
Back at the bottom check to see what the water is doing around the Floating Tori Gate as it may by now be different from when you came in, allowing for different styles of photos.
Me at the Itsukushima Floating Tori Gate with the water up.
Depending on what time of year you visit, or how late you go back to Osaka, you could see some of modern Hiroshima at night.
Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Dome at night (obviously at night).
Take a walk around the streets a bit and soak up the modern vibe that can be found in all of Japan’s big cities.
Hiroshima also is famous for its okonomiyaki so try and grab one for dinner before going from Hiroshima to Osaka.
Osaka to Hiroshima Miyajima Day Trip
That all makes a great day trip from Osaka to Hiroshima.
If you plan more day trips from Osaka (or Kyoto) then my post about the 13 best day trips from Osaka will give you loads of good ideas.
Also when in Osaka the best things to do in Osaka when there.
As mentioned in the beginning take a Japan Rail Pass for train travel in Japan.
If you don’t feel like doing a trip to Hiroshima by yourself but would prefer to be on a tour then you can do an Osaka (or Kyoto) Day Tour to Hiroshima (book with that link) with this recommended and popular company.
Planning to see some things in Osaka as well? Then get an Osaka Amazing Pass valid for 2 days to save time and money for tourist attractions and transport in Osaka city.
If you end up choosing to stay in the Hiroshima area instead of doing a day trip from Osaka then be sure to take the ferry and visit Matsuyama to see the historic Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen.
For more information on visiting Hiroshima take a look here.
A quick video summing up the day trip:
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