Day Trip to Miyajima and Hiroshima
Based in Kyoto, we just had to experience a day trip to Miyajima and Hiroshima.
We booked our tickets to Hiroshima in advance using the Japan Rail Pass and travelled on the 8am train arriving in Hiroshima at 10.30. We then caught a train to Miyajima to travel on the 10 minute ferry to Miyajima island (all included on the Japan Rail Pass).
You could spend all day on the island exploring! However, we spent around 3 hours (make sure you time it for the ferry/train back) so we could spend the afternoon in Hiroshima.
The island has a number of shrines and temples, including the famous floating shrine (£3) of Itsukushima-jinji, although you cannot enter when the tide is high!
We visited the Daisho-in shrine which was approx 15 mins from the ferry and the bottom of the climb to Misen. It provided lovely views and you have to check out the numerous Buddha statutes, which have hats on that were knitted by the monks.
If you have time, I would recommend hiking Misen or getting the ropeways up to the top which then leaves you a 20 minute walk. Sadly, our itinerary did not allow this.
There a number of shops and restaurants near the exit from the ferry. We ended up eating at a cute restaurant where you can sit on the floor and had some delicious tonkatsu.
Another highlight of the island are the deer that wander around and are generally harmless. There are notices up not to feed them though so do respect that.
We travelled back to Hiroshima station and took tram number 712 to the Peace Memorial Park.
The Atomic Bomb Dome has been kept intact and stands proud in the city as one of the few buildings left anywhere near the epicentre of the bombings. There was a lot of indecision at the time of WW2 whether or not to preserve the remains or to knock it down completely but it is a poignant memorial and reminder of the past.
The park contains a burning “flame of peace”, which will continue to burn until nuclear weapons are destroyed. One of the main arches in the park was designed so you could see the atomic bomb dome, the cenotpah and the flame.
The Peace Memorial Museum was clearly tough to experience and read about but they have presented the memorial as a sign of peace and moving on, rather than an overview of Japan’s version of events in the war.
There are also many groups of school children visiting Hiroshima for the day who are so enthusiastic to chat to tourists, practice their English and ask some questions. They gave us a little peace bookmark for our time, which was so sweet.
A day trip to Miyajima and Hiroshima is absolutely recommended. It is a long day but totally worth fitting in both.
East London Girl: Miyajima and Hiroshima