Useful Website (weather forecast, tidal table, and cherry blossom forecast): http://visit-miyajima-japan.com/en/prepare-your-stay/previsions-meteo-et-marees.html
Hiroshima > Iwakuni > Miyajima > Hiroshima
If you are planning a trip to Hiroshima, spend a day outside the city in Iwakuni and Miyajima – and it is what I did.
After approximately an hour JR ride from Hiroshima (plus another 20-min bus ride), we arrived the famous Kintaikyo (bridge) in Iwakuni. Once I walked out the Iwakuni station, there was a sign for the bus to the bridge – easy.
I was originally expecting nothing else but a wooden bridge (A very famous bridge, though). Surprisingly it was much more GINORMOUS than I thought; the moment I got off the bus I saw the five magnificent wooden arches spanning across the running, crystal-clear Nishiki River.
It was the cherry blossom festival at that time and the view was breathtaking~ Flowers were blooming and birds were soaring over our heads. Paid 500 yen to cross the bridge, and we saw lots of exciting food stalls in the carnival; an ice-cream stall that offered over 100 different flavors! A food stall that was grilling Hiroshima Oysters! And turnip-cake-shape-like Iwakuni Sushi!
Go halfsies with a friend to buy a bento box and have a picnic on the riverside, kids were chasing in the water and the Iwakuni castle was standing at the peak of the nearby hill. The wonderfully fulfilling experience ended with a bag of clay-oven cookies to be shared with loved ones at home ~ Yeah!!
Open Hours: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ticketing: ¥300 (both ways)
How did I get there: JR from Hiroshima and get off @ the Iwakuni station. There are signs leading people to the bus-stop the moment getting off the bus. Just follow the signs, and don’t worry.
After a pleasure picnic light lunch, we took the JR back to the Miyajima station. Again, we just followed the crowd getting off the train and reached the pier. In a short time, we landed on the world-known UNESCO World Heritage Site & the Japanese National Treasure – the Itsukushima Shrine (厳島神社. We were super, super lucky that day to experience both tidal levels in one afternoon. We took a boat ride through the giant Torii gate, and spent around 1 hour inside the shrine, admiring the magnificent architecture. After that, we had a late afternoon meal at a nearby restaurant, and just in time to walk down and took some close up shots with the Torii and the gorgeous sunset. On our way back to Hiroshima, we grabbed some snacks (yummy steam buns) and souvenir from the Omotesando Shopping Street and we still have time to do shopping and dinner in Hiroshima shopping district at night. PPERFECT~~~~~~~~~
Open Hours: 6:30 am – 6:00 pm
Ticketing: ¥300 (¥500 for combined entry with Treasure Hall) + Extra for a boat ride (but totally worth it if it’s available!)
How did I get there: JR connections and take a JR Ferry @ the Miyajima ferry terminal – and it’s included in JR Pass 🙂 Make sure you dressed warm enough in cold days and stand on the deck to enjoy the view of the island from afar!
1. I did Kintaikyo first because I checked the tidal changes and it was on the evening that day, feel free to move your schedule around because tides change every day.
2. if you have a JR pass – the ship ride to Miyajima is included so it’s free!
Here’s a video showing the incredible sights in the area and it was amazing!
Any thoughts, tips or questions?