One Day in Hiroshima & Miyajima Island, Japan

Miyajima Island

Hiroshima was a very emotionally humbling experience for us.  But before we talk about Hiroshima we want to introduct you to nearby, Miyajima. We took the JR ferry to Itsukushima Island (also known as Miyajima Island) to visit the iconic Floating Shrine. Since we had our JR Pass the ferry was no charge. You will notice after exiting the ferry that there are a lot of deer on the island. They are super friendly but don’t leave them alone with your bags! They will eat anything! There is a Taiyaki shop located directly in front of the JR Ferry entrance/exit. We did not find an English name for it but it was one of the best Taiyaki shops and the most reasonably priced at 180Y a piece.

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Hiroshima

“This is our cry, this is our prayer, peace in the world.”

We first started our time in Hiroshima by visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome a Japanese World Heritage Site where the first atomic bomb was initially dropped; the Children’s Peace Memorial to commemorate the many children that lost their lives, and the Peace Memorial Museum. All of which were unforgettable and moving. Many people that were just small children when this catastrophic event happened were there speaking to local school children.

As a young child, I (Kallsy) remember reading a book titled A Thousand Paper Cranes which told the true story of Sadako and how she believed that if she could make 1,000 paper cranes her wish would come true. Unfortunately, Sadako was not able to fulfill this dream and passed away due to the after effects of the atomic bomb. When you look at our album from Hiroshima, you will see the top of a statue that has the images of children. This was a memorial for Sadako and so many other children that were lost. Seeing the devastation and loss in this perspective was something we could never have imagined. But it was also encouraging to see how only after 70 years a city has overcome every obstacle and rebuilt.

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Children’s Peace Memorial

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The radius of the Atomic Bomb dropped in Hiroshima was catastrophic

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A little boys bicycle.

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DINING

Restaurant: Hassei

Hiroshima is known for its excellent okonomiyaki, Hassei was terrific with its portion size and the ability to customize your own plate.

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ACCOMMODATIONS

Mitsui Garden Hotel

Very reasonable price at $48 (US) a night. The room was a great value, considering the room was comfortably sized and very clean.


TRANSPORTATION

One unique characteristic of Hiroshima’s public transit was the electric streetcar. These above-ground trolleys operate very similarly to other public transit in Japan. To utilize the street cars (Hiroshima Dentetsu) first find a streetcar stop/station for your desired car. Utilizing Google Maps can be very beneficial in determining which car you need, what station, and how much it will cost. As similar to buses, enter the streetcar through the “entrance doors”, and pay via cash or transit card when exiting.


While you may not need numerous days while visiting Hiroshima, it is worth the trip simply for the harrowing history, incredible beauty, and difference in culture.

After getting a good nights rest, we packed up and headed to the hot spring town, Kinosaki Onsen.

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Spending 24 Hours in Hiroshima and Miyajima Island will humble you, haunt you, and blow you away. www.pagesoftravel.org

  • Paula
    October 4, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Thank you for all these great posts about Japan. We are heading there in November and I really enjoying reading these.

    • kallsypage
      October 4, 2016 at 6:41 PM

      Paula, I’m so excited for your adventure and that you found our Japan guides helpful! It’s by far our most favorite country that we’ve visited. Let us know if you have any questions. We’d be happy to help! 🙂

  • Ashley Smith
    October 23, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    I visit a lot of tragic spots (for whatever reason lol) and I know exactly the feelings! I still feel they’re important places to visit though. Your pictures are gorgeous though and those deer are precious. ♡♡

    • kallsypage
      October 23, 2016 at 2:39 PM

      Ashley, I completely agree with you. It’s a humbling experience to visit such places and it really puts things into perspective. Thank you for the compliments!

  • Carmen
    October 23, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    I use to read the Thousand Papers Cranes to my 5th graders when I taught US history. The memorial looks just like the pictures in our history books. Very moving!

    • kallsypage
      October 23, 2016 at 8:24 PM

      Isn’t it a touching story? We didn’t take many photos inside the memorial because we were afraid it would be disrespectful, but we tried to take a few so that others could see the devastation second hand. It was definitely very moving!

  • Nanie
    October 23, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Very useful post, Kallsy. I’d like to make another trip (or two) to Japan since its just next door. Well, kinda. I understand how you feel. I read 1000 Paper Cranes too when I was younger 🙁

    • kallsypage
      October 24, 2016 at 9:24 PM

      I wish we lived closer! We absolutely love Japan. Seems like many have read that book and I am really glad! 🙂

  • Susan
    October 24, 2016 at 5:16 AM

    I remember reading the Thousand Paper Cranes! Thank you such a poignant post. I think it’s really important to also visit places such as Hiroshima and pay respect for what has happened there. I’ve never been, but Japan is on my husband’s wishlist of places to visit.

    • kallsypage
      October 24, 2016 at 9:11 PM

      Susan, I’m glad you also remember reading it! It’s a fabulous and humbling book. I highly recommend visiting if you have the chance. 🙂

  • Tom
    October 25, 2016 at 4:43 AM

    Very poignant post! Hiroshima is somewhere that I want to visit, especially as a History graduate.

    • kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:21 PM

      I hope you make it someday Tom! It’s a very special experience.

  • Russell Fernandez
    October 25, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    I can imagine how it would feel being at a place with significant history and hope much the place would have changed since that time. Is live to visit hiroshima for all of its history and paying homage to the countless people that lost their lives. Appreciate the deep insight to the place but also it’s recovering interests that have rebuilt the place.

    • kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:26 PM

      Russell, it’s truly amazing to see how much they’ve rebuilt in such a short amount of time. I only wish that the whole world could visit places like this so that we could all understand the need for understanding and peace.

  • Lianna
    October 25, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Wow, what a humbling and incredible experience that must have been. I had to do a project on Hiroshima for one of my classes in college, really makes me want to visit and pay respects as well as discover what Hiroshima has to offer. I think you did a great job with this post, lots of information that inspires me to visit even more.

    • kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:30 PM

      Lianna, thank you so much. When we decided to visit Japan we knew that we would need to visit Hiroshima and do exactly what you mentioned. It was humbling but also encouraging to see how much they have rebuilt and come together in such a short amount of time.

  • Wanderlust Vegans
    October 25, 2016 at 4:10 PM

    Some really great photos, thanks for sharing. We really want to get ourselves to Japan. I can’t believe you found accomodation for under $50USD! Now we are definitely going!

    • kallsypage
      October 25, 2016 at 6:28 PM

      Thank you Wanderlust Vegans, it’s well worth a visit! Most people think that Japan is expensive but we found that it’s all about how much to research. Most of our accommodations were around $40-$100USD a night and those that were not it’s because we splurged on a few places. 😉 Hope you make it soon!

  • Johann Kuruvilla
    October 27, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    I should commend the resilience and determination of the people of Hiroshima. This is a very touching post. Its great to know that the people have rebuilt their lives after the devastation they went through. Thank you for sharing this post with the world. Hoping someday I get to go here.

    • kallsypage
      October 28, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      Johann, you are completely right. It’s amazing that the people in Hiroshima and others around the globe have worked together to restore a place with such devastating history. It was interesting to think that no structure that is currently there was there prior to the atomic bomb drop. I hope you are able to visit someday.

  • Brown Gal Trekker
    October 29, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    Nice experience it seems and the photos are great. Never been to Japan as it’s a bit pricier for travels. Glad to know there are some cheap accommodations.

    • kallsypage
      October 30, 2016 at 2:17 PM

      The flight over to Japan is definitely costly but we found that once we were there it’s more affordable that one would think! I hope you get the chance to visit someday.

  • Maria
    October 30, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Beautiful post about Hiroshima and great gallery of images. One can feel the emotions though the way you looked at the city.

    • kallsypage
      October 30, 2016 at 5:41 PM

      Maria, it was definitely an emotional experience for obvious reasons. Thank you for reading!

  • Joan
    August 28, 2017 at 12:17 AM

    Beautiful pictures! I found your post while researching if it’s possible to see both Miyajima & Hiroshima in 8 hours. From reading your post it seems doable. We are planning to go early next year and our plan is to land in Tokyo at 5 am and then head down to Hiroshima via JR train right away (because the flight to Kansai will arrive there at 2 pm and I read that from Kansai to Hiroshima would be another 3 hours – which meant that we will get there at 5 pm). That meant that we are going to get there at 11 am-12 noon. Do you think the afternoon is enough to see the essential sights and attractions of Hiroshima & Miyajima?