Day Trip To Hiroshima From Osaka or Kyoto: A 1-Day Itinerary

Are you planning on doing a Hiroshima day trip from Osaka or Kyoto? Great, we are here to help.

As the Ground Zero for the first atomic bomb during World War II, Hiroshima is a city filled with memories of the terrible things humans can do. A visit to Hiroshima is humbling and eye-widening, yet one of the most unique experiences in Japan.

In our guide, we will teach you how to get to Hiroshima, what to do on your day trip, and what type of food to try in Hiroshima!

Want to have a tour guide and not worry about planning your Hiroshima trip?
Check out our recommended bus tour from Osaka or Kyoto!

(Bullet train ticket included!)

Is A Day Trip To Hiroshima Enough?

If you are planning a day trip to Hiroshima from Osaka or Kyoto, you must wonder if one day in Hiroshima is enough. After all, Hiroshima is a big city and has a tremendous amount of history because of the tragedy that happened here in World War II.

The short answer is.. Yes, 1 day is enough in Hiroshima. The most notable attractions in Hiroshima are unquestionably the Atomic Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, both of which can be visited in half a day.

For the remaining time, we will visit the Miyajima island located off the coast of Hiroshima, where the famous shrine and “floating” torii gate are located.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things to do in Hiroshima, Japan. However, besides the Atomic Bomb Dome and the museum, many of the attractions in Hiroshima are similar to the ones in other cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka.

Osaka To Hiroshima Day Trip

How to Get From Osaka to Hiroshima

Hiroshima is one of the easiest and most popular day trips from Osaka. If you are spending a long time in Osaka, consider adding Hiroshima to your Osaka itinerary!

Shinkansen Bullet Train From Osaka To Hiroshima

The easiest way to get to Hiroshima from Osaka is with the shinkansen, or bullet train in English.

The bullet train is the easiest and quickest but the most expensive way to get from Osaka to Hiroshima.

There are 4 models of bullet trains to Hiroshima from Osaka: Nozomi, Mizuho, Sakura, and Hikari.

At a little under an hour and a half, the Nozomi and Mizuho bullet trains are the fastest options to get to Hiroshima. However, they are not covered by the JR Rail Pass. 

The Sakura is the third-fastest model of the bullet train to get to Hiroshima. At a little over an hour and a half, the Sakura is covered by the JR Rail Pass and the best option to get to Hiroshima.

The Hikari is the slowest shinkansen from Osaka to Hiroshima. Though it is covered by the JR Rail Pass, it takes 2.5 hours to get to Hiroshima from Osaka.

The bullet trains depart from Shin-Osaka Station and arrive at Hiroshima Station.

Without the JR Rail Pass, the shinkansen from Osaka to Hiroshima costs around 10,700 yen one-way. If you want to take a day trip to Hiroshima from Kyoto or Osaka using the bullet train, having the JR Rail Pass will save you lots of money.

Bus From Osaka To Hiroshima

The other option to get from Osaka to Hiroshima is by bus. Though it is cheaper than the shinkansen, the bus takes 5 hours to get from Osaka to Hiroshima. If you are spending 5 hours on a bus, I would no longer consider this as a day trip to Hiroshima, more like a day trip to hell.

However, the good thing about taking the bus to Hiroshima is the cost. The cost of a bus from Osaka to Hiroshima is about 5,000 yen, which is much lower than 10,700 yen for a shinkansen.

If you are a money-saving masochist, there is an option for you. There is an overnight bus that leaves around 11 PM from Osaka and arrives in Hiroshima at around 7 AM the next morning. Personally, I wouldn’t do this because there is a tiresome of exploring Hiroshima ahead of you, but there is always the option.

Check the bus schedule using Kosokubus or WillerExpress.

Kyoto To Hiroshima Day Trip

How To Get From Kyoto To Hiroshima

Though it takes less time to get to Hiroshima from Osaka, it is still very easy to do a day trip from Kyoto.

Shinkansen Bullet Train From Kyoto To Hiroshima

Taking the bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima is simple, but might require you to make a transfer.

Unlike the shinkansen from Osaka where they go directly from Osaka to Hiroshima, the ones in Kyoto may not.

If you are taking the Nozomi shinkansen, it will go directly to Hiroshima. The journey is 1 hour and 40 minutes long and the cost is NOT covered by the JR Pass.

If you want to take bullet trains that are covered by the JR Rail Pass, then you have to take the Hikari or Sakura. The Hikari or Sakura shinkansen may run directly to Hiroshima but there are times when you have to make a transfer at Shin-Kobe or Shin-Osaka.

Don’t worry, this will only add 20 minutes or so to your trip, which will last 2 hours in total.

Check the schedule for the bullet train departures on the West JR official website.

Without the JR Pass, the shinkansen to Hiroshima from Kyoto costs around 11,820 yen.

Bus From Kyoto To Hiroshima

Taking a bus from Kyoto to Hiroshima is also a viable option if you don’t have a short Japan itinerary. A bus can easily take around 6 hours to get from Kyoto to Hiroshima.

Though it is impossible to do a day trip to Hiroshima if you plan on taking the bus, you can save some money if you plan on staying a few days in Hiroshima.

A bus to Hiroshima from Kyoto costs around 5,000 yen, depending on the season, seats, and occupancy level. 

Check your options at Kosokubus or WillerExpress. Both are reliable companies for highway buses!

1-Day Hiroshima Day Trip Itinerary (Plus Miyajima Island)

Morning: Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Whether you are arriving in Hiroshima from Kyoto or Osaka, aim to arrive at Hiroshima no later than 10 AM. It is recommended that you take breakfast before getting on the shinkansen so you don’t starve on the journey to Hiroshima.

However, if you don’t get the chance to, don’t worry. There are plenty of stores open at the Hiroshima station.

Once you arrive at Hiroshima station, the first thing you will be doing is getting your 1 Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass. This pass costs 840 yen but allows you unlimited rides on Hiroshima Electric Railway such as city buses and trams.

You can buy your 1-day pass at the Hiroshima Station Streetcar Information Desk in front of the departure platform.

Once you have the pass, head over Genbaku Dome-Mae Station to see the Atomic Bomb Dome, or the Genbaku Dome. 

Located in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the Atomic Bomb Dome is a world-recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15 AM on August 6th, 1945, the explosion created widespread destruction.

Miraculously, one of the buildings escaped death. 160 meters away from the epicenter of the atomic bomb was the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall. Though most of the inside of the building completely vanished when the atomic bomb exploded 600 meters above ground, a part of it stood firm. 

What used to be the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall is now an exposed steel dome that reminds us of the destruction we are capable of.

After you are done visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome, or the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, head deeper into the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and explore a bit. There are numerous memorials, monuments, and other historic items worth checking out, such as the Children’s Peace Monument and the Pond of Peace.

The one I really fancied was the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall. 

After spending a bit of time exploring the park, head towards the best attraction of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. To be honest, I am not a big fan of museums. I did rather spend my day on a hike or on the beach, but this museum made me so emotional.

It is the only museum that has made me cry to this day.

Inside the museum, you will find artifacts left from the bombing, belongings of the victims, and testimonials of the survivors of the first A-bomb.

There are audio guides available for rent in the museum. Though I personally did not get them (or needed them to feel the full impact), I heard they are great and worth renting!

You will spend about 2 to 2.5 hours in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The cost of admission is 200 yen.

If you finish the museum early, you can head over to the Hiroshima Castle nearby, but it is not a must-visit on your Hiroshima trip because there are so many castles in Japan that are equally stunning.

Afternoon: Eating Okonomiyaki, Miyajima Island

After you are done bawling your eyes out (I mean visiting the museum), head back towards the Hiroshima Station.

It should be around lunchtime so it’s time for the best part of the day: food! Hiroshima is very famous for one of its dishes, the okonomiyaki.

It is said that Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is very different from other parts of Japan. Instead of the ingredients mixed in with the batter, the batter only makes up the bottom of a Hiroshima okonomiyaki. The rest of the ingredients are then layered on top.

Think of okonomiyaki as savory pancakes. The ingredients are usually shredded cabbage, flour, eggs, and your choice of protein!

There are plenty of restaurants inside Hiroshima station where you can get some okonomiyaki and a proper lunch. We simply picked the restaurant with the most locals and sat down. Best decision ever. That meal was properly one of the best meals I had in Japan!

Hiroshima Okonomiyaki

After lunch, you will head to Miyajima Island, otherwise known as Itsukushima. If you are not sure how to get from Hiroshima to Miyajima, don’t worry.

To head there you will need to take the JR San-yo line from Hiroshima Station (free with JR Pass) to Miyajimaguchi Station. Then from Miyajimaguci Station, you will take a ferry across to Miyajima (free with 1 day Hiroshima pass).

Known as one of the most scenic spots in Japan, no Hiroshima itinerary is complete without a visit to this treasured island. 

The main attraction in Miyajima is the UNESCO Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine and its “floating” torii gate. At high tide, the water rises above the base of the torii gate, giving the illusion that the torii gate is floating above the water.

If you want to know when the torii gate will be partially submerged, check out this tide table

Other than its stunning torii gate, the Shinto shrine has been one of the holiest places for Shintoism. Erected in the 6th century, the architecture of this religious symbol is a passage in time itself. I was definitely stunned by how beautiful and well-preserved the Itsukushima Shrine was!

Miyajima is also the home to many free-roaming deers, similar to the ones you see in the famous Nara Deer Park in Nara.

After you are done exploring the sacred Shinto shrine, feel free to wander around the rest of the island. The whole island is so gorgeous it belongs on the cover of a magazine.

If you want a panoramic view of Miyajima and its surroundings, make sure you head to Mount Misen.

You can take the hiking path from Itsukushima Shrine to Mount Misen Observatory, which will take about an hour in total. On the way, you have the option to stop by the Daisho-in Temple, an important Buddhist temple in the region!

The other option to get some sick views is to take the Miyajima Ropeway. Though it only takes you up to the Shishiiwa Observatory, the views up there will still take your breath away. If you aren’t satisfied with the view there, Mount Misen Observatory is only a 30-minute walk away!

(Note: The Miyajima Ropeway stops service at 5 PM)

Miyajima Ropeway
Credit: WikiCommons via C.C 2.0

Night: Back To Kyoto or Osaka From Hiroshima

After you watch the beautiful sunset behind the iconic torii gate, it is time to head back. Though Hiroshima is a great city, there aren’t a lot of things to do at night.

If you still have energy when you get back to Osaka or Kyoto, check out Osaka’s nightlife or some of the cool things to do in Kyoto at night.

Visiting Hiroshima FAQs

Can You Do Hiroshima On A Day Trip?

Yes, you can visit Hiroshima on a day trip and see most of its iconic attractions, such as the Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. If you have time, you can even do both Hiroshima and Miyajima, which is a nearby island.

Is Hiroshima Worth Visiting?

Hiroshima is definitely worth visiting. As the site of one of the most tragic events in human history, travelers can learn a lot about what happened here. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a reminder to everyone the destruction that comes with the use of nuclear weapons.

Is Hiroshima Closer To Kyoto or Osaka?

Kyoto is about 20 minutes closer to Hiroshima than Osaka, if you are taking the bullet train (shinkansen). However, the time difference is negligible, making both cities a great base to take a day trip to Hiroshima.

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This concludes the Hiroshima day trip itinerary from Kyoto or Osaka! I hope this guide helped you determine the things to do in Hiroshima in one day.

Any question? Leave them in the comments!

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