Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Best Guide to How to Get to Miyajima

The World Heritage, Miyajima, is one of the top destinations in Japan. The sacred island best known for the great torii gate standing in the sea has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors around the world each year. But while you might know the island is in Hiroshima, are you aware that it isn’t close to the center of Hiroshima City? In other words, the ferry pier to Miyajima isn’t close to the Shinkansen station. So, read on for more information about how to get to Miyajima!

As Miyajima isn’t connected with Japan’s main island by a bridge, the only way to get to the island is by taking a ferry.

Table of Contents

The Most Common Way to Get to Miyajima

Because most people would spend a day on Miyajima Island, most people depart for the island in the morning from JR Hiroshima Station (広島駅). You need to take the JR San’yō Honsen Line (山陽本線) towards JR Miyajimaguchi Station (宮島口駅). It is a 30-minute train ride, but note that it can be packed (which was the case for us).

Tips:
☛ If the train is packed, boarding or getting off the train with suitcases might be hard. So utilize the coin lockers or the luggage storage service providers that can be rented for more than 24 hours. If you don’t know where to find one, check out ecbocloak!
☛ If you plan to stay in Hiroshima for a night or two after you visit Miyajima, most hotels will be happy for you to store your luggage with them. Some are even happy for you to store your luggage there when you go on a few-day adventure before you come back to pick up your belongings after you check out. It won’t hurt to at least ask!

At Miyajimaguchi Pier

Two companies provide ferry services to Miyajima – JR West Japan Miyajima Ferry (JR西日本宮島フェリー) and Miyajima Matsudai Kisen (宮島松大汽船).

Both companies’ ferries will carry you to Miyajima in 10 minutes and cost the same. But depending on your situation and whether you would like some discounts, you will choose one over another.

  • 180 yen for a one-way trip
  • 360 yen for a return trip
  • Elementary school students’ ferry fare is half of the adult’s fare
© photo-ac.com

Important: The pier for the two companies is just next to each other. Please read the signboard carefully before you rush onto one or another.

The pros and cons for each company are listed below!

JR West Japan Miyajima Ferry

Pros:

  • No extra cost is incurred if you hold a valid JR pass covering the Hiroshima area.
  • Provides better photo opportunities with most of their services.
    • We say “most” because not all of them go through the same route. Please refer to their website HERE for more details, including the ferry timetable link. The services highlighted in blue are the ones you want to take.
  • Longer operating hours from 5:45 am to 10:42 pm.

Cons:

  • No discounts/freebies

Tip: Below is a JR Pass list covering Hiroshima and Miyajima.
5-Day JR Hiroshima Yamaguchi Area Pass|
5-Day JR Okayama-Hiroshima-Yamaguchi Area Pass
7-Day Setouchi Area Pass
5-Day JR Kansai-Hiroshima Area Pass
7-Day JR Sanyo-San’in Area Pass
7-Day JR-WEST All-Area Pass
7-Day JR Sanyo-San in-Northern Kyushu Area Pass
JR Whole Japan Rail Pass (Consecutive 7, 14, or 21 Days)

Miyajima Matsudai Kisen (宮島松大汽船)

Pros:

  • Special tickets at 500 yen, including a return ferry ticket and one of the below to choose from, give you at least 40 yen savings per ticket.
    • Momiji manjū (もみじ饅頭) from Momijidō (紅葉堂). Momiji manjū is a type of dessert that has different fillings for you to choose from.
    • Momiji Croissant (もみじクロワッサン) from Torii-ya (鳥居屋). Again, it is a kind of dessert. Please refer HERE for some ideas of what it looks like.
    • 200 yen cash voucher to spend at Yamada-ya (やまだ屋).
© photo-ac.com
  • Miyajima Ferry + Ropeway Combo Ticket
    • The 2000 yen combo ticket includes a return ferry ticket and a return ropeway ticket, saving you 360 yen.
  • You can purchase the 1-Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass (900 yen for adults and 450 yen for children).
    • As Miyajima Matsudai Kisen is part of the Hiroshima Electric Railway Company (Hiroden), this pass gives you unlimited train rides on the company’s rail line and Miyajima Matsudai Kisen.
    • You save at least 300 yen if you come from Hiroshima Station.
    • Show your pass to the staff at Miyajima Ropeway to get a discounted fare.
      • Adults: 2,000 yen → 1,500 yen
      • Children: 1,000 yen → 750 yen
    • For more details, please refer to the company’s website HERE. Note that the discounted fare for ropeway is only shown on their Japanese website HERE. You can translate the webpage by Google Chrome’s translation function at the right of the address bar.

Cons:

  • The ferries won’t bring you as close to the Great Torii gate as the JR ferries would.
  • Shorter operating hours from 7:15 am to 8:35 pm.
    • Refer to HERE for the service’s timetable.
  • About the 1-Day Streetcar and Ferry Pass
    • Not suitable for those who are staying overnight on Miyajima
    • The ropeway may not be in operation during bad weather.
    • It takes around 70 minutes to travel from Hiroshima Station to Miyajimaguchi Station by Hiroden.

Tip: If you plan to drive or ride a motorbike, you can drive your car onto the ferries operated by both companies (ferry fare depends on the size of your vehicle, of course).

Visiting Miyajima from the Peace Memorial Park

If you only have a day to explore Hiroshima City and Miyajima, you can take the ferries departing from the Peace Memorial Park. The boat trip takes around 45 minutes.

From the Peace Memorial Park, cross the Motoyasu Bridge (もとやす橋) on the park’s east. The Motoyasu Pier (もとやす桟橋) is located south of the bridge.

  • Refer to the ferry’s timetable HERE.
  • Th FAQ Page has answers to most questions.
  • The current return cost to board the ferry is 4,100 yen.

Important: The JR Pass doesn’t cover the ferry departing from/for the Peace Memorial Park.

Seat reservations can be made online or via phone, but a mobile phone number that is contactable on the day is required. You can refer to their Japanese Official Website for more details.

If you need a Japanese mobile number, you can consider purchasing from Mobal. We have used their Voice+Text+Data SIM Card and was satisfied about their service. You can refer to HERE for our experience with Mobal.

Is a Reservation Necessary to Take the Ferry from the Peace Memorial Park?

Unless you need to take a certain ferry of the day, a reservation is usually not necessary to take the World Heritage Sea Route. You can check the Timetable Page and select your travel date. It will show you the reservation conditions of each ferry of the day.

Tip: If you need to make a reservation but don’t have a Japanese mobile phone number, check with your hotel to see if they can book on your behalf.

Discover the Fascinating Attractions on Miyajima

Toyokuni-Shrine-Five-Story-Pagoda-Miyajiama-Japan
Click the photo to find out about other amazing attractions on Miyajima!

Now that you know how to get to Miyajima, it is time to plan your time on the island.

Miyajima has many things to offer. Whether you are a foodie, a nature or cultural property lover, or want to hike, Miyajima is the ideal destination. Not even mention the deer walking on the street and trying to steal paper from your bag!

For more information, refer to our article on Miyajima!

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