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Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

Boston...
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Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

Hi,

I've leaving for Japan in 10 days and am trying to iron out the final sightseeing details.

I plan on making a day trip from Kobe to Himeji, Hiroshima and Miyajima. Are there any specific times that are better at one of these places than for others?

For example, if I stop first in Himeji spend the morning there and the afternoon in Hiroshima and Miyajima before heading back vs. reversing the sequence and starting with Hiroshima?

Thanks for you help.

Nashville, TN
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for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
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1. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

I think it's hard to do Himeji, Hiroshima, and Miyajima all in one day. A lot depends on what you do, of course, but it'll be fairly crowded.

Consider these points. First, the castle opens at 9 am, so you'll need to leave early enough to arrive by that time to make the most of your day. Figure it takes at most 20 minutes to walk from the station (depends on how fast you walk, traffic lights, etc.). You'll need about 2 hours in the castle itself; some folks go through in less time, but you don't want to short yourself. I personally suggest visiting Kokoen while you're there if you can; it's worth the time and is a beautiful garden. I also really like Engyoji on Mt. Shosha. It's a sprawling temple/shrine complex and is well worth taking some time to visit and walk around.

It takes about 2 hours from Himeji to Miyajima. If you only do the castle then you should be able to get on a train by 12 pm, putting you in Miyajima by 2 pm. The sun will set at around 5:20, so you have just over three hours there, and you'll need every minute of it if you want to see all the island has to offer; bear in mind that Miyajima is often allocated the better part of an entire day. You won't have time to see Hiroshima.

You might be better off reversing things if you start really, really early, but the castle closes at 4 pm. I personally think that if you have to decide between the two you should see Himeji; Miyajima is great but my guess is you'll see many other temples/shrines on your trip and no other castles. I also have known people who decided to skip Himeji and go to HIroshima/Miyajima instead, and after seeing it from the train they regretted not sparing a few hours for the castle and town.

John W.

Japan
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2. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

I agree. Doing all three and getting back to Kobe the same day would be difficult. If you have to leave out something, leave out Miyajima. Do Himeji in the morning, get to Hiroshima in the afternoon and take a taxi to the Peace Park and Memorial, then back to Kobe in the evening. OR, plan to spend the night in Miyajima, arriving there in the early evening, do site seeing the next day, and take an afternoon train back to Kobe.

Australia
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3. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

I'm facing the same dilema. I think out of the three i want to do Himeji. Should be able to leave by noon. If so, i'm still tossing between Miyajima and hiroshima..... which out of the two should I do and why?

Japan
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4. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

Depends on what you want...

Personally, I think everyone should see the Peace Park in Hiroshima, but that is very much just my biased viewpoint. It is a powerful, thought provoking experience that can either leave you feeling rather depressed or actually leave you feeling hopeful. Other than the Peace Park and museum, Hiroshima is a sweet city, but it is a city.

If you're looking for a break from city life, then go to Miyajima. It's an escape from the hustle of the city, but is also very touristy. You can take the gondola, or hike, to the top of the mountain for an amazing view. The Shrine is lovely and peaceful, and there is a very unique Temple. Don't bother with the aquarium....not much to see. You can wander shops, get off the main street of tourist attractions and you can find some wonderful art/craft items locally made.

Boston...
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5. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

It depends on where you are travelling from and what your time constraints are. It is possible to see all three sites but it also depends on how long you want to spend at each site.

Himeji will take between 2-3 hours typically - including walking to and from the castle to the train station. Also assuming a fairly rapid pace of sightseeing.

Hiroshima will also be another 3 hours - maybe longer depending on how much time you spend in the museum - there's a lot to see.

Miyajima shrine by itself is probably an hour, but it will take about forty five minutes to get there from Hiroshima.

The sequence and importance of each of these three sites is personal preferrence and sightseeing persona. For example, I was able to see all three sites to my satisfaction and get back to Kobe in the same day.

Australia
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6. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

Thanks,

is it really scenic up at the top or just average (ie something you can give a miss). Do you remember how much it cost to take the gondola up? I had a look at the website and its all in japanese.

Japan
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7. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

The gondola ride is about $10 US. I live in a very scenic area, so it wasn't a huge event for me, but it is lovely and refreshing to be out of the city. But there are a lot of beautiful places in the world.....and only one Hiroshima. If it's a choice that you might not have another chance to repeat, I'd go for HIroshima.

Australia
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8. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

there is a lot of sentimental historical value in hiroshima. My friend told me that unless you are interested in history, there is really not much to do there but tour the museum.

For that reason, I think I'm going to chose Miyajima rather than Hiroshima - I'm more after outdoor scenic stuff rather than spend the day indoors.

9. Re: Himeji-Hiroshima-Miyajima

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