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Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

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Wakefield, MA
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Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

My husband and I will be traveling to Japan next April. We only have 7 days, but Hiroshima is at the top of the list. Is Miyajima also worth visiting while I am there and is it as easy to get to from Hiroshima as everyone makes it seem? I would appreciate any help or ideas that I can get.

Thanks, Lisa

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

Strictly in the context of the Hiroshima area, I think Miyajima is the #1 destination. It's not what I'd call thrilling in the sense that the sidewalks pretty much roll up at sundown, but it's a gorgeous place with a unique atmosphere. It's also one of the best places in Southern Japan for sakura, if you're there in the right part of April.

If I had only seven days for Japan as a whole and could go anywhere, I'm not sure Hiroshima/Miyajima would make the cut- it'd be close. But if you're down there anyway, I can't see not going - it really is easy from Hiroshima - and spending a night. It's really quiet and lovely after the daytrippers have left.

Tokyo, Japan
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2. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

Whether "it's worth it" is a difficult question. However, not many tourists would omit Miyajima from the visiting list if they plan to visit Hiroshima area. I am not sure how you'd be planning the 7 days, but it should be nice to have Kyoto/Nara 2-3 days and Hiroshima/Miyajima 1-2 days. Tokyo is interesting as an enormous modern city, but if visitors are more into Japanese history and culture, I'd recommend a more prolonged stay outside Tokyo.

Edited: 04 December 2011, 03:23
Kurashiki, Japan
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3. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

If one has the railpass and is hoping to get one's moneyworth, then yes, add on Miyajima. Can be accessed from Hiroshima very easily, it's good for walking around for a at least a couple of hours...

Eastbourne, United...
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4. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

Hiroshima and Miyajima were for us the highlight of our first visit to Japan. Our only regret was not staying overnight on the island.

Note there are two ferries to the island. The JR pass is only valid on the JR ferry, so make sure you take the right one.

Italy
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5. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

We loved Miyajima, especially the colourful Daisho-in Temple.

Wakefield, MA
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6. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

Thanks for all the great advice. Since this is my first trip to Japan and most likely my only trip (hopefully not) where else would you go ?

Hiroshima is at the top of my list for the Peace Museum. I will probably add Miyajima to that. I am also a huge Disney fan so I have to go to Disneyland Tokyo. I know 7 days is not much time, but what are some of the other places that I should try not to miss?

Thanks, Lisa

Eastbourne, United...
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7. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

Kyoto is a place I would certainly put on my list. April is the cherry blossom season which is a big deal in Japan. Check out the park by the imperial palace and the philosophers walk. There are ancient temples and by contrast the modern 10 story shopping mall / hotel / restaurant complex alongside the station is amazing. In Kyoto (and I believe in Tokyo too) you can arrange for a student guide for the day. When we went there was no charge for the service (but we did leave a nice present). Check it out on the web!

Japan
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8. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

If this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I agree that you should do some time in Tokyo. You might consider starting with a plan for what you want to do, but also leave yourself open to taking advantage of unexpected opportunities. Some of my favorite times in Tokyo were when I just wandered and stumbled upon some great experiences.

I appreciate your desire to visit Hiroshima, and I believe that everyone who goes to Japan should visit the Peace Park and Museum. Thank you for doing so. Miyajima would be my second recommendation for what to see in the Hiroshima area. It really is as easy of a trip as it sounds.

If you arrive early in the morning, you can take a quick taxi ride to the Peace Park and Museum (about 1,400 yen), drop your luggage in the free coin lockers in the Museum entry area, see everything in 2-4 hours, eat lunch in the building across the courtyard from the museum (and down the escalator), grab your luggage, taxi back to the station, take the train to Miyajima, and the 10 minute ferry to the island.

This web site has some really good information: http://www.miyajima.or.jp/english/

My favorite place to stay on Miyajima is a very expensive ryokan. I really splurge here, and find it worth every penny: http://www.iwaso.com/e_introduction.html

As with most ryokan, you are mostly paying for the food.

On the JNTO web site, http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/index.html

on the very bottom of the page, select "Contact us". That takes you to a page where you can request maps and brochures. You can get these once you are in Japan, too, but they are very helpful planning tools. Send them an email request and list the places you plan to visit.

Cheshire - England
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9. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

Hello - Yes it is and we did both Miyajima and Hiroshima Peace Museum in a day. It was a bit of a rush but this is how to do it should you want to!

We stayed in Hiroshima for two night and got up early to get to the island, you take the JR train to Miyajimaguchi Station and you then literally come out of the station cross the road and you are at the ferry terminal. There web site is http://www.jr-miyajimaferry.co.jp/ and while it is in Japanese I am using Google Chrome as my brouser and with the translation facility turned on the whole site converts to English very well.

As you will see from the web site you can get to the island very early and we did this then left about mid day getting the train and then a taxi to the peace museum. There is a cafe as part of the complex so we ate there and then spent about two and a half hours going round the museum. We then spent the rest of the day and evening in the peace park and it was an amazing day. If we ever go back to Japan we would do the same again but allow two days.

Tokyo, Japan
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10. Re: Is Miyajima worth visiting ?

A 7-day trip that includes Tokyo and Hiroshima/Miyajima doesn't have a lot of room for anything else. I can't imagine a "once-in-a-lifetime" Japan trip that didn't include Tokyo (which I think is enormously underrated as a tourist destination) and Kyoto. If you're set on Hiroshima and Miyajima, I'd split the rest of the trip between Tokyo and Kyoto.