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Jocko May 27th, 2004 01:31 PM

Day trip to Miyajima

I'm going to Japan in August. I would like to know if is feasible a day trip from Kyoto to Miyajima? Or should I go to Kanazawa? I'm already planning a day trip to Nara.



KimJapan May 27th, 2004 02:33 PM

From Kyoto either one will take about 3 hours (at least) each way. I don't think a day trip to either is feasible. Is it possible to spend a night?

nickn May 27th, 2004 10:30 PM

It certainly depends on what you mean by "feasible". We just did that two months ago. We took the 7:44 Hikari from Kyoto to Hiroshima and returned on 19:05 Hikari from Hiroshima with almost an hour to spare at Hiroshima station before the train.

We went up Mt. Misen on gondola, toured Itsukushima shrine, wandered thru the main street in Miyajima, ate lunch at Miyajima, returned to Hiroshima and visited the Peace Park.

Of course, I researched all the transportation details beforehand for efficient transfers.

Alec May 28th, 2004 04:19 AM

I've done day trips to both places from Kyoto. Even once involving Himeji, Hiroshima and Miyajima, but only had an hour on the island. There are frequent trains, taking about 2 hours. If you leave early, you will have at least 6-7 hours at the destinations. At Kanazawa, Kenroku Park merits at least an hour or more, and you'd want to see the old samurai quarters and across the river where the temples are, including the so-called Ninja temple. Be sure to book your seat for the return trip from Kanazawa as the train gets very busy (lots of business travellers). On a weekday last January, there was standing room only. There is usually more room on Shinkansen from Hiroshima.

Jocko May 28th, 2004 05:25 AM

Spending a night is out of question, since I have a room booked in Kyoto already. I was thinking in leaving Kyoto between 7-8 am. It sounds I can make it from what I heard from nickn.

Do you recommend one place over another?

Thanks for your help!

KimJapan May 28th, 2004 03:31 PM

I live in Kanazawa and have been to Miyajima twice. For me, Miyajima is nicer...quieter, more natural, smaller. The temple with the gate in the water is lovely. You can hike or take a cable car to the top and walk around and enjoy the scenery. The shopping/restaurant street is nice. And you can see the Peace Park in Hiroshima, too, which is worthwhile.

Kanazawa is a city, smaller than Kyoto, but a city. It has plenty to offer in terms of sightseeing, but is similar to Kyoto in a way Miyajima is not.

In Kanazawa, Kenrokuen is lovely, there are two geisha districts, a ninja temple, an old style market, a samurai district, great'd need a couple of days. For a 6 hour visit (the rest of the time is break/meal time) you could see Kenrokuen, one geisha district, maybe the traditional craft museum near Kenrokuen, the market and samurai district. You'd need to take taxi's in between places to save time, and really move. Kanazawa's buses are not especially fast or effiecient, so I don't recommend them for people with time constraints.

I guess it depends on whether you want to see another city or see some less built up area. If you don't mind spending 6+ hours of your day in transit, then either one would be interesting.

KimJapan May 28th, 2004 03:39 PM

One more thing....I just noticed that you said will be, hot, hot, hot, hot. And humid. Very, very humid. We go to Bangkok for relief, no kidding. So, your pace will need to be much slower, with frequent breaks for drinks and cooling down. Carry water with you. Wear a hat. Take a break in an air con restaurant as often as you can...just get a cup of iced coffee or tea, or try kakikori (glorified snowcones in a bowl with all kinds of toppings available). Go into department stores to cool down.

I'm not trying to discourage you in any way...but I do want you to be aware of the heat so you can plan accordingly. You want to enjoy your trip, of course, so I'd advise planning each day very lightly, with the possibility of adding on if you have the energy at the time.

Jocko May 28th, 2004 04:17 PM


Thanks for the tips about Kanazawa, but as you said I'll need more time there. For sure next time I go to Japan I'll stop there. I'm used with the hot and humid summer. I'm from south Florida. :-)

oslotraveler May 29th, 2004 06:20 PM

I have lived in Texas, Philippines and Japan before. The summer in Japan is extremely humid and very different from that of Texas. Traveling to Kyoto in summer is no different from visiting Bangkok or Manila in terms of climate. Please be prepared.

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