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How would you do Hiroshima & Miyajima if can only stay 1 night in Miyajima?

How would you do Hiroshima & Miyajima if can only stay 1 night in Miyajima?

Old Nov 20th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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jgg
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How would you do Hiroshima & Miyajima if can only stay 1 night in Miyajima?

Really wanted to stay two nights in Miyajima but ryokans I want to stay in either booked or only have one night available. We will be there in early April. We will be coming from Kyoto and headed to Tokyo afterwards. I mostly want to get the most out of our stay at the ryokan so will want to arrive there at check-in which is 3pm. (checkout the next morning is 10am). How would you organize the trip? Head to Miyajima island straight from Kyoto and do Hiroshima the next morning before heading to Tokyo or vice versa?
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 04:42 PM
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If you were going to stay two nights in Miyajima but can't get a reservation, what about staying your second night in Hiroshima...

The trip from Kyoto is not that long but the one to Tokyo is so an extra night in the area would give you much more time to sight-see....
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 06:10 PM
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Mara has (of course) given some great advice, but ...

I think that you are facing more than an availability-of-rooms issue, but also a choice about timing your visit to Hiroshima vs. Miyajima, which I think is a very personal matter. Would staying somewhere that is lovely and peaceful provide a setting in which you can safely contemplate the painful moments that Hiroshima signifies? or would it be difficult for you to spend a contemplative evening after something that draws attention to suffering? And (of course) these are only examples of possible reactions.

I visited Hiroshima during the day before I went to Miyajima, and was glad with that choice: I found Hiroshima (the A-Bomb Dome, Peace Park, and Peace Museum) extraordinarily moving, and was very, VERY glad to have the time to spend in contemplation afterwards in a lovely ryokan on Miyajima. All that shows that I, personally, WAS able to appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my experiences afterwards and in a setting that was lovely and peaceful.

The next day was gloriously sunny, and I used it to roam around Miyajima's port town, take the cable-car to the top of Mt. Milan, walk down, and roam the town a bit more before taking the ferry back to the mainland and then a train on to my next destination. (So I spent only one night on Miyajima and no nights in Hiroshima.)

I think you have a very personal choice to consider, and I think you are wise to think it through before choosing. Whatever you decide, you will be better prepared for your emotions for having given it thought.

Hope this helps!
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 07:42 PM
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When we went last November, we took the train from Kyoto to Hiroshima, spent the day touring Hiroshima, spent the night near the train station at the Sheration (literally RIGHT next to the station) then the next morning took the early train and ferry to Miyajima (a very short journey) and overnighted in Miyajima.

One full day in Miyajima is MORE than enough. In fact, even if you had two days I wouldn't recommend spending that much time there. It's a very small island and we managed to basically hike the entire island in one day and yet have time in the afternoon to relax at the ryokan and onsen.

The best part of Miyajima is being there at sunset -- when all the day trippers have gone home -- and basically having the island to yourself. It's pure magic.

That part of being there ranks amongst the Top 5 travel experiences of my life.

Enjoy!!
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 07:47 PM
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I agree with both Mara and kja. We spent two nights on Miyajima and saw Hiroshima on our way back to Kyoto (leaving luggage in train locker), so my first thought was to do it that way. I agree with spending the night there if you do it that way. I would not want my experience in Hiroshima to have been blunted by a long train ride. I can also see how kja's ordering of the two could make for a special experience. Makes me think of how the Holocaust memorial in Washington D.C. ends with a part for Righteous Gentiles and a room for meditation.
Whichever way you choose, you will find the balance the war and peace we are capable of creating illuminating. I was especially touched by the meditation benches sitting one by one close together and separate by the river....and the silence of the Japanese people as they filed through the Hiroshima museum. No one spoke, there was only sniffling.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 07:50 PM
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And I could have stayed in Miyajima another two nights, just being. It was very cloudy when we were there so there was no sunset. I see we must return.
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Old Nov 20th, 2014, 07:53 PM
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@ cmstraf -- kudos for your eloquent remarks, which can be so elusive when referring to such powerful things.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 07:39 AM
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We visited in the same order as Kja, but with only one night on Miyajima.

We took the train from Osaka to Hiroshima fairly early morning and spent the morning and had lunch in Hiroshima. After that we took an early afternoon ferry across to the island, were met at the ferry by our ryokan host and checked in, and then had the afternoon to relax and walk around the island before dinner at the ryokan and another walk afterwards.

We're early risers, so in the morning we explored Daisho-in, very peaceful and I loved the prayer cylinders along the stairways, which we didn't see elsewhere. We didn't climb farther up the mountain.

We took a mid morning ferry back to the mainland and then the shinkansen back to Tokyo.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 07:44 AM
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p.s. We stayed in Auberge Watanabe, which we enjoyed.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 07:59 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful replies. Had not considered the emotional issues after visiting Hiroshima so appreciate that discussion and will definitely take that into consideration.

Kavey - the place I want to stay is Auberge Watanabe so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Your itinerary for those two days sounds perfect so we are inclined to follow something similar.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 03:52 PM
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Thanks kja. Having seen Hiroshima also kept me from feelingf self-righteous or something along those lines when we saw the then uncompleted memorial to September 11 two years ago.
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Old Nov 21st, 2014, 10:46 PM
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Oh yes -- do make time for Daisho-in if at all possible! The prayer cylinders and the lantern-lit cave ... quite wonderful. Thanks for the reminder, Kavey!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 02:12 AM
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JGG, yes we did enjoy Watanabe very much - felt the location was perfect, our room was pretty, spacious and comfortable and the food was really enjoyable as well.

One note, the meal was served downstairs not in the rooms, but was very much a traditional ryokan meal. However if you do want that experience of eating in your own room, (if this would be your only ryokan visit perhaps), then just wanted to make you aware.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Kavey - thanks for the info. Planning on also staying in ryokan in Hakone so I will check out their dining location as well.
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