I just went in June. We left Kyoto at 7am and spent most of the morning/early afternoon in Hiroshima. We then travelled to Miyajima and arrived there around 4pm. We stayed overnight on Miyajima, and the next morning, we did the ropeway and hiked Mt. Misen. We left the island around 2pm to head to Tokyo.
I guess you could do it all in one day if you leave Kyoto very early and don't spend a lot of time in Hiroshima at the memorials and museum. Keep in mind, Miyajima sort of shuts down once all the tourists leave for the day. So, you'll just have to watch how much time you spend at places and allow for travel time.
We liked Miyajima a lot- we wished we had spent two nights on the island.
Later that afternoon. we reclaimed our bags and took a train to the Miyajima Station/Ferry. We stayed in town by the Ferry Landing at the Yamaichi Benkkan. We spent the early evening exploring the shrine and the town. Went back the Yamaichi Benkkan for dinner. When we got up to our room, the futons were laid out and we were ready to turn in. The town (i.e. stores...especially those selling the Momiji Manju Cakes) are open in the evening until about 8-9PM. The Shrine & the Torii are lit up at night.
We got up early to a Japanese breakfast and hiked up the mountain to the tram (Ropeway). Spectatcular view! Went back down, collected our luggage and back to the Ferry around noon. We would have liked at least an additional day to explore more of the island and town...but that was all the time that we had.
You won't be able to see much of Hiroshima in the time frame you outlined (visiting the Memorial is a must), if you want to explore Miyajima.
To add another perspective, in April we did Hiroshima/Miyajima in one day. Left Kurashiki around 9am, short trip to Okayama, train to Hiro, then on to Miyajima. We spent 3 hrs there, visiting the shrine, the auquarium, wandered around, had lunch then on to Hiro around 2pm. Took the tram to see all the sights, spent time in the museum (hauntingly sad) then back to Kurashiki in time for dinner. We felt we did justice to both places and saw everything.
If you want to see both and have limited time and can't spend the night as others suggest it is possible on a day trip. We arrived from Kyoto at 8:30.
Met our goodwill guide who took us to the Hipocentre, then to the T-Bridge, peace park and then to the museum. I was only able to spend one hour in the museum as my wife was ill - plenty of time to get you good and angry at what was done - get the english head set as it is a must - but you can spend a full day there easy. At the time there was an art display downstairs of paintings made by survivors many many years after the event of their images that still persist. I can not say I have seen anything more sadening in my life. I think that my trip to Japan would not have been complete without my visit to Hiroshima....period.
We then went with our guide for lunch - Okonomiyaki at the building with nothing but little Okonomiyaki stalls - and dropped my wife off at the hotel - she was feeling worse (we stayed the night but I do not think you need to) and then took the short train/ferry to Miyajima. We arrived there around 2. just as high tide was starting to come in....you may want to consider the order of your visit depending on if you want to see the tori and shrine at high or low tide (I think high tide is the best it was at 4pm that day). Spent some time on the island and walked up to see the sand sculpture in the temple the Dali Lama visted - we were the only ones there. You will notice the five lines on the temple entrance wall which notes that this temple is very very high ranking. We were very lucky to see a wedding at Itsukushima Shrine. Our guide had lived in Hiroshima for all her life and goes to the island often and has never ever seen one. She noted it must have cost an offensive amount of money.
Our guide showed us "Hell" in the same temple which is a maze in pitch black in the basement of the same temple. This was pretty cool.
I also wish I had been in Hiroshima during a Ber month since I would loved to have gone to town on the raw oysters that on your way to the island you see many many pens of cultivated ones.
We walked back to the ferry terminal and then back to the city.
I returned around 5:30 or 6. You could stay later and take a late train. I do not advise any less time that that.
At 6 I then went with my wife to the ER at the Hiroshima City Hospital with her 104 fever which was an event in and of itself. Looks like it was just a virus.
We did this with a single overnight stay, and felt that was too rushed. If I did it again, I'd have two sleeps in Hiroshima.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.