The easiest way to reach Miyajima is from Hiroshima. You can travel from Hiroshima by JR train, streetcar, bus, or boat, but the fastest and most reliable method is the train, which departs from Hiroshima Station approximately every 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of the day, and costs ¥400 (free for JR Rail Pass holders) for the 26-minute ride to Miyajimaguchi (if you're downtown or in Peace Memorial Park, you might find it easier to catch the train at Nishi-Hiroshima Station). Otherwise, a streetcar takes about an hour from Hiroshima Station to Hiroden Miyajimaguchi, the last stop, and costs ¥270. All modes of transportation deposit you at Miyajimaguchi, from which it's just a 2-minute walk to the ferry bound for Miyajima. There are two ferry companies offering the 10-minute ride to Miyajima for ¥170, but if you have a Japan Rail Pass, you can ride on the JR ferry for free.
Alternatively, boats travel from downtown Hiroshima directly to Miyajima in about 45 minutes. Operated by Aqua Net Hiroshima (tel. 082/240-5955; www.aqua-net-h.co.jp), boats depart from Motoyasu-bashi Bridge, near the A-Bomb Dome, 11 to 12 times daily. Fare is ¥1,900 one-way; children pay half fare. Note that service is suspended during inclement weather and when the tide is low.
On Miyajima island, stop off at the Tourist Information Office (tel. 0829/44-2011), located in the Miyajima ferry terminal and open daily 9am to 6pm. It has an English-language flyer with a map, and the helpful staff can show where restaurants and accommodations are on the map or even make accommodations reservations for you. For ¥300 you can rent an English-spoken audio guide that describes the 20 places of interest noted on a companion map with a recommended walking tour -- a great convenience. For more information, visit www.miyajima.or.jp and www.miyajima-wch.jp.
You can walk to all the sights, accommodations, and restaurants listed below. If you wish to visit one of the island's beaches or explore more of the island, rental bicycles are available daily 8am to 5pm at the JR ferry pier (last checkout is 3pm) costing ¥320 for 2 hours or ¥1,050 for the entire day. Inquire at the JR ticket window. Otherwise, shuttle buses travel to the beaches year-round and twice an hour in July and every 15 minutes in August for ¥300. Ask the Tourist Information Office for a schedule.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.