Miyajima is one of the place what you can underestimate how much time can you spend there during the day. I spent there only a few hours before I went to Iwakuni on the afternoon which was clearly not enough time to barely visit the island.
To get to the island is really cheap. The cost for the No. 2 tram from the hostel to the ferry station and back is 540 yen and the round trip ferry ticket cost is 360 yen. So in total 900yen. You can go from the peace park too with a (direct?) ferry too which is a bit more expensive.
There are lots of shops in the residential area around the port. My favorite was definitely the shop where you could see even from outside how are they making the sweets/bakery with machine from start to finish and packing. You can get entertained there (and fat too hahaha). 🙂
Sometimes almost feel like being in Nara. There are a lot of deer walking around even close to the port and around the temples or basically anywhere. They are really calm and most likely are not going to bother you unlike in Nara where I have seen some chasing before around the park..😂
The island is mostly famous from it’s torii gate standing in the water not far from the shores and at low tide you can even walk to it and take a closer look. Sadly during my stay and my visit of the island it was under cover because of the renovation and it will be way longer than they planned even in 2022 or longer so make sure you will check on the updates if you want to see this gate!
Of course outside of it there is a lot of other activities to do on the island and places to visit. There are many temples around to visit even on the hills and they worth a visit so do not miss the opportunity!
On the highest peak which is Mt. Misen is a great viewpoint and even a small tower built for the even better view all around the area in 360 degrees. There is 4 ways to go up on the mountain. One of them is of course a costly ropeway for 1000 each way and three hiking trails. One of the trails is closed for renovation this year. Make sure to check before you go because I did not check anything and ended up paying for the ropeway on the way down (the one trail) next to the ropeway is the one closed).
Be careful with the snakes! 😂 I don’t know anyone though who have seen a single one there at least.
I took the middle one to go up which is the most popular one if I am correct. The trail itself is really easy I would say with a lots of stairs. Make sure to hydrate yourself enough during the day. It takes around 30-60 minutes to get to the top, depends on your condition and speed. The tower has a toilet before the last turn to the top area where you could find plenty of space with benches to sit or lay down and take a rest or just pop your bento box and have your lunch on the mountain.
The way down is really easy without any difficulty but of course you can take the ropeway too but to be honest in my opinion it can be way more faster just walk down than wait for the ropeway during busy days / hours. I won’t judge you though if you are too lazy and take the ropeway anyway. 🙂
To sum it all up you easily can spend the whole day in Miyajima without stopping too much during the day in case you like the place which I am pretty sure you will!
In case you do not have a lot of time but want to go here and Iwakuni too to visit the Kintai bridge then you can do it easily in one day too with making your stay a bit shorter. It should be fine to arrive in Iwakuni only a few hours before the sunset because you don’t need that much of a time there and you can enjoy the sunset over the bridge too.