Boat Trips in Hiroshima

ByJustin Hanus
Apr 30, 2024

Boat Trips in Hiroshima

With six rivers and a bay leading out to the Seto Inland Sea, Hiroshima prefecture offers ample opportunities for charming and relaxing boat trips where you can see the sights while drifting along on the water. With summer on the doorstep, it’s the perfect time to plan a cruise. You can find trips ranging from less than 30 minutes to 3-4 hours on a range of vessels, some equipped with tour guides. Here’s a selection of what’s available to whet your appetite.

Hiroshima River Boat Cruise

For a simple, quick and affordable trip around Hiroshima city’s main tourist attractions, a river cruise is the best option. You can get a real feel for the city in less than an hour. Hiroshima Water Taxi serves up three different course options in small open-top or closed-top boats that seat up to 15 people. Course A along the Motoyashu and Honkawa rivers is an ideal introductory boat ride taking you past the A-Bomb dome and Central Park in 25 minutes. Course B includes Peace Park and the beautiful Shukkein Gardens and can be done as a round trip. Course C takes you out of Hiroshima Bay and out to some of the islands in the Seto Inland Sea, returning to Motoyashu Bridge Pier in 60 minutes. All cruises include audio guides and cost between 1500-2500 yen. The company also offers a water bike (SuiSui) hire service if you’d prefer to pedal your own way across the water.

Website: (website in Japanese but there is a translate option)

Miyajima Island Cruise

Also known as Itsukushima, Miyajima Island is a Hiroshima Bay island famous for the spectacular Mount Misen as well as its shrines and temples. In particular the Itsukushima Shinto shrine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the floating torii, is the island’s most identifiable tourist attraction. Aqua Net runs short 30 minute cruises out to the shrine in small 40-60 seater vessels, including a night-time “light-up cruise” where you can marvel at the illuminated torii. Ticket prices are 1600 yen for adults and 800 yen for children.


Sandankyo Gorge Boat Trip

If you fancy sailing somewhere a bit more remote and naturally scenic, you can head out to the Sandankyo Gorge in Hiroshima’s northwestern Aki Ota Town. Just an hour’s drive from central Hiroshima, the gorge is a 16 km passage along the Shibaki River. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery in western Japan, including vertical cliff-edge drops, crystal-clear waterfalls and hanging bridges decked in lush-green fauna, and you can see it by boat. Bear in mind that you’ll have to leave the car and hike out 45 minutes to the emerald Kurobuchi pool. From here, you can board a small open ferry that will take you out to Kurobuchisou, a secluded family-run restaurant on the gorge serving up treats such as freshly-caught trout and salmon. All in all, an idyllic day out.


Hiroshima to Matsuyama Cruise

More time on your hands and up for exploring further afield? The good news is that you can ferry across the Seto Inland Sea to some of the nearby islands. This also gives you the chance to savour panoramic views of Hiroshima from more of a distance. Setonaikai Kisen provides a ferry cruise service to Matsuyama, a city in the northwest of Shikoku Island. The journey takes between two-and-a-half and three hours on a large vessel with café facilities, costing 5000 yen for a one-way journey. You also have the option of boarding a vehicle with you at an additional cost.

If you prefer a quicker journey on a smaller boat (no car boarding option or café), the “super jet” high-speed ship gets you to the same place in around 70 minutes for 8000 yen.

Setonaikai Kisen also runs boats to smaller Hiroshima islands such as Miyajima and Etajima.


Basile Morin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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