Mt. Misen is the highest place on Miyajima Island and on a clear day provides breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea. Breathtaking because of the deep blue undertones of the sea in contrast to the vibrant greenery of the mountains but also from the heavy breathing experienced once you are at the top.
There are a number of trails to choose from to get to the top of the mountain. On this particular day I chose the Momijidani course which takes about 90 minutes to the top. The trail gets rather steep in some sections and there are few manmade steps which makes it even more fun. The path clings onto the side of the mountain with fantastic views of the geological formations in surrounding areas.
The view from the top is spectacular and I found a quiet spot to sit away from the crowds to take it all in before making my way down the Daisho-in trail. It cuts through the middle of the mountain and is steeper in some parts but has well formed paths with routine steps and handrails. The Niomon gate past the Daisho-in Temple are striking to say the least. The trail eventually winds back into the town of Miyajima where many food stalls and drinks await your arrival.
Take food and water with you as you can only buy water just before the top of Mt Misen and it is a long walk back down if hungry. Also prepare for all weather conditions as the weather can change quickly here and you do not want to be caught without warm clothes and a waterproof jacket.
Practice your bowing as you will need to constantly do this up and down the mountain if you want to fit in with the locals. Lastly, there is a ropeway that can take you most of the way to the top with a steep but short climb at the end if you do not have time to complete the whole walk.
Lastly, it is worth staying at the island past 3 p.m. as the tide is out and enables you to walk to the base of the floating tori gates. Hundreds of people swarm to the area for pictures and to leave coins in the base of the gate