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Hiking Mt. Misen, Miyajima

Mountain faith, trail of yore

Mt. Misen is considered to be a sacred mountain, standing north of Itsukushima Shrine. For thousands of years, Japanese climbed Mt. Misen only as an object of their faith. They left their footprints here and there along the mountain paths. In 806, legendary Buddhist priest, Kukai, stopped by here and lit a sacred fire.

On a morning in late November, we went up Mt. Misen. The sun was completely hidden behind thick clouds. So I thought we wouldn’t have a nice view from the top of the mountain. But surprisingly, in spite of my dire prediction, I saw an unexpected fine view in all directions from the peak. The islands of the inland sea of Japan were mysterious and beautiful and seemed to be floating in the sparkling sea.

There are basically four ways to climb Mt. Misen: hiking along the river from Momijidani Park (a 90-minute climb), walking along a long path following stone steps from Daisho-in Temple (100 minutes), a gentle slope from Omoto Park (120 minutes), and a ropeway (20 minutes) plus walking (60 minutes). The autumn leaves of Mt. Misen are at their best from mid to late November.

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Find out more about Mount Misen.

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