Hiking Mt. Misen, Miyajima

Mountain faith, trail of yore

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 2 min read

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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Tomoko Kamishima

Tomoko Kamishima @tomoko.kamishima

Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS:  An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here.  日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。

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