Visitors to the beautiful island of Miyajima, located in the city of Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, are often entranced by the mystical Mount Misen located on the island.
Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon sect and a prominent religious figure, brought Buddhism to the mountain in 806, the first year of the Daido era. In addition to the Buddhist structure, the mountain is home to a variety of unusual plants, a platform for beautiful views of the Seto Inland Sea and a fun mountain course for trekkers.
Visitors to the island have the option of ascending Mount Misen on foot or via ropeway. Visitors have a choice of three hiking trails: the Momijidani Course, the Daisho-in Course and the Omoto Course.
**The Momijidani Course begins in Momijidani Park, located near the lower ropeway station. With a length 2.5 kilometers, it is estimated the hike should take about an hour and a half to two hours to arrive at the summit. This route will take hikers along the Momiji river. Though the route is quite steep at times, hikers will encounter rare plant life, like the primitive Angiospermal here. Unusual shaped rocks such as “Sakura Rock” and “Screen Rock” can be found here. As the trail leads into the forest, autumn and the changing colors is beautiful time on this trail.
****The Omoto course begins at Omoto Park, near the Omoto Shrine, a little past Miyajima Aquarium. The 3.2 kilometer trail has an estimated hiking time of 2 hours to the summit. There are steep parts along the trail but hikers will find a lot of history along this trail. At the beginning of the course, hikers will find 100 year old large fir trees along the trail leading into the Komaga Forest, the second largest forest in Misen. Hikers will enjoy natural and spiritual delights along this route. The giant “Fuji Rock” where Kobo Daishi secluded himself is located on this trail.
**The Daisho-in Course begins in front of the Nioh Gate of Daishoin Temple. The estimated hike time for the 3 kilometer trial is 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours (to the summit). Though there are many stone steps, the scenery is breathtaking. The Shiraito Falls are along this course. At the sixth marker stone (near Satomiya Mura), there is a spot where hikers can view the Torii Gates. A guardian deity for children is also along this trail.
Visitors also have the option to utilize the Miyajima Ropeway. The Ropeway will take visitors from the foothills of the mountain to Shishiiwa Observatory. From Shishiiwa Observatory, visitors can view the beautiful Seto Inland Sea.
From Shishiiwa Observatory, visitors wishing to advance to the summit will need to advance on foot. The summit is 100 meters from the upper ropeway station along a rather steep rock road. The estimated hiking time from Shishiiwa Observatory to the summit is 30 minutes.
Please note: though the summit was an observation tower, presently neither food nor beverages are sold. Visitors are able to purchase beverages at the good luck-souvenir shop next to Kiezu-no-Reikado Hall, during the shop’s operating hours.
Along the route to the summit, hikers will come across a plateau with religious structures. The Misenhondo (the Main Hall) is the holy hall Kobo Daishi built for 100 day Buddhism training sessions. In the Kiezu-no-Reikado Hall is the holy fire Kobo Daishi used for his religious training. This flame has been burning for over 1200 years. Visitors to the Kiezu-no-Reikado Hall can help themselves to a cup of the hot tea brewed over the flame.
It is believed water boiled this flame will heal various ailments. The fire from the Kiezu-no-Reikado Hall was used to light the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park.
From the plateau, there are trails to other religious structures or deities. Among the structures is Miyamajinja Shrine. This shrine enshrines the same deities as Itsukushima. With a beautiful view from the shrine, a sense of tranquility can be felt while visiting this shrine. From the plateau containing Kiezu-no-Reikado Hall, it is an estimated ten to fifteen minute walk.
From the Kiezu-no-Reikado Hall plateau it is a 10 minute hike to the summit of Mount Misen. Near the entrance to the summit, hikers will see a large rock they may need to duck under. Known as the “Kugiri-iwa” the origins are unknown. Various “strange” rocks can be found near or at the summit.
At the summit, there is a rock structure with a sign signifying the summit of Mount Misen. There is an observatory tower/rest area at the summit. Many hikers use this tower to rest or eat lunch boxes while breathing in the fresh air. Visitors can view the Seto Inland Sea from 360 degrees without any obstructions. As said by the first Prime Minister of Japan Itoh Hirobumi “The true value of the Number 1 of the Japan’s three most beautiful spots is in the view of the top.” Though Miyajima has more than its share of beautiful spots, the view from the summit of Mount Misen is truly special.
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|Deal Expiration date||2015/04/27||～||2025/01/01|
|Coupon Expiration date||2015/04/27||～||2015/06/04|
1-1, Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima, 739-0588 Japan