Forested footpaths and a scenic ropeway lead up to Miyajima’s tallest peak, where you can spot wildlife and examine intriguing rock formations and Buddhist relics.
Revel in the quiet beauty of the wooded summit of Mount Misen as you hike through ancient forest, visit tranquil Shingon Buddhist monuments or soar over the treetops on a ropeway. Regarded as a holy mountain, Mount Misen is the guardian of many myths and legends. Its peak rises 1,755 feet (535 meters) above the Seto Inland Sea and provides a breathtaking viewpoint that overlooks the island-studded sea and Hiroshima City’s skyline in the distance.
Choose from three main hiking trails to reach the peak of Mount Misen. For a gentle stroll with expansive views, follow the Daisho-In Trail. The Momijidani and Omoto trails are steeper and pass through some of Mount Misen’s ancient forests. On these trails you might see Japanese hemlock, fir trees and red pines amid the densely forested mountainside. Look for wild deer grazing in this pristine forest and be alert for monkeys in the treetops.
Alternatively, ascend Mount Misen via the Miyajima Ropeway. Take in unbeatable views of the Seto Inland Sea from your gondola. There is an observation platform at the ropeway’s Shishi-iwa terminus. On a clear day, you can see the Shikoku Mountains in the distance, as well as the distant outline of Hiroshima City. Re-energize for your hike to the summit of Mount Misen with a coffee from the station’s café.
The summit trail is strewn with intriguing geological formations. Pass by Kanman-iwa (Ebb-and-Flow- Rock) or see if you can see the whale shape in Kujira-iwa. Kuguri-iwa is a natural archway in the ancient rock. There are also several Buddhist relics dotted throughout the mountaintop. The exquisite Misen Hondo (Main Hall) and Reikado (Hall of the Spiritual Flame) are connected to the Daisho-in Temple complex at the base of the mountain.
Reach Mount Misen’s summit for free by embarking on the 1.5- to 2-hour walk from the township of Miyajima. Purchase a ticket and take the 20-minute ropeway ride from the Miyajima ferry pier or Itsukushima Shrine. Walk for 30 minutes from the ropeway station to reach the temple relics and mountaintop.