Last updated on December 11th, 2023
Not sure how to plan on your Mt Misen itinerary and wondering what to do? This guide will help you plan your hiking trip to the summit with some useful travel information and tips.
Mount Misen (弥山) is one of the popular attractions in Miyajima or Hiroshima. At 500 meters (1,640 ft) above sea level, Mount Misen is the highest peak on the Island and offers spectacular views of Hiroshima Bay. It is situated within the World Heritage area of Itsukushima Shrine. A fabulous and popular spot to visit for travelers on the Miyajima itinerary.
If you enjoy hiking, then you’ll want to spare some time on Mount Misen. There are a few lovely hiking options that take you to the summit. Many locals and even visitors hike up to this mountain peak for its impressive peak. Travelers also can reduce the difficulties by reaching the summit with the help of a cable car.
One of the stops during my visit to Miyajima was Mount Misen. We can’t pass up a hiking opportunity on our travels. With a tight schedule, we got no choice but to skip the full hiking course and reach the summit with Miyajima Ropeway. But still, the hiking journey turns out to be one of the memorable memories of my trip to Hiroshima.
Whatever you’d like to plan to reach the top of the mountain, this easy travel guide can help you plan your ideal Mount Misen itinerary. Let’s check it out!
Mount Misen Hiking Course
Hiking Mount Misen is doable to complete in a few hours. For those fit and adventurous, you may take the 2 hours course and walk up countless stairs to the summit of Mount Misen. It is a great walk through the wild forest with plenty of shrines along the journey before rewarding you with the breathtaking view at the top.
There are 3 hiking trail courses up Mount Misen, each taking between 1.5-2 hours to reach the summit:
- Daisho-in Course – Climbs 2,000 stone steps to the summit of Mount Misen. It is the most popular trail which with take you about 1.5 – 2 hours.
- Momijidani Course – 2.5 km long with about 1.5 hours with a sloping road. The shortest trail follows the river with some beautiful scenes along the trail.
- Omoto Course – This longest 3.2 km trail will take around 2 hours to reach the summit with a sloping road and stone steps.
Pro Tips: The Daisho-in Course is the most popular course among the three. Whichever course you choose, expect a 1.5 to 2 hour walk to the summit.
Although Itsukushima Shrine is one of the main reasons we visit Miyajima, far more special is the Daishoin temple. It’s located at the base of Mount Misen and is a peaceful and well-maintained Shingon Buddhist temple.
The historical Daishoin Temple consists of multiple buildings with numerous statues, religious items, and meditation halls. It is so unique seeing over 500 rakans and adorable jizo statues in the area. All the statues have knitted hats on their heads to keep them warm.
The Daishoin Temple is located at the start of the hiking trails, so you can spend a few moments here before making the trek up to the summit of Mount Misen. We have a short visit at Daishoin Temple before making the trek up to Mount Misen.
Address: Takimachi-210 Miyajimacho, Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima.
Admission Fee: Free!
Take The Miyajima Ropeway
If time is of the essence, and you are not able to hike the entire elevation of Mt Misen, then an alternative would be to take the Miyajima Ropeway. The Ropeway will take you up to the upper station at Shishi-iwa Observatory where you can continue for 30 minutes to reach the summit of Mt Misen for some spell-binding views at 1755 feet – Just like what we did!
The Miyajima ropeway will take people up and down the mountain. It runs from 9:00 until 16:00, with some seasonal changes. Each trip takes only about 15 minutes with no reservation required. The cost for Miyajima Ropeway is ¥1,100 for one way and ¥2,000 for a round trip.
To get to the start of Miyajima Ropeway, walk through the lovely Momijidani Park to the Momijidani Station with less than a 10-minute walk. The station Momijidani Station is where the ropeway departs. A free shuttle bus is provided to and from the ropeway station at the entrance to Momijidani Park.
There isn’t much to do at the upper station except to take in the sights. You can take some rest or enjoy the lovely view from the viewpoint. Within a few minutes, you may want to start making your hike to the summit or return trip.
Operating Hours: From 9:00 to 16:00
Fares (Adult): ¥1,100 for one way and ¥2,000 for a round trip.
Fares (Children – 6-12 Years Old): ¥550 for one way and ¥1,000 for a round trip.
Official Website: http://miyajima-ropeway.info/english/
Pro Tips: Bad weather (strong winds, thunderstorms) and periodic maintenance happen twice a year (around February and July). Check with the official website prior to your trip to avoid disappointment.
Mount Misen Summit
From the ropeway’s upper station, we continue the remaining 1km trail that leads us to the summit. Still, the hike is not so easy and exhausting. The 30-minute hike involved 10 minutes downhill and 20 minutes uphill. Please wear good sporting shoes as there are a lot of stairs. When you reached the summit, the view is breathtaking!
At the Mount Misen summit, you see the surrounding islands of Miyajima and the Hiroshima bay. It’s worth the effort to hike to Mount Misen’s summit on your Miyajima trip.
Misen Hondo and Reikado
Near the Misen’s summit, there is an open area housing several temple buildings which belong to Daisho-in Temple at the base of the mountain. One of the particular interest are the Misen Hondo and Reikado.
The Misen Hondo (Misen Main Hall) is built by Kobo Daishi on Miyajima in 806. He is one of Japan’s most famous Buddhist priests and the founder of the Shingon sect. He began worshiping on the mountain and built the Daishoin Temple on Miyajima in 806.
The Reikado (Hall of the Spiritual Flame) houses an enternal frame which is said to have been lit by Kobo Daishi since he began worshiping on the mountain. This holy fire was also used to light the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima’s Peace Park.
Wonder of Nature
There are also few significant attractions on the summit where you can take a look. We didn’t have time to see all of the them and it is still worth recommended it.
The most significant sight in Mount Misen is the “Kuguri-iwa”, one of the strange rock formations. The rocks, by the Mt. Misen Observatory, create a natural arch. Mant people will come here to see and pass through the under the rock. Interesting.
You can check the other wonder of nature on Mt Misen website.
Overall: My Hiking Trip To Mt Misen
All in all, we highly recommended including the Mt Misen itinerary in your visit to Miyajima. The hiking trail was tiring but not too bad. We truly enjoy the easy hike to the summit.
The only problem is fitting all the attractions into one day. There are plenty of things to do on Miyajima island itself and please allocate enough time on your visit. My advice is don’t rush and stay one night on the Miyajima to get the most out of your visit!
That’s it! We hope this Mt Misen itinerary with hiking and Miyajima ropeway information is helpful. If you need more inspiration on how to plan your trip to Miyajima and Hiroshima, feel free to read our travel stories about the Chugoku region:
- Things To Do in Miyajima Itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog
- How To Get To Miyajima Island – A Step-by-step Guide
- Where To Stay in Miyajima: Top Hotel and Ryokan Pick
- Things to do in Hiroshima Itinerary: A Travel Guide Blog
- Where To Stay in Hiroshima: Best Hotels Pick
- Hiroshima Food Guide: Where and What To Eat