Hiking Distance: 6 km
Time: 4 hours
Elevation change: ➚560m ➘580m
➚ 580m ➘ 560m
Mt. Misen is an amazing hike on the island of Miyajima, located next to Hiroshima. It's the highest peak on the island and features large boulders, incredible views, and some of the Daisho-in temple buildings. One of them, the Reikado, is famous for housing the Spiritual Flame, which is said to have been lit by a Zen Buddhist monk called Kobo Daishi 1200 years ago. This flame was also used to light the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima’s Peace Park. There are numerous deer on the island and the peak features an observatory to get 360 degree views of the ocean and Hiroshima bay. The hike is relatively easy, but there's a ropeway if you're short on time or just want to skip some of the trail. There are 3 trail options for reaching the peak, one starting from the Momiji-dani Park, one from Daisho-in temple, and one from Omoto Shrine. I recommend the one starting from Daisho-in, it's a magnificent temple with a lot of cultural significance and history with the mountain.
Car: If using a car you can drive straight onto the ferry, although the island is small so there's not much driving to do, it's more convenient to park before you get on the boat at the Miyajima Ferry terminal.
Kyoto/Osaka: For Kyoto and Osaka, the Shinkansen to Hiroshima station takes about 2 hours and the price is around ¥11,000. The ferry is located at Miyajimaguchi station only 20 minutes from Hiroshima.
Tokyo: From Tokyo station, the Shinkansen to Hiroshima takes a little over 4 hours and the price is around ¥19,000. The ferry is located at Miyajimaguchi station only 20 minutes from Hiroshima.
Overnight Bus: There's an overnight bus from Kyoto and Osaka, it takes about 8 hours and the price varies from ¥4000-5000. You can view the timetable and make reservations here.
Ferry: The Ferry departs every 15 minutes, starting at 6:25am, and costs only ¥180. You can view all the details and timetable on their website here.
GPS map: outdooractive.com
The trail is well marked and well maintained, so you won't have any trouble with navigation and mobile phone reception isn't a problem. Once you get close to the top you'll want to check out both of the main peaks as the views are a little different and climbing the boulders is a lot of fun. Take note that the viewing platform closes at around 4pm, before the sunset, which is a little frustrating as you'll need the viewing platform to see the view of Hiroshima city. Make sure you don't miss out on the Reikado temple building, which houses the Hall of the Spiritual Flame.
Weather and Seasons
Mt Misen can be easily hiked year round. Summer is lush and green and you can find some nice beaches for swimming. The Sakura will reach their peak toward the end of March and the autumn leaves will be colourful around the end of November.
Hiking Distance: 6.5 km
Time: 4 hours
Elevation gain: 540m