Mount Misen, Miyajima
Mount Misen is a historic holy mountain on Miyajima established by the Priest Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. There are religious sites on the mountain and those wanting to experience it as a spiritual site should consider taking the hiking trails, but there is also a ropeway that can take you to the top.
Mount Misen has its own designated "7 Wonders of Mount Misen" which are all part of the spiritual experience of the mountain (the 1600 year old flame lit by Kobo Daishi, a plum tree, a cherry tree, a Rock Mandala, a fire cedar tree, Kanman Iwa, and the sound of a tengu, Hyoshigi no Oto)
In spite of mountain's spiritual significance, most visitors come for the views. That is what I came up to see, since it was too late in the day to visit the spiritual sites. Mount Misen offers spectacular views of the mainland and the Seto Inland Sea. The view of the sea and its islands is beautiful!
If you take the trails, the mountain is free. The Miyajima Ropeway costs either 1000 yen for a one-way ticket or 1800 yen for a roundtrip ticket.
When the weather is good, its very interesting to take a cable car to the top of Mount Misen. From the peak of the mountain (430m), you can see a superb view of the beautiful Inland Sea (Setonaikai). If you are lucky, you will aslo encounter Japanese monkeys! Sound trip: 1500 yen (15€-no credit card accepted)
Mount Misen is the name of the mountain high above Itsukushima Shrine and there are several ways to get uphill : various paths are leading uphill just as well as a cablecar, that starts in the back of the village. On top of Mount Misen there are some more temples and the whole island of Miyajima is considdered to be a god by the local believers.
Mt. Misen is the highest spot on Miyajima island (over 500 metres) and it's considered sacred. There are several paths leading to the top and they go through very beautiful parks. You can also take a ropeway from Momidijani park to the top and save some energy. There are some temples near the top and an observatory.
Enjoy spectacular views of the Inland Sea and take the cable car to the top of Misen-san. Actually it's 2 separate cable cars with an interchange station part way up. The ride itself was a little bit scary - and slow - but well worth it.
But beware of the monkeys!
You will need about 1 hour to get to the top of it. Will meet deers at the bottom, some nice temple at the top, mostly a wonderfull view of the bay around the island
From Sea Level to 4000 Ft. in less time than it takes to sing "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" and the view from the top was amazing!