A sacred mountain that is the highest peak in western Japan
Mt. Ishizuchi is located in Saijo City in Ehime Prefecture and is one of Japan’s Seven Holy Mountains, well known as a peak that has been worshiped for around 1300 years. Ishizuchi Shrine which holds the holy embodiment of the mountain consists of 4 shrines: the main shrine at the foot of Mt. Ishizuchi, Jouju Shrine and the Tsuchigoya front shrine on the mountain side, and a shrine at the peak. The mountain is also an overall term for Mt. Tengu at 1982m which is the highest peak in western Japan, the 1974m Mt. Misen where the peak shrine of Ishizuchi Shrine is located, and Mt. Nansenpo. The highest Mt. Tengu has a shape resembling that of the Matterhorn so that the entire mountain area has been made into one of the nation’s 100 Famous Mountains.
Enjoy the view from the ropeway and lift
From Sanroku-Shimotani Station at 455m to Sancho-Jouju Station at 1300m, you can enjoy an 8-minute ride on the ropeway from where you can get a beautiful and grand view of nature as it transforms through the steep rock face and the four seasons. There is also an observation point at Jouju Station where you can enjoy a huge panoramic view at 360 degrees. From there, you can walk 5 minutes over to Okumaekami-ji Temple from where you can walk a further 25 minutes toward Jouju Shrine or take the more scenic route to the shrine via a 6-minute lift ride and a 10-minute walk on a nature trail. You can enjoy a good hike even up to this point.
Climbing up a sheer cliff by chains
From here up to the mountain top is a genuine 3-4 hour (one-way) mountain climbing route. There are 4 heavy iron chains which are quite unusual in Japan which you can use to climb up the perpendicular rock face, but since there is also a bypass to get to the top, you can choose the route according to your stamina and experience. Because the chain sites are very steep, it is recommended for those that may not have the strength to use the bypass instead. The view of Mt. Tengu which can be seen from the top of Mt. Misen is wonderful. When you go along the narrow 200m mountain ridge, you will reach the top of Mt. Tengu which is the highest peak. Not only will you be able to see the Seto Inland Sea and Tosa Bay, but if the weather is good, you can also view the Chugoku & Kyushu Mountains.