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At 500 meters above sea level, Mount Misen (R) is the highest peak on Miyajima. On clear days, it affords spectacular views of the Seto Inland Sea and as far as Hiroshima City. There are also a number of Buddhist structures near the peak. A ropeway leads up the mountain from town, but it is also possible to climb up on foot.

There are three hiking trails leading up Misen: the Momijidani Course, the Daisho-in Course and the Omoto Course. Of the three, the Daisho-in Course offers the nicest views and is not as steep as the other two. The Momijidani Course, while the shortest, is also the steepest, leading mostly through the forest. Using any course, it takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the summit from town.

Even when taking the ropeway, reaching Misen's various attractions still requires a considerable amount of walking, as the mountain's peak is still another 100 meters higher and about a kilometer away from the upper ropeway station around the Shishi-iwa Observatory.

Deer can sometimes be seen along the mountain's paths. Much rarer these days are wild monkeys, as most monkeys were moved off the island to a monkey park in Inuyama in recent years. The monkey population had grown too large and caused various problems.

It is said that Buddhism was first practiced on Mount Misen by Kobo Daishi, the founder of the Shingon sect and one of Japan's holiest religious persons. Near Misen's summit stand several temple structures which belong to Daisho-in Temple at the base of the mountain.

Of particular interest are the Misen Hondo (Misen Main Hall) and the Reikado (Hall of the Spiritual Flame). The latter protects a flame, which Kobo Daishi is said to have lit when he began worshiping on the mountain. It has been burning ever since, and was also used to light the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima's Peace Park.

Getting there and around

The ropeway station is a ten minute walk inland from Itsukushima Shrine or a 20 minute walk from the Miyajima ferry pier. The ride up the mountain takes about 20 minutes and requires a transfer of ropeways along the way.

From the ropeway's upper station at Shishi-iwa Observatory, it is still about a 30 minute walk up to the summit along a rather steep hiking trail. The Misen Hondo and Reikado buildings are located along the trail, about five minutes before the summit.

How to get to and around Miyajima

Hours and Fees

Miyajima Ropeway

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (hours of operation vary slightly by season)

Closed

Occasional closures for maintenance

Admission

1010 yen (one way), 1840 yen (round trip)

Hotels around Miyajima

Top rated in Miyajima
Budget:
    • Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya
      Budget-friendly
      Located on Miyajima (Itsukushima), Miyajima Guest House Mikuniya offers a Japanese-style accommodation and a small garden. Free Wi-Fi is available. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 20-minute walk away. Guests can choose to stay in a private Japanese-style room or a dormitory room shared with other guests. All rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon mattress. Bathrooms, shower rooms and toilets are shared with other guests. The common lounge features tourist guide books, a TV and a desktop computer. Lockers, washing machine and the common kitchen are also available to guests for free. Mikuniya Miyajima Guest House is a 6-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and Daisho-in Temple. Guests can also walk to Marine Plaza Miyajima within a 10-minute walk. A simple Western-style breakfast consisting of break, jam and coffee is available in the kitchen. Lunches and Dinners are not served, but guests are welcome to bring their own food and use the kitchen to prepare meals.
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    • Ryoso Kawaguchi
      Budget-friendly
      Located at Miyajima and featuring beautiful views of the five-story pagoda of Itsukushima Shrine, Ryoso Kawaguchi offers Japanese-style accommodations with free Wi-Fi. Guests can take the ferry boat from Miyajima-guchi Ferry Terminal to Miyajima Ferry Terminal, which is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. A free shuttle is also available from Miyajima Ferry Terminal. This hotel was selected as one of Top 25 B&Bs and Inns in Japan by TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award 2013. Smoking is prohibited in all areas. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and Japanese futon beddings. A flat-screen TV, a fridge, and an electric kettle with green tea are included. Yukata robes and a private toilet are included in each room, but bathrooms are shared. The shared bath is available from 16:00 to 23:00. A common room is located on the 3rd floor and features books, a microwave, and mineral water. A free-use computer with internet is provided by the lobby. Drink vending machines and luggage storage services are also available. Dinner and breakfast can be served at extra charge. A Japanese set menu prepared with local delicacies is offered for dinner. For breakfast, guests can choose between a Western or Japanese set menu. Meals are served at the dining room. Kawaguchi Ryoso is a 5-minute walk from the historical Itukushima Shrine, and a 10-minute walk from Momijidani Park.
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    • Oyado Tsukiusagi
      Budget-friendly
      Oyado Tsukiusagi offers Japanese-style rooms and free WiFi, within a 10-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine. Some rooms come with sea views, and all have a private bathroom. Rooms feature a traditional minimalist interior with a tatami (woven-straw) floor, Japanese decorations and traditional futon bedding. They are fitted with air conditioning, a TV and a bathroom with a shower, bathtub and toilet.
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    • Iwaso
      Luxury
      Located in the World Heritage Miyajima Island, Iwaso features Japanese-style accommodations with beautiful surrounding views. Guests can relax in the indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths and request for massages. A free shuttle is available from Miyajima Ferry Terminal, which is also a 5-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Rooms in the Annex include a private bathroom with a bath and toilet, while rooms in the historical Main Building and Cottage Annex have shared bathrooms and toilets. Guests can purchase local gifts at the souvenir shop and enjoy singing at the karaoke room. Photocopying and luggage storage services are available at the 24-hour front desk. A computer with internet is provided in the lobby for an extra charge. A traditional multi-course dinner featuring seafood and local ingredients are served at the dining room or guestsf rooms. A Japanese breakfast is served at Momiji restaurant. Iwaso Inn is a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and Momijidani Park. Miyajima Aquarium is a 10-minute walk away.
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    • Hotel Miyajima Villa
      Mid-range
      Located in Miyajima, 700 metres from Five Storey Pagoda, Hotel Miyajima Villa provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a bar and a garden. The property is close to several well-known attractions, less than 1 km from The great Torii, a 19-minute walk from Momijidani Park and 1.4 km from Museum of History and Folklore. The hotel features a hot spring bath, luggage storage space and free WiFi throughout the property. At the hotel, every room comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom. All units will provide guests with a fridge. Hotel Miyajima Villa offers a buffet or Asian breakfast. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Itsukushima Shrine, Daisho-in Temple and Miyajima Ferry Terminal. The nearest airport is Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport, 18 km from Hotel Miyajima Villa.
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    • Kurayado Iroha
      Luxury
      Kurayado Iroha is located in Miyajimafs Omotesando Avenue, a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shinto Shrine and Miyajima Pier. The hotel offers a restaurant and Japanese-style rooms with free wired internet access. The stylish rooms at Kurayado Iroha feature tatami-mat flooring and private bathrooms. Amenities include a flat-screen TV and DVD player. The top floor indoor and outdoor public baths overlook Setonaikai Sea and the Otorii Shrine Gate. The hotel also provides business services and a souvenir shop. Caf? and Dining Yoimosezu provides freshly-ground coffee and tasty all-day dining. A Japanese breakfast and dinner are available, but dinner must be reserved in advance. Please note that nearby dining options are limited.
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    • Jukeiso
      Mid-range
      Jukeiso features Japanese-style rooms overlooking the majestic entrance gate (Torii) of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine, only a 5-minute walk from the Unesco World Heritage Site itself. The hotel offers public and private hot baths and a free shuttle to/from Miyajima Ferry Terminal. Free Wi-Fi is provided at the lobby. Japanese-style hotel Jukeiso is a 10-minute walk from Hokoku Shrine and Goju-no-To Pagoda. It's a 14-minute walk from Momijidani Park, and a 19-minute walk from the Miyajima Ropeway at Momijidani Station. Guests can unwind in a public indoor bath, which is available 24 hours, while an outdoor bath for private use offers views of Itsukushima-jinja Shrine. Free parking is available. Jukeiso serves a Japanese breakfast and dinner at its restaurant. Besides amazing nature views, comfortable rooms come with a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge and an en suite bathroom. Yukata robes and green tea are provided. Guests sleep in Japanese futon bedding on the tatami (woven mat) floor.
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    • Nakaya B&B
      Budget-friendly
      Located on Miyajima Island and only a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine, Nakaya B&B has an English-speaking owner who provides local information. Free Wi-Fi is available in all rooms and the entire property is non-smoking. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 5-minute walk away. Guests can sleep in rooms with tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding or in rooms with Western beds and hardwood floors. Includes both air conditioning and heating facilities, and a private toilet is included in some rooms. Bathrooms are shared with all guests or can be reserved for private use. B&B Nakaya is a 10-minute walk from Momijidani Park and Momijidani Ropeway Station. It is conveniently located just steps from a shopping arcade. Guests can enjoy DVDs on the flat-screen TV, drink complimentary coffee/tea or play board games at the shared lounge. A simple Western breakfast featuring freshly-baked bread is available at an additional charge, if reserved in advance. Meals are served at the dining room.
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    • Mizuhasou
      Budget-friendly
      Located right in front of Miyajima Aquarium and a 5-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine's exit, Mizuhasou offers accommodations in a modern yet traditional d?cor. Free Wi-Fi is available at the entire building. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 15-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature a seating area, a flat-screen TV and a fridge. Rooms include a private toilet but bathrooms are shared. Japanese Yukata robes and room wear are provided for all guests, and you can choose to stay in either Japanese or Western-style rooms. Mizuhasou Inn is a 10-minute walk from Momijidani Park and a 15-minute walk from Momijidani Ropeway Station. Traditional multi-course meals are served for dinner and a Japanese set menu for breakfast. Japanese-style hotel Mizuhasou specialises in fresh seafood and exquisitely prepared local seasonal dishes. Meals are served at the dining room.
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    • Sakuraya
      Mid-range
      Renewed in 2013, Sakuraya offers affordable Japanese-style rooms with mountain or sea views. Free Wi-Fi is available at the public areas. Miyajima Ferry Terminal is a 3-minute walk away. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. Each comes with a flat-screen TV and an electric kettle with green tea bags. All rooms have a private toilet, and some have shared bathroom facilities. The shared bath is available between 15:00-23:00 daily. Luggage storage is offered at the front desk and drink vending machines are on site. Guests can enjoy fresh oysters at the property. Sakuraya Inn is a 10-minute walk from Itsukushima Shrine and Momijidani Park. Miyajima Ropeway is a 15-minute walk away. No meals are served.
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