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Mount Shosha (書写山, Shoshazan) is the site of Engyoji (円教寺, Engyōji), an atmospheric temple complex with a history of over 1000 years. Located at the edge of Himeji City, the mountain can be accessed in only 30 minutes from the city center by bus and ropeway.

Engyoji's temple buildings are spread over a spacious, densely forested area on the mountain top. From the ropeway station it takes a 10-15 minute walk uphill to reach the Niomon Gate and another 10-15 minutes to reach the Maniden, a beautiful wooden temple hall, constructed on pillars on a steep slope. Alternatively, a minibus operates between the upper ropeway station and the Maniden every 20 minutes (500 yen for a round trip).

Another five minute walk along forest trails brings you to the three massive wooden temple halls, known as Mitsunodo: the Daikodo (main hall), Jikido (lodging and dining hall, now exhibiting temple treasures) and Jogyodo (gymnasium). More buildings and an observation point with views over the urban sprawl of Himeji are located even further along the trails in the Okunoin area.

Due to the beautiful scenery and absence of modern infrastructure on its temple grounds, Mount Shosha is frequently used as a filming location for historical movies and TV dramas. Besides mostly domestic productions, the Hollywood movie "The Last Samurai" was partially shot on the mountain, incorporating scenes taken around and inside the halls of Mitsunodo.

Getting there and around

Take bus number 8 from Himeji Station (North Exit bus stop number 10) or Himeji Castle to the terminal stop "Mount Shosha Ropeway" (書写山ロープウェイ, 30 minutes, 280 yen one way, departures every 20 minutes). Then, take the ropeway up the mountain (600 yen one way, 1000 yen round trip, departures every 15 minutes). Alternatively, it is possible to hike up the mountain in about 45-60 minutes.

A convenient ticket to use is the "Shoshazan Ropeway" combination ticket that includes a round trip by bus from Himeji Station to the ropeway station and the ropeway round trip for 1420 yen. It is available at the ticket counter of the Shinki Bus Terminal in front of Himeji Station.

How to get to and around Himeji

Hours and Fees

Engyoji Temple

Hours

8:30 to 18:00 (closing times vary seasonally by +/- one hour)

Closed

No closing days, but the ropeway is out of service for maintenance for one week around February.

Admission

500 yen (not including the ropeway ride)

Hotels around Himeji

Top rated in Himeji
Budget:
    • Shironoshita Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Shironoshita Guesthouse offers accommodation in Himeji. Each room is equipped with a shared bathroom. Shironoshita Guesthouse features free WiFi throughout the property. A flat-screen TV is offered. You will find a shared lounge at the property. Himeji Castle is 900 metres from Shironoshita Guesthouse, while Mt. Shosha Ropeway is 6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 66 km from Shironoshita Guesthouse.
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    • Daiwa Roynet Hotel Himeji
      Luxury
      Located in Himeji, 2 km from Himeji Castle, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Himeji provides accommodation with a restaurant, private parking and a fitness centre. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Local points of interest like Shikama-k? and Shosha-zan Engyo-ji Temple are reachable within 7 km and 9 km, respectively. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. Featuring a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also provide guests with a city view. All guest rooms include a wardrobe. A continental breakfast is available daily at Daiwa Roynet Hotel Himeji. Himeji City Aquarium is 2.9 km from the accommodation, while Zenkyo-ji Temple is 7 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 53 km from Daiwa Roynet Hotel Himeji.
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    • Hotel Monterey Himeji
      Luxury
      Featuring free WiFi, Hotel Monterey Himeji offers accommodation in Himeji. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Each room at this hotel is air conditioned and has a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. The rooms come with a private bathroom fitted with a bath. Extras include slippers, free toiletries and a hairdryer. You will find a 24-hour front desk at the property. Himeji Castle is 1.2 km from Hotel Monterey Himeji, while Shikama-k? is 6 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 67 km from the property.
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    • OYO CAPSULE Himejiekimae
      Budget-friendly
      Set within 1.9 km of Himeji Castle and 3.3 km of Himeji City Aquarium, OYO CAPSULE Himejiekimae features rooms in Himeji. The property is around 6 km from Shikama-k?, 7 km from Zenkyo-ji Temple and 10 km from Shosha-zan Engyo-ji Temple. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi is available. The units in the capsule hotel are equipped with a TV. At OYO CAPSULE Himejiekimae, all rooms are equipped with a shared bathroom with free toiletries. Taiyo Park is 11 km from the accommodation, while Himeji Central Park is 13 km away. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 53 km from OYO CAPSULE Himejiekimae.
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    • Richmond Hotel Himeji
      Mid-range
      Richmond Hotel Himeji is situated in Himeji, within 2.7 km of Himeji Castle and 2 km of Himeji City Aquarium. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Attractions in the area include Shosha-zan Engyo-ji Temple, 10 km away, or Taiyo Park, set 12 km from the property. All rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. Featuring a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also feature a city view. The units have a wardrobe. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at Richmond Hotel Himeji. Shikama-k? is 5 km from the accommodation, while Zenkyo-ji Temple is 8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 53 km from Richmond Hotel Himeji.
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    • Dormy Inn Himeji Natural Hot Spring
      Mid-range
      Only a 3-minute walk from JR Himeji Station, Dormy Inn Himeji Natural Hot Spring offers modern rooms with free WiFi is provided throughout the property. Guests can relax in the public hot-spring baths or request massages for an extra cost. The air-conditioned rooms feature a flat-screen satellite TV, air humidifier, fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags. The en suite bathrooms come with a shower, toilet, hairdryer and free toiletries. There is a sauna at this hotel where guests can relax from their travels. A coin-launderette is available at the hotel. Copy services and luggage storage are available at the front desk. Taxi arrangements can also be made at the reception. A semi-buffet breakfast is served at the on-site restaurant. Local menu items are also available upon request. Dormy Inn Himeji Natural Hot Spring is a 20-minute walk from the world heritage site of Himeji Castle. Both Shoshazan Engyo-ji Temple and Himeji Central Park are a 30-minute drive away from Dormy Inn Himeji Natural Hot Spring. Guests can also take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line to Kobe Station in 40 minutes or Super Hakuto 13 Limited ExpressTottori for 60 minutes to reach Osaka Station.
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    • Himeji 588 Guest House
      Budget-friendly
      Located on a lively traditional shopping arcade, Himeji 588 Guest House features affordable Japanese-style accommodations. Free WiFi is available and guests can watch DVDs on the flat-screen TV in the shared lounge. JR Himeji Train Station is a 10-minute walk away. Guest House Himeji 588 is a 5-minute walk from Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden. Shoshazan Engyo-ji Temple is a 15-minute drive away. Guests can choose to stay in dormitory-style rooms or private rooms. Private rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) flooring and Japanese futon bedding. Dormitory rooms are fitted with bunk beds. Bathrooms and toilets are shared for all rooms. Toiletries are offered for free and towels are available at an extra charge. Free coffee and tea are offered at 588 Himeji's shared lounge. A coin-launderette and luggage storage are available.
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    • Hotel Livemax Premium Himejieki-Minami
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Himeji, 2.4 km from Himeji Castle, Hotel Livemax Premium Himejieki-Minami offers rooms with air conditioning. The property is around 2.3 km from Himeji City Aquarium, 2.7 km from Himeji Tegarayama Amusement Park and 6 km from Shikama-k?. Local points of interest like Taiyo Park and Himeji Central Park are reachable within 11 km and 12 km, respectively. At the hotel, all rooms include a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. All guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Zenkyo-ji Temple is 7 km from Hotel Livemax Premium Himejieki-Min, while Shosha-zan Engyo-ji Temple is 10 km from the property. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 53 km from the accommodation.
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    • Comfort Hotel Himeji
      Mid-range
      An 8-minute walk from JR Himeji Train Station, Comfort Hotel Himeji features free WiFi and guests can enjoy complimentary coffee and breakfast. Massages can be requested for additional charge. Air-conditioned rooms are equipped with an LCD TV, a small fridge and an attached bathroom with toiletries. The Himeji Comfort Hotel provides a launderette, while the reception is staffed around the clock. Parking is available at a charge. A daily buffet with warm and cold dishes is available free of charge at the lounge space, between 06:30 and 09:30. Guests can enjoy a variety of fresh breads and other Western and Japanese breakfast foods. Hotel Comfort Himeji is a 15-minute walk from both Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden.
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    • ONE HOSTEL Himeji
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Himeji, ONE HOSTEL Himeji has a shared lounge. The property is around an 11-minute walk from Himeji Castle, 6 km from Mount Shosha Ropeway and 6 km from Shikama-k?. Free WiFi is provided. The private bathroom is fitted with a shower. Himeji Central Park is 8 km from the guest house. The nearest airport is Kobe Airport, 53 km from ONE HOSTEL Himeji.
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