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Mt. Ishizuchi: Round Trip from the Ropeway

Summit Day Hike on a Sacred Peak.
  • Duration
    1Day / 6Hours
    Highest Point
    1982m
    Elevation Gain
    698m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

Mt. Ishizuchi (Ishizuchi-san) is located in Shikoku's Ehime Prefecture. It is the highest peak in western Japan and has been selected as one of Japan's 100 most famous mountains . The steep and rocky peak was already an object of worship by the 7th century and was a training ground for practitioners of Shugendo, an ancient form of mountain asceticism.
Shrines and their torii gates still dot the mountains today. The route to the summit showcased here features a relatively small difference in elevation and makes use of Mt. Ishizuchi's hiking ropeway.

Walking from Joju (Johju) Station at the top of the ropeway, you'll pass Okumaegami-ji Temple. After about a 25-minute walk, you'll reach Ishizuchi-jinja Chugu Joju-sha Shrine Ishizuchi-jinja Chugu Joju-sha. This large shrine gets lots of visitors and thus there are several cafeteria and souvenir shops near there.

Descending the trail through the forest, you'll pass through a torii gate and find a bench with a view of the summit. Continue your descent and you'll reach a col known as Haccho (Hacchoh). It's about 45 minutes from Joju Station.

Continue up the steep staircase and go around a chain-assisted trail called “Tameshi-no-Kusari” and in about an hour you'll reach Zenshagamori-koya mountain hut. It’s a nice spot for a rest.

As you ascend and pass to the right of a small peak, the forest thins out, giving way to sasa bamboo. From there it descends slowly, bringing you to the col at Yoakashi-toge Pass. It's about 20 minutes from Zenshagamori-koya. There's a great view of Mt. Ishizuchi from there.

Ascending the staircase, you'll pass by difficult spots with chains called Ichi no Kusari, Ni no Kusari, and San no Kusari. There are also detours around all of them.

Once you come to the top of the staircase around San no Kusari, you'll arrive at Mt. Misen, the summit of Mt. Ishizuchi. It's about 3 hours from Joju Station. There you'll find Ishizuchi-jinja Shrine Chojo-sha, as well as the Ishizuchi-jinja Chojo Sanso mountain hut with its restaurant.

From Mt. Misen you'll ascend for about 15 minutes to the highest peak of Mt. Tengu (Tengu-dake). Watch your step as this is a steep stone ridge.

Return the way you came.

Other Info

Akebonotsutsuji (Rhododendron pentaphyllum var. shikokianum) grows only in the high mountains of Shikoku and the Kii Peninsula. There are colonies of it on Mt. Ishizuchi, and the lovely pink flowers blossom in May. The foliage is also beautiful from early to mid-October when the mountain turns red and yellow.

Notes

There are several spots with chains on Mt. Ishizuchi. As you ascend from the foot of the mountain they are: Tameshi no Kusari (74 meters long), Ichi no Kusari (33 meters long), Ni no Kusari (65 meters long), and San no Kusari (68 meters long). As falls have occurred in these areas, you might want to follow the detours if it's raining or if your skills or conditioning aren't up to the climb.
Ascending Mt. Tengu (Tengu-dake) you pass over cliffs, so if you're concerned it's a good idea to turn back at Mt. Misen.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day / 6Hours
Highest Point
1982m(Mt. Ishizuchi, Mt. Tengu)
Elevation Gain
698m
Horizontal Distance
12.2Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Zenshagamori-koya, Ishizuchi-jinja Chojo Sanso

Eating

Ishizuchi-jinja Chojo Sanso, Ishizuchi-jinja Chugu Joju-sha

Hot-Springs

Kyoya Ryokan

Instagram

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Access

From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen to Okayama Station (approx. 3 hours). Change there to the Shiokaze Tokkyu express train at Okayama Station and get to Iyo Saijo Station (approx. 1 hour and 40 minutes).
From JR Iyo Saijo Station get a Setouchi Bus to the Ishizuchi Ropeway (approx. 50 minutes). Then take the Ishizuchi Ropeway from Shitaya Station to Joju Station (approx. 8 minutes).

Links

COURSES

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