Mount Ishizuchi

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Mt. Ishizuchi  is a mountain located in the western part of the Shikoku Mountains at an altitude of 1,982 m, and is the highest peak in  in Ehime, ( Ehime Prefecture  is a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku ) in western Japan.
Mt. Ishizuchi is known as a mountain of mountain worship (shugendo). It is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan and one of the 100 landscapes of Japan, and is considered to be one of the Seven Holy Mountains in Japan. It is the central mountain of the Ishizuchi Mountains and is designated as Ishizuchi Quasi-National Park.

Most mountaineers try to reach the Tengu Prominence, but since space is limited to rest, the Misen Prominence is more popular with families with older people and children. From the city of Saijo you can access a cable car that facilitates access to the summit.

Access : Coordinates: 33.7675, 133.115 / From Osaka: By plane:  50 minutes from Itami Airport to Matsuyama Airport – By train:  45 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Okayama Station on the Shinkansen / From Tokyo: By plane :  1 hour 25 minutes from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Matsuyama Airport and 20 minutes from the airport to Matsuyama Station by bus.

Highlights :

  •  There are 2 main paths leading to the top of the mountain: the Omote-Sando trail and the Tsuchi-goya hut trail. The Omote-Sando trail leads directly to the temple at the summit (about 3.5 hours). On the second route, you can climb faster (in 2.5 hours), since the Ishizuchi Sky Line road leads to the Tsuchi-goya hut at an elevation of 1492 meters above sea level. And from the hut you walk to the top. Closer to the summit, these trails converge and become steeper, almost vertical.
  •  Omogo Mountain Museum : It introduces the flora and fauna and rocks that inhabit Mt. Ishizuchi, as well as mountain worship and mountain climbing history.
  •  Mountaintop lodge shop : sell beverages, cup noodles, chocolate and other groceries, and small souvenirs. / Isichuyama : Isichuyama is a maple viewing spot about 12 km from downtown Saijo.
  •  Ishizuchi Tozan Ropeway : A cable car that Opened in 1968, the line climbs to the hillside of Mount Ishizuchi.
  •  Every year, from July 1st to 10th, the Shinto ritual of “Opening the Mountains” is held, and many believers come to worship and climb the mountain. From ancient times, women were banned during the opening of the mountain, but now only July 1st is banned from women. On the day of the event, women cannot climb to the summit until they reach the office or reach the Tsuchiya Harukaden.
  •  There is a worship tour of the “Ishizuchiyama Historic Site 36 Princes”, but you can’t reach it unless you are guided by an experienced person. In addition, Ishizuchi Shrine holds a worship party once a year in the fall.
  •  Mt. Ishizuchi Hill Climb (Ishizuchi Zan Hill Climb) : It is a bicycle race (road race, 2-heat hill climb race) held every year in late September at the Ishizuchi Skyline at the foot of the mountain.
  •  Ishizuchi Shrine, composed of four shrines, begins at the foot and ends at the top of Mt. Ishizuchi.
  •  One unique feature of the mountain is the several sets of heavy iron chains, “chain staircases” leading up to the summit.
  •  ski and snowboard resorts : The courses of the ski hill are found at the top of the Ropeway at an elevation of 1250m – 1400m.
  •  Ishizuchi Quasi-National Park : The area around Mount Ishizuchi is a major part of Ishizuchi Quasi-National Park.It was founded on 1 November 1955 and has an area of 106.83 km.

Please note that according to the tradition on July 1, the opening day of the climbing season, women are not allowed to climb the mountain.
Fee / permits :  No fees or permits are required to use the park. In addition, when climbing Mt. Ishizuchi for 10 days from July 1st, a mountain trail fee of ¥ 500 is required to use it for the maintenance of mountain trails.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities , the amazing autumn colours. / trekking / Enjoy breathtaking views from the top. / Ski and snowboard lessons are available at Ishizuchi.

Go next : The Omogo Gorge at the foot of the mountains as part of the Ishizuchi quasi-national park is famous for its landscapes of incredible beauty / Saijo City / Kumakogen Town.

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