The O-Torii gate inches nearer
The view from the ropeway is breathtaking
The Reikado has been designated as an official 'Lover's Sanctuary'.
Walking through the rock tunnel
After arriving at the port, I decided to tackle Mt. Misen while I still had the energy. Using the two stage ropeway (Momijidani Station to Kayatani Station, then change for Kayatani Station to Shishiiwa Station), I set off on the walking route from Shishiiwa Station to the summit of Mt. Misen. From these two ropeways that run above this World Heritage Site, you can enjoy a view of the Seto Inland Sea and its host of islands, as well as the dense virgin forests of Mt. Misen below you. It is a fantastic way to enjoy the dynamic landscape of the sea and the mountains.
After leaving the ropeway at Shishiiwa Station, I navigated the mountain path to reach two famous buildings. One is the Misen Main Hall, where the influential Heian period monk Kobo Daishi is thought to have undertaken religious training for 100 days, and the other is the Reikado - a building containing a fire that has continued to burn for over 1,200 years. Then I aimed for the summit and continued to trek up the mountain. The rocks I passed were gradually turning into larger boulders when I came across the 'Fudo Iwa' rock and the 'Kuguri Iwa' rock tunnel. It's hard not to be amazed by the power of nature while passing through this strange looking tunnel of rock. Zigzagging between boulders, I finally arrived at the summit. The view from the summit of the 535 meter-high Mt. Misen is so spectacular, you soon forget about your sore thighs from the climb up. The Seto Inland Sea and its picturesque islands spread out in a 360 degree panorama. In the distance you can even see the Shikoku mountain range.