Top 5 Hikes in Hiroshima Prefecture
With the scenic Seto Inland Sea providing the backdrop in many parts, Hiroshima Prefecture is famous for its trails and other outdoor activities. Here is a selection of some of the best hikes.
Mt. Misen is located behind Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima. It rises from behind the shrine at sea level to 530 meters. Its interesting geology, virgin forests and unique wildlife (monkeys and deer) make it popular hiking destination. It takes over 90 minutes to hike from the town to the summit of Mount Misen.
There are three hiking trails: Daishoin course, Momijidani course and Omoto course. All have fairly steep sections (with stairs) making this an intermediate level climb. Beginners can take the ropeway to near the summit and stroll over to it. Walking one-way (up or down) is also an option.
The top of Mount Mitaki (356 meters) commands one of the best views of Hiroshima City because of its central location. The mountain was also historically referred to as Mount Uematsu and Mount Soko.
The two routes from the temple to the top are vastly different in difficulty. The 'A Route' (1.6 km) is for the casual mountaineer while the 'B Route' (1.1 km) is muddy, dangerously steep in sections and, except for near the top, far less scenic. The two routes form a circular path around the mountain that is 2.7 km long. The first route is great for the casual climber looking to stretch their legs.
Mt. Noro is the second highest mountain at 839 meters on the Seto Inland Sea. It is a popular recreation and nature park. Mt. Noro is officially opened to mountaineering in April and it's well-known and admired by local hikers. The two climbing courses are called Dondon and Kabuto-Iwa. They both start from JR Akikawajiri station in Kawajiri and it will take several hours to climb up and back down. The path through town is marked.
At the top is a 180 degree viewpoint where you can see as far as Shikoku on a clear day. An excellent road that lights up with cherry blossoms in the spring makes it easy for the casual outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the view and trails on the plateau. There is a popular campground on Mount Noro.
Taishakukyo (帝釈峡) in northeastern Hiroshima Prefecture near Shobara City covers a large area of scenic karst formations centered around Shinryu Lake. A number of easy hiking trails are in the area. The highlight of the area is undoubtably Onbashi Natural Bridge. A nice brisk walk from the parking lot gets you there. The trails go though bamboo forests, chestnut groves and past rural houses.
All main trails in the area are suitable for the casual rambler. You can also head out on a scenic boat cruise as well.
In northwest Hiroshima Prefecture is a 16 km ravine called Sandankyo. The stepped waterfall called Sandantaki (三段滝) is the famous poster image of the ravine. The best time to visit Sandankyo is considered to be in the fall. It is a 2 hour (12 km) hike from the lower to the upper parking lot near the famous waterfalls. Bus "service" or taxis connects the two parking lots.
The trail up the gorge is almost flat in some parts, hilly in other parts and alternates between up and down in the rest. The trail is a concrete walkway that follows the east side of the ravine for the most part. Of course, the less energetic hiker hiker can just walk to the stepped waterfall from the upper parking lot.
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Posted: July 12, 2015 Updated: July 12, 2015