Mount Shosha (書写山) is a 371 metre tall mountain near Himeji, the top of which is full of Buddhist temples of the Tendai sect. The most famous is Shoshazan Engyō-ji (書寫山圓教寺), which is often used when filming historical movies and dramas due to it’s authenticity and total lack of modern blemishes.
Mount Shosha offers an excellent chance to get up in the mountains for just an afternoon or a slow day. Transportation is cheap and easy, plus there is lots to see once you get up there, with all the countless Buddhist temples, small shops and of course vending machines!
Budget travel tip
Don’t take the rope-way, walk up the mountain. It is a medium difficulty, 1 hour walk up. Walk to the left behind the cable car station, and you will see an English sign pointing to the walking route up the mountain. Later on some signs are just in Japanese (登山道), as shown below with arrows pointing towards the path.
Just before you enter the forest, you will see a “Gun hunting prohibited” sign with another sign on the right side, with arrows pointing left and “0.8km” written. Turn left and start your mountain hike up!
How to get there
From Himeji station stop no.10, get the bus to Mount Shosha (30 mins, 270 yen). The rope-way and access point for walking up (see above) are both from here.
Rope-way Information (書写山ロープウェイ)
One-day price: Adults 500 yen, Children 250 yen
Return price: Adults 900 yen, Children 450 yen
Open: From 8:30. Closing time is between 5 PM and 7 PM, check at tourist information center in Himeji station before departing.
Recommended hostels and cheap hotels
Himeji 588 Guesthouse
A friendly guesthouse, walking distance from the castle. Check prices at Booking.com.