Mt Ishizuchi is the highest mountain in western Japan at 1,982 meters. I am posting this post from the top of Mt Ishizuchi.
Woke to the sound of wind and what I thought was rain. Instead at breakfast we asked the owner if it was OK to hike up and he said yes. Here is photos of the sign up top showing we were at 1,982 meters high.
Last night at dinner he showed us videos where he makes shell horns which are used in a ceremony (like matsuri) where they climb Mt Ishizuchi blowing the horn.
He is on the poster for Mt Ishizuchi with his shell horn.
Here are some of the photos of his shell horns he makes.
We started our hike by visiting the shine near where we were staying.
They have a huge carving with face with big nose.
The hike up was very hard and difficult to say the least. The wind came up and it just chilled you to the bone. Here is a map of the route, which the ticket seller at the ropeway gave me an English version.
The trees have started to change colors, but was hard to see with all the fog and mist. I tried to take a couple of photos.
On the way up there is an option to climb the rock face using huge chains to hang on to. We opted for the longer around the chains route.
At the top of the mountain I got to say a prayer at the shrine and got my book stamped. The monk stamping the book mentioned his friend posted a picture he took of us on his Facebook page. He showed us and we laughed and said it was indeed us.
We found the Chojo-sanso Lodge where we were staying. We were able to check in around 12 noon and get changed into dry clothes and have a nice bite to eat. I was surprised when the young cook came out and gave us each a snack as osettai. The Shikoku pilgrimage follows you everywhere.
It was a hard climb but a good day even though you couldn’t see much of a view because of being in the clouds. One last picture of a wall hanging that was in my room last night and a poster of what the mountain looks like in the fall.
Tomorrow we will take our time hiking down, take the ropeway back down and catch a bus to the train station, where we will take the train to the hotel where we are staying.