Attraction 411 Mitakiyama Nishi Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 733-0805 Japan Published on: 27-02-2016
|1 hours 30 mins|
|09:00 AM - 04:30 PM|
Temple & Monument
Mitaki Temple is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Mitaki Temple is special ?
Mitaki Temple (三滝寺) is a popular woodland temple dedicated to Kanon (Goddess of Mercy). It is located a fair distance up the slopes of Mount Mitaki in a quiet valley. The overall harmonious atmosphere of the temple grounds is highly cherished by its admirers. The temple is also the starting point for two trails up Mount Mitaki.
The red vermilion (Tahoto) pagoda at Mitaki Temple is an important cultural property and was moved there in 1951 from a shrine in Wakayama City where it was was originally built in 809 to help comfort the souls of those lost in the atomic bombing. Water from the temple was used to treat the burns of those injured in the attack and a number of other memorials are located on the temple grounds.
The natural beauty of the temple grounds is embodied best by the Bonon Waterfall which tumbles down a steep cliff to form a small river that runs through the temple grounds.
What to explore at Mitaki Temple?
The real charm of Mitaki, however, is in its atmosphere. As you make your way through the temple complex, up the moss-covered stone steps, you pass hundreds of buddhist images and jizō statues in their bright red caps and bibs, each with its own unique countenance and expression. As you might expect in a place named after its waterfalls, this place is very green, and as you get closer to the far reaches of the grounds the trees become more and more magnificent. The place feels almost enchanted.
All the stone, moss and streams means that Mitaki is a beautiful place to visit even in the rain. In fact, I highly recommend going on a rainy day, as it’s unlikely that you will find many other people there. The approach to the temple, up the road that runs from the train station to the temple entrance is lined with cherry trees, and the park (not much more than a dirt play area) below is a popular hanami spot during the cherry blossom viewing season. It is in autumn, however, that Mitaki really comes into its own. The leaves positively blaze red and photographers burn through many many gigabytes during November kouyou autumn leaf-viewing season.
The mountain on which the temple sits is known variously as Mitaki-yama, Uematsu-yama and Soko-yama. The latter two names come from the fact that the samurai tea master responsible for the design of Shukkei-en Garden in central Hiroshima, Ueda Soko, planted a pine tree on the summit to enhance the natural backdrop of his garden and tea houses.
The hiking trail over the mountain is a popular one and is accessible all year round. The trail (marked “Course B”) starts from just inside the temple gate and immediately after passing the Tahōtō pagoda. It’s a fairly steep climb of about 1100m to the 356m high summit, but the views are worth it. The trail to the left (with the city view behind you) takes you along the ridge and drops you at the top end of the temple complex after a bewitching descent through a beautiful bamboo forest.
There is also a charming rustic tea house called Kutenan within the temple grounds which has tables inside and outside and serves simple Japanese food and some delicious Japanese desserts.
How to get to Mitaki Temple?
The easiest way to reach Mitaki is by JR train. Mitaki Station (三滝駅) is the first stop (3 min.) on the Kabe Line after leaving Yokogawa Station (横川駅). Alternatively, Mitaki is only a 15 to 20 minute walk across and along the river from Yokogawa Station. In front of Mitaki Station, there is a map and more along the way. Mostly, it's just a matter of walking up the hill to the west for 15 minutes from the closest train crossing.
There is also a bus that departs about once an hour from Hatchobori to Mitaki. The closest bus stop to the temple is called "Mitaki Kanon".
- Gorgeous surroundings in a hidden area
- Peaceful Location
- Well worth the train ride and walk uphill
- Beautiful, Inspiring Local Spot
- Lovely afternoon trip
411 Mitakiyama Nishi Ward, Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture 733-0805 Japan
Tips for you
I had read about this temple a couple of years ago but did not have the time to visit then. This time we made a special effort to put time aside for the visit. A short train ride to Mitaki station then a 20 minute walk up the hill to the temple. We took a walking trek into the surrounding hillside and ended up bushwalking up behind the temple. An experience for me as I am not used to all the uphill walking, but good exercise!! We returned to the temple, took photos of the waterfalls and statues, and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings in the rainforest. We had shaved ice at the little teahouse and bought a few pottery items from the display. Staff at the teahouse were very friendly and attentive. It was definitely worth the trip from Hiroshima to this temple for it's lovely peaceful gardens and interesting statues.