Secluded, tranquil shrine dedicated to mountain gods
Head off the beaten track to this secluded shrine that can be visited during your journey through the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage. The main Ishizuchi-jinja Shrine is located just a short train ride away from the city of Saijo. You can take a Yosan Line Shiokaze Limited Express from Matsuyama to Iyo-Saijo station; factor in 60 minutes for the journey. Take a train from there to Ishizuchiyama Station. From the station, the shrine is a 20-minute walk. You’ll be able to see the shrine’s large, red torii gate from the station.
The main shrine sits at the base of Mt. Ishizuchi. It’s the perfect visit for those wanting to experience some of the tranquility of the mountain without the tough hike. The shrine is shrouded in bamboo and mossy cypress trees. During spring, see cherry blossoms, or catch the fall colors in October and November. Inside the shrine grounds, look out for statues of the tengu mountain demons. At the top of the flight of stairs within the shrine, you will be awarded with magnificent views of the Seto Inland Sea.
Chugu Jojusha Shrine, at the start of the Mt. Ishizuchi Omotesando route, is also part of the shrine complex. Visit here before beginning to climb the mountain. Once at the top, you can visit another of Ishizuchi’s shrines while taking in jaw-dropping views of the mountains and outlying Seto Inland Sea.
The Ishizuchi-jinja Shrine holds great historical and cultural significance. It is dedicated to the mountain gods and serves as a place of worship for locals and visitors alike. The shrine has been a spiritual sanctuary for centuries, and its secluded location adds to its sense of tranquility. The serene atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it the perfect place for reflection and meditation.
To reach the shrine, you can take a train from Matsuyama to Iyo-Saijo station and then transfer to a train bound for Ishizuchiyama Station. From there, it is just a short walk to the shrine. The journey itself is a scenic one, with picturesque views of the countryside and mountains.
Once you arrive at the shrine, you will be greeted by a large, red torii gate, which is a symbol of the entrance to a sacred space. As you pass through the gate, you will enter the shrine grounds, which are filled with lush greenery and ancient trees. The air is filled with a sense of peace and serenity, and the sound of birds chirping adds to the tranquil ambiance.
The main shrine building is a beautiful wooden structure, adorned with intricate carvings and colorful decorations. Inside the shrine, you will find various altars and statues dedicated to the mountain gods. The atmosphere is one of reverence and devotion, and many visitors come here to offer prayers and seek spiritual guidance.
One of the highlights of the shrine is the breathtaking view from the top of the flight of stairs. As you make your way up, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Seto Inland Sea and the majestic Mt. Ishizuchi. The sight is truly awe-inspiring and is sure to leave a lasting impression.
In addition to the main shrine, there are also several smaller shrines and temples within the complex. Each of these has its own unique charm and significance. For example, Chugu Jojusha Shrine is located at the start of the Mt. Ishizuchi Omotesando route and is a popular spot for visitors to pray for good luck and success in their endeavors.
Another nearby attraction is Maegamiji Temple, which was formerly the main shrine for devotees of Mt. Ishizuchi. The temple is known for its beautiful gardens and peaceful atmosphere. It is a great place to relax and unwind after visiting the shrine.
If you’re spending a day in Saijo, you can also head to the Asahi Brewery for a tour and tasting. The brewery is famous for its sake production and offers visitors the chance to learn about the brewing process and sample a variety of different sakes.
Overall, a visit to the Ishizuchi-jinja Shrine is a truly unique and memorable experience. It offers a chance to connect with nature, experience the rich history and culture of the region, and find inner peace and tranquility. Whether you are a spiritual seeker, a nature lover, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, this secluded shrine is well worth a visit.
Remember to check for any travel advisories or restrictions before planning your visit, as the situation may change due to COVID-19. Stay safe and enjoy your journey through the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.
Address And Maps Location:
797 Nishidako, Saijo-shi, Ehime-ken