At a height of 1,982 meters, Mt. Ishizuchi is the tallest peak in western Japan. It takes about three and a half hours to the summit if you board the ropeway for part of the journey. During the fall season many people hike up to view the autumn leaves. Mt. Ishizuchi has been revered as sacred since ancient times. Mountain ascetics worship here to this day. It is also called "the mountain of life" by neighboring residents. At the foot of the mountain lies Saijo City, where its plains' annual rainfall registers only 1,400 millimeters. But the rainfall on Mt. Ishizuchi is two to three times that amount, most of which flows into the city. The rich groundwater is said to rank among the tastiest in Japan. There are many public water fountains in Saijo.
Address: 422 Aza-kamikurokawa, Ishizuchi, Komatsu-cho, Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture
Phone: (+81) 897-59-0106 (Japanese only)
Fee: 1,030 yen one-way, 1,950 yen return (adult)
Address: 81 Shimoyako, Nishinokawa, Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture
Phone: (+81) 897-59-0331 (Japanese only)
Operating period: From early May to early November
Fee: 8,700 yen per night with two meals
Phone: (+81) 897-55-4168 (Japanese only)
Address: 645 Teizui, Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture
From there, it's 90 minutes by bus.
Traveler: Janni Olsson > More Info
Occupation:Translator and model
Length of residence in Japan:About 3 years
Reason:About ten years ago, my brother asked me if I wanted to go on a trip to Japan with him. I fell in love with the country and have been coming back regularly ever since.
I have traveled to many different parts of Japan but this was actually my first time visiting Shikoku. I arrived in Saijo, which is known as "The City of Water" and it definitely lived up to its name. It felt like walking around in a Japanese version of Venice!
It is such a beautiful city. Everywhere you look there are pools and canals of cold mountain water running past. You can drink the water just as it is, and I tell you, I have never tasted more delicious, more refreshing water in my life!
The highlight of the trip was definitely climbing Mount Ishizuchi. It's such a beautiful mountain and using the old iron chains to navigate my way up was so exciting! In my free time, I love to go bouldering and hiking, so this was a great way to enjoy a little bit of both.
When I started my climb up the mountainside, the fog was so thick that I couldn't see anything. At first, I thought it was a bit unfortunate since I wouldn't be able to see the view, but once I started my climb I realized that it was quite the opposite. Thanks to the fog I got to enjoy a view that I had never seen before-a mysterious mountain landscape veiled in thick mist-and when I came out of the mist, I got to see the most beautiful view I have seen in my entire life!
Below me a sea of clouds was spreading out as far as my eyes could see with mountain peaks piercing the clouds, which looked like small floating islands.
What this journey has taught me is that, sometimes everything isn't what it first seems to be. What I first thought was bad luck actually turned out to be good luck.
What an amazing journey it was!