The Ishizuchi Mountain Range of Shikoku - where the majestic mountains of Japan dot the landscape; and nestled around the highest sacred peaks in western Japan is a terrain decorated with rich forests and crystal-clear streams.
Amongst this breathtakingly beautiful scenery is a culture of prayer and purification that has been passed down for generations.
We invite you to experience a purification of the body and soul as time gently flows by while amongst the magnificent natural beauty of Shikoku.
This trip is centered around experiences located in the Ishizuchi Mountain Range of Saijo in Ehime Prefecture.
Whether you come from Tokyo, from Hiroshima across the Seto Inland Sea, or from the art island of Naoshima, you can visit shrine in the sky on Mt. Ishizuchi - the de facto symbol of the region - or Iwaya-ji Temple - a famous site on the Ohenro Pilgrimage Trail.
An authentic spiritual encounter amongst the serene beauty of the surrounding nature will help cleanse away any anxiety or fatigue and put your mind and body at ease.
Designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, The Setouchi Retreat Aonagi, limited to only 7 rooms, is the choice for luxury accommodations in the area.
After feeling the healing effects of the spacious pool and spa, take in the unique artistic design of your accommodation while enjoying the best local ingredients from the Setouchi area.
Cleansing awaits your mind and body at the top of the Ishizuchi Ropeway, surrounded by magnificent views of nature, at the shrine in the sky.
Mt. Ishizuchi is the highest peak in western Japan (1,982m) with rich vegetation; and since ancient times Mt. Ishizuchi has served as an important power spot for the practice of “shugendo” or mountain worship.
The Ishizuchi ropeway will take you to the middle portion Mt. Ishizuchi where Jojusha Shrine is located.
From up high the beautiful mountain scenery, in step with the four seasons, spreads out before you and down below the calm and tranquility of the Seto Inland Sea.
Here the middle building of the shrine, known as Jojusha, fosters an undaunted spirit, offers prays for the fulfillment of wishes, and grants them in kind. It is here where you can purify yourself amongst nature by expelling your fatigue.
Following the path of the ancient Ohenro pilgrimage trail leads you to Iwaya-ji Temple
and an encounter with the spiritual.
As you walk through a lush and quiet forest, a rocky mountain appears at the end of your path. The result of a 40-million-year-old union of rock and magma, the impressive rock wall and natural beauty that serves as the backdrop for Iwaya-ji Temple earned it a spot amongst the New York Times’ “52 places to Go in 2015.”
Sharpen your five senses with Zen meditation, experience walking the Ohenro Pilgrimage Trail Buddhist talisman in hand, or spend time conversing with a Zen practitioner while feeling the surrounding natural energy with your whole body, releasing you from the grind of everyday life, letting your mind be at peace.
Expel unnecessary thoughts and regain inner clarity with some time just for you
at Setouchi Aonagi.
After purifying yourself amongst the tranquility of the Ishizuchi Mountains, experience local luxury at Setouchi Aonagi on a hill overlooking the Seto Inland Sea.
An infinity pool where a submerged body becomes part of the artwork, local kaiseki cuisine made with carefully selected seasonal ingredients from Ehime Prefecture, and a Zen-like minimalist design and architecture are all a part of Setouchi Aonagi created by Japan's leading architect Tadao Ando.