Located about 30 minutes from Himeji Station is Mount Shosha, home to Engyoji, a beautiful temple complex with over 1,000 years of history. The many buildings of Engyoji are scattered around a dense forest along Mount Shosha, linked by peaceful, tree-lined trails. The area is a popular destination during the fall when the leaves start to change.
Engyoji was founded in 966 during the Heian period by Shoku Shonin. Over the centuries, emperors, monks, aristocrats, and now tourists have visited this holy site on the mountaintop. It was here where scenes from Tom Cruise’s movie The Last Samurai were filmed.
Mount Shosa is easy accessible by bus and ropeway from Himeji Station. Along with Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden, Mount Shosha makes for the perfect day trip to Himeji from Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima and other destinations in Japan. With Himeji Station linked to the shinkansen (bullet train), you could even take a day trip to Himeji from Tokyo (3-3.5 hours per way).
Arrival at Himeji Station
Welcome to Himeji Station. When you arrive, you will want to first exit through the Central Exit towards Himeji Castle and for Tourist Information. Once in the central hall of the station, take the Himeji Castle Exit (North Exit).
Bus stops, including Bus Stop 10 for Mount Shosha, are located to the left after exiting the station. Also, this is the start of Otemae-dori Street. A quick 15 minute walk down this street will bring you to Himeji Castle.
If you need any help planning your visit to Himeji, including maps, brochures, schedules, and other information, you will find the Tourist Information center at the North Exit. The center is open daily from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.
Himeji Station Area Map
Purchasing the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket
If you are planning to visit Mount Shosha from Himeji Station, a great option is to purchase the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket (1,400 yen). On the other hand, if you pay with cash, you will spend 1,540 yen.
The ticket includes round trip bus transportation between Himjei Station and Sanjo Station (lower ropeway station). Also, it includes round trip transportation on the ropeway between Sanjo Station and Shosha Station (upper ropeway station).
One thing to note is that stopovers on the bus are not allowed. If you are planning to visit Himeji Castle on the same day, I recommend first visiting Mount Shosha. On your way back to the city, the bus will make multiple stops including a stop at Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden. You can get off the bus at these stops.
After visiting the castle and gardens, to get back to Himeji Station, you will either have to walk (10-15 minutes down Otemae-dori Street) or take another bus (100 yen).
The Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket can be purchased at Shinki Bus Information Desk (Bus Ticket Office) on the bottom floor of the Qwell Building. This ticket can not be purchased at Himeji Station.
The Qwell Building is located across the street from Himeji Station near Bus Stops 7 and 8. To reach the building, exit the station through the North Exit (via Central Exit). From the North Exit, you can reach the building by using the pedestrian overpass or by crossing the street.
Shinki Bus Information Desk Hours
Monday-Friday: 7:00AM – 8:00PM
Saturday: 7:30AM – 7:00PM
Sunday: 7:30PM – 6:00PM
Bus #8 Timetable
Boarding Bus #8
To reach Mount Shosha, you will first need to take Bus #8 from Bus Stop 10. The bus stop is located only meters away from the Shinki Bus Information Desk.
When the bus arrives, you will be boarding the bus from the rear door. Whether you purchased the combination ticket or paying with cash, you do not need to pay at this time. You will pay when you exit the bus.
Once on board the bus, you can sit back and relax for the 30 minute journey to the Sanjo Station (lower Mount Shosha ropeway station).
After 30 minutes or so, you will arrive at the last stop, Sanjo Station (lower Mount Shosha ropeway station). You will now need to exit the bus through the front door.
If you are holding a Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket, tear off the bus ticket and place it into the plastic box next to the bus driver.
If you are paying wish cash, insert your money into the machine next to the bus driver. The machine accepted 1,000 yen bills along with 500, 100, and 50 yen coins
Bus #8 Fare (between Himeji Station and Mount Shosha)
Adult: 270 yen
Child: 140 yen
This fare is included with the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket.
The bus will drop you off next to the ropeway station. Simply follow the sign towards the Ropeway Stand.
If you need to purchase a ticket for the ropeway, you may do so at the lower station. The self-serve machines accepted 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, and 10,000 yen bills along with 10, 50, 100, and 500 coins. The machines only sold round trip tickets. One-way tickets could be purchased at the ticket office just to the right.
If you want to save money, you can hike between the ropeway station and Engyoji. However, if you plan to hike, the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket will not be worth the money. I didn’t do the hike up because of limited time, but I heard it takes around 45 minutes to hike up and 30 minutes to hike down.
Round Trip Ropeway Fare
Adult: 1,000 yen
Child: 500 yen
One-Way Ropeway Fare
Adult: 600 yen
Child: 300 yen
Those holding the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket do not need to purchase an additional ticket.
With ticket in hand, you can now get in line. Have your ticket ready as you will be asked for it while waiting in line.
The line begins at the ticket office and continues up to the second floor where you will board the cable car. The line seemed long on my visit, but it moved along quickly. I waited no more than 10 minutes before I boarded the next cable car.
After 10 minutes, I boarded the cable car for my journey up to the top of Mount Shosha. The journey took about five minutes from bottom to top.
The entrance into the Engyoji Temple complex (500 yen) is located about 100 meters past the exit of the upper ropeway station. This fee is not covered by the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket.
Walking ten minutes past the entrance will bring you to Niomon Gate. Much of the walk from the entrance to the main hall will be up hill.
Ten minutes past Niomon Gate is Maniden, a wooden temple hall built on a steep slope.
Finally, after another 10 minutes, you will reach Mitsunodo, a collection of three large wooden temple halls. It was here were The Last Samurai was filmed.
In conclusion, this completes the guide on how to reach Mount Shosha from Himeji Station. You can now spend more time exploring Mount Shosha and Engyoji or head back to Himeji.