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 when the leaves start to change during the fall.
Mount Shosa is easily 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). This trip is fully covered by a JR Rail Pass.
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History of Engyoji Temple
Engyoji was founded in 966 by Shoku Shonin during the Heian period. Over the centuries, emperors, monks, aristocrats, and now tourists have visited this holy site on the mountaintop.
If you are a movie lover, you’ll find it interesting that Tom Cruise’s movie ‘The Last Samurai‘ had scenes filmed here.
Arrival at Himeji Station
Welcome to Himeji Station. Many train lines pass through Himeji Station including the San’yō Shinkansen and San’yō Main Line (JR Kobe Line).
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, purchasing the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket (1420 yen) is a great option.
The ticket includes round-trip transportation by Bus #8 between Himeji Station and Sanjo Station, the lower ropeway station (280 yen one-way). It also includes round-trip transportation on the ropeway between Sanjo Station and Shosha Station, the upper ropeway station (600 yen one-way, 1000 yen round-trip).
If you pay for the bus and ropeway separately with cash, you will spend 1560 yen, saving you 140 yen. Alternatively, you can hike up or down the mountain, which takes about 45-60 minutes. If you choose to hike, the pass is not worth it.
Another thing to note is that stopovers on the bus are not allowed. If you plan 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 at Himeji Castle and Koko-en Garden. You can get off the bus at these stops.
After visiting the castle and gardens, to return to Himeji Station, you can walk 10-15 minutes down Otemae-dori Street or take another bus (190 yen one-way).
Shinki Bus Information Desk (Bus Ticket Office)
You can purchase the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket at the Shinki Bus Information Desk (Bus Ticket Office) on the bottom floor of the Qwell Building. Unfortunately, you cannot buy this ticket at Himeji Station.
The Qwell Building is located across the street from Himeji Station near Bus Stops 7 and 8. Exit the station through the North Exit (via Central Exit) to reach the building. You can reach the building from the station’s North Exit by using the pedestrian overpass or crossing the street.
Shinki Bus Information Desk Hours
Bus #8 Timetable
Boarding Bus #8
To reach Mount Shosha, you must first take Bus #8 from Bus Stop 10. The bus stop is only meters from the Shinki Bus Information Desk.
You will be boarding the bus from the rear door when the bus arrives. If you purchased the combination ticket, you do not need to show your pass at boarding. If paying with cash, remember to take a ticket from the machine at the door and pay your bus fare upon exiting the bus.
Once on board the bus, you can sit back and relax for the 30 minute journey to Sanjo Station, the lower Mount Shosha ropeway station.
After 30 minutes or so, you will arrive at the last stop, Sanjo 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 with cash, insert your money into the machine next to the bus driver. The machine accepts 1000 yen bills along with 500, 100, and 50 yen coins.
Bus #8 Fare (between Himeji Station and Mount Shosha)
Adult: 280 yen
Child: 140 yen
This fare is included with the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket.
Arrival at Sanjo Station (Lower Ropeway Station)
The bus will drop you off next to the lower ropeway station. Simply follow the sign towards the Ropeway Stand.
Mount Shosha Ropeway Tickets
If you need to purchase a ticket for the ropeway, you may do so at the lower ropeway station. The self-serve machines accept 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 yen bills along with 10, 50, 100, and 500 coins. The machines only sell round-trip tickets. One-way tickets can be purchased at the ticket office to the right of the machines.
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: 1000 yen
Child: 500 yen
One-Way Ropeway Fare
Adult: 600 yen
Child: 300 yen
Boarding the Mount Shosha Ropeway
Those holding the Shoshazan Ropeway Combination Ticket do not need to purchase an additional ticket and can proceed directly to the ropeway entrance.
With pass or ticket in hand, you can now get in line. Have your pass or 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.
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 the lower station to the upper station.
Arrival at Engyoji Temple Area
The entrance into the Engyoji Temple complex is located about 100 meters past the exit of the upper ropeway station. The fee to enter is 500 yen. Unfortunately, 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 uphill.
Continuing another ten minutes past Niomon Gate brings you to 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 where 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.
Last Updated on January 30, 2024