Shoshazan Engyoji
Shoshazan Engyoji
4.5
Points of Interest & Landmarks
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

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4.5
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GClife
Gold Coast, Australia1,595 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
We planned our trip to Himeji and allowed extra days so we could visit Shoshazan Engyoji, arriving at the bus station we were told that the tramway is closed all of February until mid March. There is no notification on the website advising of this lengthy closure. You can walk to the top, it takes 50 minutes, uphill on a rocky rough path, we elected not to do this.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David B
York, UK114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
We were fortunate enough to come here in March when the ropeway was being maintained and so it wasn’t running. Instead we hiked up the hill path (around 45 minutes steep hike) to the top. When we arrived, we were blown away. We were pretty much the only people in the whole complex. We entered the temple to witness the incredible site of a Buddhist monk chanting. We lit incense and explored the complex in complete peace. If you get the chance, go while the ropeway is being maintained (I think they do this every year before Sakura in March) because the hike puts most people off, but the effort is beyond worth it.
Written March 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheWindWaker
Stuttgart, Germany524 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018
Go to Himeji Station and opposite of bus station 8 is a bus information. In there you can get a combi ticket to the mountain. That are 4 tickets (2x bus and 2x lift) cost 1.400 yen. The bus number 8 leaves at station 10. Check my picture with the tickets and the bus table. The bus takes 30 minutes to the lift and the lift itself about 5 minutes (excluding waiting time). Up on the mountain you need to pay 500 yen to enter. They ask you if you want to take a bus ticket for 500 yen. Don’t take that one if you are able to walk a bit. It is not far to the top from the lift (about 1 km) and it has a great view and statues.
Some other reviewer wrote that the udon noodles are great on too. No! Sorry but those Udon have been the worst Udon I had in my life. They taste like made from dishwasher water. Best is to take something to eat with you before you leave Himeji station.
Keep in mind that it can be very cold on the top and the overall trip might take several hours. You can leave at the castle stop on your return bus drive but you most likely won’t have time to visit this temple and the castle on one day if you don’t want to rush.
Written December 29, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

redeyeblues
Edinburgh, UK1,312 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016
Buy the "Round Trip Transportation Ticket for Mt. Shosha Ropeway & Bus" for 1300 yen at the "Bus Information Center" on the 1st floor of the QWELL building across from JR Himeji Station's Central Exit and Bus #8 leaves from a stop nearby.

We took the 2:43 pm bus leaving Himeji Castle (right side of the road once you exit the castle, 3 buses an hour: 30-minute ride plus 5 minutes on the ropeway, leaving every 15 minutes) and had enough time to see all 3 sets of temples before they closed them up.

The first temple, Maniden, looks a bit like a mini Kiomizudera. All the temples are simple and serene and there was barely anyone there just before 5 pm, nice contrast with Himeji Castle which was surprisingly crowded on a Sunday afternoon. Famous temples are often crowded which kind of ruins the atmosphere, which was what made Mount Shosha such a nice stop even though it's probably not a must-see. Nice views of the city and the ocean. Paths are unpaved hardened mud mixed with little stones, going up and down, with beautiful Kannon statues along the way.
Written October 23, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thekrunkymonkey
Reykjavik, Iceland54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016
Shosha, in stark contrast to the other big attraction in Himeji (the castle), is worth an extended visit. Whether you're interested in temples as houses of God or as works of art or if you'd simply like to see just one really quite special temple and can't get to Kyoto, this is the place for you.
To get there, you can jump on the number 8 bus which leaves from the castle side of Himeji station and from the really big street that runs North to South at the front of the castle complex. Cost is ¥270. You don't need to worry about where you get off the bus because it terminates right at the foot of the mountain. From there you can either walk up (which takes about an hour apparently) or you can catch the rope way car (¥900 per person return). Once at the top, you can either take the free minibus to the main temples or you can enjoy a really nice 20 minute wander through the forest (which, if you've spent most of your previous Japan time in the big cities, is a wonderful, quiet break with nature).
The buildings can be visited in any order but the map provided with your temple ticket (¥500) suggests a very sensible itinerary that lets you see everything. You will probably find the Maniden first and I recommend you try to take a glimpse inside. I was fortunate enough to be visiting just behind a business group for who the "inner sanctum" was opened. I of course tagged along.
There is a tea house here at Maniden as well if you're in need of refreshment.
Moving through the forest you'll eventually come after 10 minutes walk to the Mitsunodo comprised of three very large and impressive halls. The largest of these contains a "treasure house" on the upper floor and is worth a poke around. I recommend moving to the end of that top floor and taking a seat on the floor of the upper verandah just to watch the mountain life pass by.
Moving back down the hill on the lower path back toward Maniden, you will pass a procession of tiny stone statues on the left as you move toward the tea house. I am not certain what they represented exactly but I recommend you take a look at them. They're individually dressed and adorned with various decorations. I am certain I saw one dressed as an Ewok.
Once you're done looking around, you can take the road out. It passes by the main admin office again but instead of taking a right past the monks living quarters and heading back down the road you originally came in on from the rope way, I recommend you continue on until you come to the dining building. If you've booked a meal this is the place for you. If not, keep walking until you come to the Niomon gate and the avenue of scary bronzes. There are some good views along here over the surrounding area and the massive urban sprawl of Himeji. In about 15 minutes you'll reach the rope way again and can catch the #8 bus back into town (just get off when you see something familiar like the castle or the main street). The bus terminates at the station / shopping complex.
I found that there were monks at both Maniden and Mitsunodo who would sign my shuinchoo and add seals etc. There may have been other places for this too . One thing to note is that the main buildings all seem to close early (about 1500hrs) so bear that in mind when you visit if you intend to look inside or collect some seals.
Written January 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michal M
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016
We didn't see a lot of non-Japanese tourists, but this place is really beautiful. Don't be scared to get there, you just need to take a bus #8 from Himeji Station (bus stop #10). Station names are not in English, but if you see a cable way icon you know, that it's your bus. It's a terminal station so you can't miss your stop (approx. 30 minutes by bus). Then cable way and you are there. Total cost is 2x¥270 (bus) + ¥900 (cable way round trip) + ¥500 (entrance fee).
Written December 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yew Hong Ng
Singapore, Singapore195 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015
This is a great place to see beautiful ancient temple architecture as well as views of Himeji city from the mountain top. To get there from Himeji train station, get the 1300 yen round trip tickets from the bus ticket counter, which is inside the Sanyo building near the traffic police post. When you enter the building, you will see a lot of luggage and you will see the counter after you walk straight past this area. The counter is a bit obscure, you can ask at the tourist information counter over at the train station first.
The bus is bus number 8 to be boarded at bus stand number 10. The ropeway is the terminal stop for the bus, so get off only at the end, just tear off the bottom most end of your ticket and throw inside the box beside the bus driver. you will see a building where you can walk up the stairs to board the cable car. Up at the other end of the ropeway, I'd suggest that you climb up the building to the rooftop and you will see a stunning view of Himeji city all the way to the sea. I was there early in the morning and it was beautiful. There's a shuttle bus that will ferry you to the main temple for a fee, but I thinking walking is better. The main hall, Maniden, is a beautiful architecture. Very photogenic. After that take your time to walk around. Behind the Maniden you should see an arrow pointing left suggesting this is the route you should take. Follow it and you will see this beautiful cluster of buildings which was used when filming The Last Samurai. You can climb up the middle building and sit on top by the hall and imagine how this place was used for lectures in the past. There are many other corners to this place, take them as you wish. By the way, they sell this Yuzu soda at the foot of Maniden which was delicious.
Written November 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mcp49
Philadelphia, PA107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Couples
We came here after spending the morning at Himeji Castle. Do yourself a favor, buy the combined ticket at the train/bus station for the bus that gets you to the ropeway, the ropeway that gets you up and down, and the bus back. It saves you a few hundred yen a piece and it makes the buses easy, and don't try to walk; there's plenty of walking to do when you get there and it's a pretty good distance from the JR station to the ropeway.

Take the ropeway up (there were only a couple other people on it when we took it, so you get great views all around). I think there's a van/bus thing that might take people all the way to the top, but skip it and take the walk, it's really beautiful, with different statues lining the trail all the way up.

The most amazing thing about this place is how quiet and deserted it is. We ran into someone who works there, and he said because it was no special holiday and the weather was a bit dreary, no one was there, but it's usually still much quieter than other temples and shrines anyway.

It's a pretty solid hike uphill if you want to see all of it, and I'm not even sure we got all the way to the top, because like a lot of these types of places, when you hit something cool that you think is the end, there's another trail just over here that leads to something better, we just went til we felt like we were almost too tired to get back down.

Everything here is beautiful. It's not as restored and shiny new as a lot of the more touristy places, but it's such a huge complex and the buildings are so huge that you can really absorb how grand and beautiful they are when you're almost entirely by yourself. Including the people who worked there, I think we saw 10 people all afternoon. I understand temple fatigue when you're in Japan, and you might think let's just skip this one, it's far, it's an uphill hike, etc, but don't give in to that feeling. This might be the only shot you really get to see a complex like this not overrun by tourists and selfie sticks.

Seriously, just come here. Wear your sneakers, take the hike (the hike down goes much quicker and easier), spend the afternoon. It's worth it.
Written September 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria T
Nagoya, Japan704 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Solo
You have to pay an entrance fee of 500yen for the temple just after the ropeway station, and they gave me a map of the top of the mountain with all the sub temples’ locations and a bit of an explanation in English.

Between Niomon and the ropeway the path is lined with statues of Kannon (I think there were 33 belonging to the different Saigoku pilgrimage sites). Some of them were very elaborate and they had even gone to the lengths of giving her a large number of arms, all holding different objects! Not quite the thousand arms Kannon is said to have, but easily up to thirty of them. In some cases people had tried to place coins on her open palms, so I tried my luck and left one there too.
After the Niomon gate the walk is somewhat downhill and easier than the rest of the trail had been. There is a ryokan here that also offers shojin ryori but I didn’t have the money for such an experience, so I made my way to the main temple complex, maniden, instead.
Crossing a small bridge I entered a cloud of mist that surrounded only the maniden, making it look even more imposing and mysterious than it already was by itself. We don’t get much mist here at home so it isn’t something I see often.
There were few people out and about at the time I arrived, mostly only people who worked there and a couple other visitors, but one of the workers ran up to me as soon as he saw a foreigner and excitedly asked where I was from and how I had heard about this place.

I decided to visit the maniden now that the serenity and silence of the morning was still in place, and was blown away by the complexity of the architecture! I didn’t see any nails, it seemed like most of the pieces were cut to fit together, and this was used to enhance the beauty of the temple rather than any added on decorations. There were a few wood carvings and very detailed latticework added in, but since they were made out of the same material and colour it only managed to fit in naturally.
The inside of the maniden sells all the pertinent omikuji, omamori, good luck charms and related objects. Particularly, Mt.Shosha sells two beautiful shuinchô, temple stamp books, one with a flower pattern (available in blue and pink) and another with the maniden of the temple pictured in red between many trees. The priest or miko stationed at the counter will stamp the book for you with the temple or shrine’s seal —usually in red—, plus write down the name of the place and the date you visited in elegant calligraphy. It’s definitely interesting to see the stamp being drawn in front of you, since each one is unique and different, and now that my trip is over seeing them all in a line (you can unfold all the pages of the book like an accordion to see them all) is truly a better memory than any souvenir I bought.
You do have to pay for the stamps though, all of which cost me 300yen each. I read that sometimes the temple you buy your shuinchô at gives you the first temple stamp for free, but Engyo-ji doesn’t.
As I showed the stamp book I wanted to buy to the priest, he started talking to me in Japanese while he signed it. I understood nothing.
He also gave me a small piece of paper shaped somewhat like a leaf with black ink writing on it because Engyo-ji is a temple along the Saigoku Pilgrimage. I guess I would collect these if I were to do the pilgrimage, but this is the only one belonging to the route I went to.

With as much time as I wanted in front of me, I set off to discover the sub temples and the surrounding area.
While the maniden may be the most impressive of them all, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention the incredible wood work of the other buildings. Some even covered in moss, others short enough for me to be able to observe the roof tiling and the crests, I spent almost three hours just walking around and looking at everything I could.
One of the buildings, called Jikido, allows access to both floors of the building. Built all the way back in 1174 it used to be both a priest's training centre and a boarding house; now it has different treasures on display and an area for visitors to sit and copy sutras. The sutra copying unfortunately wasn’t available at the time since I was the only visitor there, but the second floor small museum was interesting as it showed tiles, old beams of the temple, statues and Benkei's desk!
Walking around I came across a pile of old roof tiles that had been thrown away and probably forgotten, I tried picking one up to see how much it weighed… it was so heavy! Needing both my hands to pick it up and place it back down, it’s incredible to think how much weight these structures have to hold up just for the roof itself, and yet they still manage to look so graceful and beautiful while doing so!
Only my first day and yet I feel like I’ve ran out of synonyms for ‘beautiful’. But Japan is truly a beautiful country, so I hope you will be so kind as to ignore my word repetition!

The Honda family graves are also in the area. I don’t know much about Japanese history, but I’ve heard of their name and know that the Honda family was very important, so I felt honoured to be standing right in front of their tombs. To think that where I was standing has so much history behind it!
I spotted a small Inari shrine hidden between the leaves, and who am I to ignore an Inari Shrine given how charming they always seem to be, and as I was busy trying to avoid the spider hanging from the short torii gate a deer suddenly jumped out from behind the shrine and ran away.

I spent 3h walking around the temple and sub temples, then took the ropeway down.
Written July 30, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matthew H
Osaka, Japan70 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
One of the most spectacular temple complexes i have visited in the 6 years of living in japan. The main hall that was used in the movie is marvellous butso are all the others here at the mountain top. Would be unbelievable in autumn as there are thousands of maple trees.
Written May 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Shoshazan Engyoji - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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