Starting on any available day between 9am-12pm, this roughly 4 hour tour is the perfect introduction to Mt. Horaiji. Understand more about this incredible mountain and its nature from the stories and legends we'll tell you on the tour.
On the tour we visit Mt. Horaiji's shrine, temple, stone steps and temple street. This tour does not use public transport, so you will need a car or rent-a-car. Contact us if you'd like help renting a car from our friendly local rent-a-car company!
Mt Horaiji holds great significance in the Japanese 'Shugendou' faith, famous for mountain monks looking for enlightenment on rocky peaks.
Hear about this mysterious cultural history and the mountain's 1,300 year Shugendou legacy as we journey through the mountain's landscapes.
This tour gives you two options for getting to the main temple and shrine.
Like to hike? In good weather we can climb the 1,425 steps and tell you about the legends of the area on the way. This is a return trip, coming back down the stpes after exploring higher up.
Not feeling like a climb? After exploring the bottom of the steps, follow us on a drive up to the shrine and main temple.
Join this great half-day introduction to the incredible Mt Horaiji and understand more about the deep cultural history of Japan.
Don't just come and visit the mountain, let us give you the full story!
A must-see along the Golden Route
Mt Horaiji is up the mountain valley from Toyohashi (with Shinkansen and rent-a-car services).
A journey to Mt. Horaiji when going between Tokyo and Kyoto is a centuries-old tradition, so follow the pilgrim's path and come join us!
- While showing you around the spectacular nature and sights of Mt. Horaiji, we share its incredible legends and history.
- Stroll through the temple-mountain's charming main street, climb the rugged stone steps, and see the main temple and historic shrine.
- Great when driving through the area or staying nearby, get a deeper understanding of the mountain in only half a day.
- Flexible start times, and the choice to hike the famous stone steps or drive up to the main temple and shrine.
Interested? Get in touch!
You can view our available dates for tours on our availability page. Please note that we do not recommend climbing the steps in July, August or September due to Summer heat, instead we will drive to the temple and shrine.
Half-day Mt Horaiji Tour
About your hosts
We are an Australian/Japanese couple that have loved this part of Japan for a long time. In 2023 we were able to buy our dream house not far from Mt. Horaiji, and we've made it our mission to spread our love of this incredible place and its stories as much as we can. Mt. Horaiji and this area deserve much more attention, and the local history needs to be preserved!
With both of us, we offer both native-level English and Japanese, which is useful when talking about the complicated cultural history of Japan.
We can't wait to share this place with you!
What we'll do in detail
Meet at Okamechaya (snack shop) at the temple road entrance.
There is a carpark nearby with no charge that we can use for the tour.
Stroll up the mountain-temple's historical main road, to see the huge Kasasugi tree and Niomon gate.
See the charming and historical small village nestled in the valley below Mt Horaiji before going up just some of the steps, to see the stunning Niomon gate and massive Kasasugi tree.
Looking up towards the Niomon Gate
Option A: Continue climbing the 1,400+ rugged stone steps, visiting sights along the way.
Like countless visitors over hundreds of years, we'll climb the stairs to the mountain's main temple building. A climb like this in a place like this can be like meditation, the workout is great for focusing on your thoughts!
Option B: Drive up the mountain to the main temple and shrine.
After returning to our cars, we'll separately drive to the top carpark (parking fees not included).
Visit Horai Toushougu Shrine and the main temple (Hondo).
In a different order depending on Option A or B, we'll first walk around the shrine and see its intricate painting and decoration while taking in the incredible atmosphere, then we'll see the main temple and its incredible view of the valleys and mountains around Mt. Horaiji.
The main temple "Hondo"
Return down the steps (if Option A) or finish the tour near a classic snack shop (if Option B).
The difference in tour length between A and B is roughly 30 - 45minutes. Option A will end at the Okamechaya snack shop where the tour starts.
Up to 4 guests:
5 to 10 guests:
Please see inclusions and exclusions in the FAQs on this page. Parking fares for the carpark used in Option B (described above) are not included.
Want more information about Mt Horaiji?
For more information about Mt. Horaiji and its history, Aichi Now has a great site about it.
FAQs and details
Days and times
The tour does not run in July, August, or September, due to the heat of Japanese Summer and the challenges it brings to any hiking trip, we apologise for any inconvenience.
Tour is available weekdays and Saturdays
Due to a lack of public transport options in the mountains, we cannot run the tour on Sundays, we apologise the the inconvenience. If you drive/rent a car, Sunday tours are possible.
Due to public transport restrictions, on Saturday tours we need to catch an earlier bus than normal. On Saturdays we visit the beautiful local river instead of one of the view points on Mt. Horaiji.
For those travelling by train: We will help you to find the best Tokaido Shinkansen train to Toyohashi Station for the tour. The Iida Line (spelled i-i-d-a) runs from Toyohashi to this area, and it has few trains in the timetable, so there is unfortunately few options in the case of missing a transfer at Toyohashi. We will work with you to find alternatives and to make sure you can still see the mountain.
The tour ends at around 5pm at Hon-Nagashino Station (near Mt. Horaiji), where we help you get the train back to Toyohashi Station for the Shinkansen.
What is included/excluded in the price?
Included in the tour:
- One bento box lunch per person
Not included in the tour:
- Train and bus fares
- Drinks and water (the tour area has vending machines and some access to drinking water)
- Luggage storage (it's best to send luggage to your next hotel, or Toyohashi Station has some coin lockers)
What do I need for the tour?
- A reasonable level of fitness (for example the ability to walk uphill for 10minutes without feeling sick or light headed)
- Confidence/ability to walk on forest trails and many uneven, hand-carved steps - if you have a bad ankle/knee/back it's best not to do the tour
- Shoes suitable for walking - preferably hiking shoes or shoes with some grip. In wet weather we skip one location and walk more carefully, but the steps can still be quite slippery.
- A hat, and preferably a sun shirt, sunglasses, and sunscreen - especially in warm months. We walk through the forest but there is still a chance of being sunburned. We provide insect repellent in warmer months.
- A water bottle (even a reused drink bottle) - in the climb down the mountain we will not have access to a vending machine or drinking tap.
- Sufficient travel insurance for this type of activity - we are not responsible for injuries that may occur on the tour, and in the case of injury we will make sure medical attention is received as quickly as possible. The Japanese medical system is quite fair, but some travel insurance companies are not - please make sure hiking-style tours are covered.
Cancellations and bad weather
Please see our page on Tour Policies and Conditions