About the tour

Embark on this 6 hour private tour to uncover Mt. Horaiji's history, stunning natural scenery and spiritual significance. This journey combines cultural exploration with a moderate walk (going down the third-largest staircase in Japan, instead of up!).

Travel deeper and hear about a number of significant landmarks and viewpoints on the tour, including Mt. Horaiji's shrine, temple, Buddhist stone monuments, stone steps and temple street. On Saturday tours we visit the beautiful river nearby.

Spiritual significance

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.

Bento Lunch

We love a bento box lunch on a hike and we think you will too!

After exploring the shrine devoted to one of Japan’s most powerful samurai, we’ll enjoy a bento lunch while marvelling at the views from the main temple.

We pick up the bento lunches on the morning of the tour, with a wide selection to choose from.

Learn more about Japan

Join our adventure of cultural discovery and natural exploration, where you'll have the opportunity to discover the essence of Mt Horaiji.

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, on the very popular Tokaido Shinkansen line.

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! Perfect for a day trip out of Nagoya too.

Tour highlights

  • While showing you around the spectacular nature and sights of Mt. Horaiji, we share its incredible legends and history.
  • See the landscapes and views from trails and lookouts on our carefully selected route.
  • Enjoy a delicious bento box lunch while enjoying panoramic views at the main temple.
  • Explore Mt. Horaiji’s ancient 1,400+ stone steps without needing to climb up (though we have a tour for anyone wanting the challenge)
  • All-day private tour, possible as a day trip from Tokyo/Kyoto/Osaka. We spend roughly 6 hours on the mountain, hiking around 7kms.

Interested? Get in touch!

You can view our available dates for tours on our availability page. Please note the tour does not run in July, August or September due to Summer heat.

Explore Holy 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!

The hosts for the tours

What we'll do in detail

Meet at Yuyaonsen Station ~10:50am
An express train from Toyohashi arrives around 10:50am. After meeting we'll leave for Mt. Horaiji using a quaint and tiny local bus.

Visit Gyoshagoe (from the top)
From this rocky path we can see amazing views and signs of the past.

An ukioe painting by Utagawa of Gyoshagoe
An Ukio-e painting of Gyoshagoe by Utagawa, from around 200 years ago.

Visit Horai Toushougu Shrine
We'll walk around the shrine and see it's intricate painting and decoration while taking in the incredible atmosphere.

Lunch with a view at the Horaiji Temple Hondo ~12:40pm
We'll look out over the view while eating our bento box lunch.

Visit Takauchiba Lookout
After a walk through the forest, feel like you're walking on air from this rocky viewpoint where samurai used to hunt hawks and practice falconry.

See the temple grounds under the "mirror rock" cliff
We will walk through the temple grounds and enter a place with Buddhist monuments and sacred spaces from centuries past.

Horaiji Temple main building with Kagami-Iwa, mirror rock, behind.
A view of the "mirror rock" behind the main temple building

Descending the famous hand-carved stone steps
We'll go down the steps and see the spiritually and culturally significant landmarks on the way.

Stroll through the old temple town's main street
See the charming and historical small village nestled in the valley below Mt Horaiji.

Looking down the Omotesando street of Mt Horaiji
The Omotesando of the Horaiji Temple.

Bus to Hon-Nagashino Station where the tour ends ~5pm
We help you to get the train back to Toyohashi Station for the Shinkansen.


Up to 2 guests:

3 or more guests:
¥30,000 + ¥1,000 each for the third and extra guests

Please see inclusions and exclusions in the FAQs on this page. Train and bus fares 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

Summer months

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.

Saturday tours

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.

Important times

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