Mt. Miwa

Nara, Kansai

A religious mountain enshrining a god: a sanctuary that people cannot enter without permission

Mount Miwa is a beautifully-formed mountain with a smooth ridge line. At an altitude of 467 m, it is worshiped as a repository of the god enshrined in Omiwa Shrine, which is believed to the oldest shrine in Japan. The enshrined god is Omononushi No Kami, who appears in the myths of Japan. The mountain has many legends, and has been worshiped from ancient times as a sacred mountain of the god.

Because it is a religious mountain, you need to obtain permission at the office of Sai Shrine at the entrance before climbing the mountain. Climbing just for amusement is strictly prohibited. Because you must leave the mountain before 4:00 pm, applications after 2:00 pm may not be approved. It is also prohibited to go into the mountain in bad weather or when there is a religious event.

As a repository of a god, the mountain was preserved as is without cutting even a single tree or a single blade of grass. Large trees of pine, cedar and cypresses grow along the approach, from which you can feel the long history of the place. Please always respect the mountain. Omiwa Shrine at the foot of the mountain is open to the public, and is one of the popular spots where you can feel the spiritual power. In Sai Shrine, there is a kusuri ido (meaning “medicine well”) from which you can drink the spring water from Mount Miwa. The sacred atmosphere may give you an opportunity for self reflection.


Miwa, Sakai City, Nara
0744-42-6633 (Omiwa Shrine)
9:00-14:00 (reception)
Visitors must climb down the mountain and give notification of this by 4 pm
Admission Fee
300 yen (admission fee for the mountain)
Climbing is banned on January 1-3, February 17, April 9, April 18, October 24, and November 23. It may also be prohibited due to weather conditions or other reasons.

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