Travel Diary

Sightseeing on Mount Noro

At 839m, Mount Noro is the highest mountain in Kure City and a favorite among hikers, bikers and campers. There’s something for everyone on this scenic mountain.

Aki-Kawajiri Station
If you’re planning to hike up Mount Noro, head to Aki-Kawajiri Station on the Kure Line. The walk up to the viewing platform at Kabuto Iwa is about 4.1km long and takes roughly 2.5 hours. Depending on when you visit, you can pick up some nice snacks to enjoy on the mountain at the shops near the station. The delicious potato croquettes on sale at the local butcher shop are highly recommended. If you’re planning to drive, the road up to Mount Noro (Route Norosankoen) also starts near Aki-Kawajiri Station.

Ticket Information:
Kabuto Iwa Observation Deck
There are a number of viewing platforms on Mt Noro, but make sure you don’t miss the chance to visit the Kabuto Iwa Observation Deck. This platform has a spectacular view of the Seto Inland Sea and the islands of the Tobishima Kaido that stretch out into the distance. On the observation platform, you can really gauge how high you have climbed. On a clear day, you can see the bridges and islands of the Shimanami Kaido and Shikoku in the distance. If you’ve managed to hold off raiding your bento box, this is a great place to sit down for a quick picnic. Nearby, you’ll also find the Norosan Rest House that puts on a variety of art exhibitions throughout the year.
Kobo Temple
This picturesque temple tucked away among colossal Japanese cedar trees in the forests of Mount Noro takes its name from the famous Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi (774 – 835CE), the founder of Shingon Buddhism. On the same altitude as the Kabuto Iwa Observation Deck, Kobo Temple is also blessed with some fantastic views of the Seto Inland Sea. In winter, make sure to visit the frozen Tamasudare waterfall nearby.
Starry Observation Deck
Unaffected by manmade light pollution, Mt. Noro is renowned for its clear night skies. Head to the Starry Observation Deck if you are looking for romantic sunsets or an unimpeded view of the heavens for some nighttime photography.
Noro Kogen Lodge
With hot spring onsen facilities, western and eastern style rooms to choose from, the Noro Kogen Lodge is a great option if you want to turn your journey up Mt. Noro into an overnight stay. Staying overnight is a great way to experience the stillness of the mountain at night and the refreshing early morning views. There are also camping facilities if you prefer something closer to nature.

*Please note, the pictures in this article are for illustrative purposes only. If you plan to hike up Mt. Noro, please ensure you go fully prepared and wear the correct attire.
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