Mt. Miwa was the site of primitive religious worship during the Jomon period (a period extending about 14000 years ago up until about the third century BC). It is said that a god dwells here on the mountain and for a very long period of time it was forbidden for anyone to enter except priests and monks. Even today you must be authorized to enter the mountain. This mountain is not for hiking, tourism, or climbing, but should be visited as if you were visiting a shrine.
If you want to enter Mt. Miwa you must go to Sai-jinja (the O-Miwa-jinja’ shrine’s satellite shrine) and from there you must obtain permission to enter the mountain at the shrine office. When you pay the required 300 yen fee you will receive a white sash that is proof of you having visited the shrine and you will also receive an exorcism. You must not remove the white sash while you are on the mountain. Food, drink, smoking, and photography are all forbidden and it is also generally advised that you do not even speak about Mt. Miwa after you have left the mountain. Also, if there is a festival or religious festival happening at O-Miwa-jinja you cannot enter the mountain.
To get to Mt. Miwa by public transit, take the JR Sakurai Line to Miwa Station (三輪駅). From there you can walk to the mountain in 5 minutes. By car, take the Nishi-Meihan Expressway to Tenri IC (天理IC). There is free parking available at O-Miwa Jinja Shrine.
Image Gallery: Mt.Miwa