Mount Ishizuchi is the highest mountain on the island of Shikoku and also the highest mountain west of Mount Haku. It is known as 'the roof of Shikoku' and the sharp, rocky summit resembles a huge stone hammer (石鎚,ishizuchi?).
Mount Ishizuchi is an important object of worship in this region and one of the major centers of Shugendō, a sect of mixture of Shintoism and Buddhism. At the top of the mountain there is a small shrine called the Ishizuchi Shrine. This mountain is also known as one of Seven Holy Mountains (七霊山,nana reizan?). There are several sets of heavy iron chains (鎖,kusari?) leading up to the summit and this is the route many pilgrims opt to take, the longest set being 68m. However, it is possible to hike all the way to the peak along a trail which includes stairs and ramps with handrails.
The climbing season opens every year on July 1, and women are forbidden from climbing the mountain on this day. Between mid-October and mid-November, people come from far and wide to view the autumn colours.