Senkoji Temple (千光寺) is perhaps Onomichi's most iconic landmark, perched near the summit of Mount Senkoji with views of the Onomichi Channel. It's one of a number temples in the vicinity that Onomichi is known for, but also joined by several nearby attractions at the top of Mount Senkoji inside Senkoji Park, including the Onomichi City Museum of Art and an observation platform at the top.
By bullet train: Visitors arriving by shinkansen at Shin-Onomichi Station can take a 10-min taxi ride to Senkoji Park (Car Park), from where it's a 10 minute walk.
By train: Visitors arriving by train at Onomochi Station can take a city bus alighting at Nagaeguchi, before taking the ropeway to the summit followed by a 5 minute walk.
By foot: The ropeway station is about a 15-minute walk east of Onomichi Station. Walking the distance can be combined with a detour through the harbour town's quiet streets and alleyways beside the Onomichi Channel. A hike to the top is also possible in about 10 minutes, which takes you past Cat Alley too.
Temple Walk: Senkoji Temple can be visited as one of 25 temples along Onomichi's own Temple Walk — a 2.5 km walking route that can take anywhere from a few hours to a whole day depending on the number of stops made. It connects Jikoji temple near the station and finishes at Kairyuji to the east — Senkoji is the 6th temple along the route.
Here, at the edge of the Inland Sea, where signs of Japan's aging and the countryside's depopulation are everywhere, seven out of eight of the owners of the coffee shops I visited seemed to be well under 40, and their small shops were full of interest and life.