In the Kansai area and looking to go on a trek? Here are some awesome hiking spots for you!
Mount Rokko makes for a beautiful climb. On your way up the mountain, you’ll get to see beautiful red sandstone formations. You’ll need to use the chains installed alongside the trail to get up the mountain at some points during the trek. However, the hike is a fairly moderate one overall. After a 4-5 hour climb, you’ll be rewarded with plenty of attractions at the summit, where there is a botanical garden, petting zoo, and amazing views of Hyogo and Osaka. Located within Kobe city limits, Mount Rokko is easy to access. Simply take the Hankyu Line to Ashiyagawa Station. The trailhead is a short walk away.
Kumano Kodo is more of a series of hikes rather than a single mountain or set of trails. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site pilgrimage that spans Wakayama, Nara, and Mie. The pilgrimage includes the famous Mount Koya, where visitors can spend the night in a Buddhist temple. There are four paths through the pilgrimage that you can choose from, each of which poses different levels of difficulty. Also, each path features different types of scenery, such as coastal or mountain views. If you don’t want to travel the Kumano Kodo on your own, various travel companies offer tours of different stretches of the pilgrimage.
Abandoned Fukuchiyama Railway
This hike is perfect for people who are into urban exploration. You’ll get to walk along an abandoned train line that used to run between Namaze Station and Takedo Station in Hyogo. The trail also includes some old tunnels that you can explore.
A few of the tunnels have very poor lighting so it’s best to bring a flashlight. You’ll probably see some signs left by JR West saying that the abandoned railway is not a hiking trail. However, many people, including both locals and tourists, have completed the hike. The signs are probably just there so JR West can avoid legal responsibility if anyone is hurt on the trail. You won’t get in trouble for hiking it. To get to the old railway, take JR Fukuchiyama Line to Namaze Station. It’s a 20-minute walk from the train station to the trail.
Osaka Fumin No Mori
Although it doesn’t span across as much land as Kumano Kodo, Osaka Fumin No Mori is also a series of hikes. The quasi-national park is divided into several areas with different features. Their most famous one has a bridge known as “hoshi no buranko” (swing of the stars). There are also areas well known for hydrangea flowers, waterfalls, and wildlife.
The different parts of Osaka Fumin No Mori are accessible from a variety of bus stops and train stations. While most entrances to the parking area in the city of Higashi Osaka, some are in Nara. For information on how to access specific areas, see here.
The Kisen Alps can be found on the border of Osaka and Wakayama. The hike is a fairly easy one, but the trails are poorly maintained, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes. You’ll be able to enjoy views of Osaka, the Kansai Airport, and the Pacific Ocean from the trails. In addition, the Kisen Alps are home to a wonderful variety of plants and animals. There are also many places to stop and relax along the way, so we recommend packing a lunch and having a picnic. You can access the Kisen Alps from Yamanakadani Station. The best way to get there is to take the JR Wakayama line from Tennoji Station.
Like the Kumano Kodo, Mount Yoshino is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountain is especially popular in the spring when thousands of cherry trees burst into bloom. However, it’s just as beautiful during the summer, fall, and winter, when you can enjoy hydrangeas, autumn foliage, and snow. As it is a religious site, there are also a few shrines on the mountain that you can visit. To get to Mount Yoshino, take a train to Yoshino Station. You can walk to the trails from the station. During cherry blossom season, a bus to the mountain is also available.