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Kansai Scene Magazine

Knocking on hiking heaven’s door


Knocking on hiking heaven’s door

Hanami season has frisked its way to yet another nostalgic end and left us with a couple more months of prime hiking time before the big heat. Here are five spots to get back to nature with this spring.

花のつぼみもほころび、自然の空気が恋しく なる春。これから酷暑がやってくるまでの数ヶ 月間は、ハイキングに最適な気候が続く。爽 やかな初夏の休日に、大自然を満喫できると っておきのスポットを5つご紹介しよう。


mapIn days long past, mountains were revered as sacred and mysterious places, and were only climbed by Shinto and Buddhist priests on their spiritual pilgrimages. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that an Englishman called Walter Weston arrived in Japan, founded the Japanese Alpine Club and changed the perception of those high places forever. Climbing mountains became a form of recreation, and has boomed in popularity ever since.

These days, people of all ages and fitness levels can be found huffing and puffing along the myriad of trails which litter the mountainsides, and although the biggest and most challenging peaks tend to be found in the Japan Alps, you don’t have to travel far to enjoy some beautiful scenery and satisfying treks. Indeed there are countless enjoyable hikes to be had in the Kansai region, most famous of which (and best for beginners) is probably Mount Rokko, with its clearly marked and easy ascent overlooking Kobe. One of the best parts of this particular hike is finishing the day with a nice, hot soak in the hot spring town of Arima.

IMG_2490The following hikes are all good ones for this time of year, but trekkers must always ensure they have the right equipment (clothing, food, water, boots, map, compass). As route-finding can sometimes be tricky it would be wise to consult a guidebook or look online for a more detailed guide before setting out.

古来、日本の山々は神聖な場所として崇められ、足を踏み入れるのは修 験者たちに限られてきた。そんな時代が終わりを告げるのは19世紀後 半のこと。英国人登山家ウォルター・ウェストンが、日本アルプスに登攀し て山岳のイメージを一変させたのだ。それ以来、登山は国民的なレクレ ーションのひとつとなった。

今日では日本中の山々に登山道がめぐらされ、人々が息を弾ませなが ら歩いている。子どもから高齢者まで、初心者からアスリートまで、登山 人口の多様化は著しい。本格的な登山のメッカといえば日本アルプスだ が、そこまで遠出しなくとも美しい景色と山歩きの喜びは味わえる。関西 地方にもハイキングの名所は無数にあり、初心者でも登れる山としても っとも有名なのが六甲山だろう。登山道もわかりやすく、簡単に神戸の街 を見渡せる。そしてもちろん最大の楽しみは、下山後に一日の疲れを癒 やす有馬温泉でのひとときだ。

ここで紹介するのは、これからの季節に最適なスポットばかりである。 登山者は衣類、食料、水、靴、地図、方位磁石などの必需品を忘れずに完 備すること。標識が少なく迷いやすい山道もあるので、 出発前にはガイ ドブックやネット上でさらに詳細な情報を集めておきたい。

Mount Kongo (Osaka)

As the highest mountain in the prefecture, Kongo-san had to make the list, and luckily it is an easily accessible mountain with a range of clear, well-marked paths. A good choice for beginners, it is popular with older climbers, families and yama girls throughout the year. It is even possible to ride a cable car most of the way up, and refreshments are available at the top. Purists will argue that the mountain has been somewhat ruined with man-made intrusions at every turn, but it still provides a few hours of good solid cardio and a satisfying escape from the city.
Access: Train to Kawachinagano station and then a bus.


忘れちゃいけない、大阪府最高峰といえば金剛山。道もわかりやすく、気 軽に登れる初心者向けの山ということもあって、中高年、家族連れ、山ガ ールたちで一年中賑わっている。ロープウェイで一気に駆け上がること もでき、山頂付近には軽食が買える売店もある。山にうるさい人のなかに は、人工物で溢れかえった登山道が気に入らないという向きもあるだろ う。それでもなお、有酸素運動を数時間たっぷり楽しんで、都会の喧騒か ら逃れるのには格好の場所である。

Odai-ga-hara (Nara)

A high alpine plateau found deep in Yoshino-Kumano National Park, it sounds more intimidating than it really is. A number of arduous, longer routes can be found for those looking for a challenge, but a loop of this mossy upland offers stunning views (as far as Mount Fuji on a clear day) and a chance to glimpse some rare plants and wildlife. The path from the visitor’s centre is very well maintained, and is relatively level most of the way around, so it’s usual to see families and couples rubbing shoulders with more seasoned mountaineers just passing through.
Access: Train to Yamatokamiichi station and then a bus. There is a large, free car park.


吉野熊野国立公園の奥座敷にある台状の高地。名前から連想するほど険 しい山ではない。本格的な登山者には長めのルートもいくつかあるが、苔 むす山をぐるりとめぐり、素晴らしい景色の中を歩ける遊歩道が人気だ。 晴れた日には富士山まで見渡せ、希少な植物や野生生物との出会いも楽 しい。ビジターセンターからの道はとてもよく整備され、高低差も少なめ。 気軽な散策を楽しむ家族連れやカップルが多く、年季の入った登山者に はもっぱら通過点になる。

The following three hikes are more serious and require a good written guide and map.

Omine-san (Nara)

This is a popular hike on a pilgrimage route, taking in a number of sacred sites. In fact, the peak of Sanjo-ga-take remains off-limits to women, although there are routes which bypass this. With an early start from Dorogawa Onsen, it is possible to reach two of the highest points in Kansai, Mount Misen and the nearby Mount Hakken (although it is probably best to stay the night in a hut). The trail itself is well marked, following the ridge line after a steep climb, and even if your muscles begin to feel the pain, the spiritual nourishment of hiking along a route still used by pilgrims and mountain priests will surely spur you on. If not, then the promise of a hot bath back at the foot of the mountain might do the trick.
Access: Train to Shimoichikuchi station and then a bus.

Shiraga-san (Hyogo)

This mountain is a little-known gem, easily accessible by train, providing a full day of hiking in beautiful surroundings, and best of all, very few people! From the station, the first 45 minutes is very gentle, as the narrow road meanders through quaint villages and rice paddies, before the hike starts proper with a gruelling and steep ascent, and a relatively short but invigorating climb over rocky outcrops. The top provides stunning panoramic views over much of Hyogo. After that the trail continues through peaceful forests, past waterfalls and countless other interesting sites providing a hike with a bit of everything. The path does branch off in a number of places however, so be careful not to get lost.
Access: Train to Furuichi station.

Buna-ga-take (Shiga)

From the beginning this hike is very steep and tiring, and you’ll begin to wonder what you have let yourself in for. But before too long you will reach the top of the ridge, and from then on it is an enjoyable trek over a number of false-summits, before the impressive peak and one of Japan’s 200 famous mountains, Buna-ga-take, looms into view. On a clear day you can see for miles, with Lake Biwa sitting proudly out to the east. The route can be a little difficult to follow at times, so keep an eye out for the red markers which help to guide the way. Access: Bus from Kyoto’s Demachiyanagi bus station to Bomura. There is a car park.

以下の3箇所は本格的な登山コース なので、詳細なガイドブックと山岳 地図を参照のこと


いにしえの参詣道で、聖地を訪ね歩く人気コース。山上ヶ岳の山頂は今も 女人禁制だが、迂回ルートはある。IMG_0606洞川温泉を早朝に出発すれば、関西 最高峰の八剣山と弥山を一日で走破できるだろう(ただし山小屋に1泊 するのが無難)。険しい坂道から稜線をたどる登山道は、よく整備されて いてわかりやすい。現代でも修験者や山僧が行き交う信仰の道。筋肉痛 が始まっても、清々しい森の霊気が癒してくれる。万が一、霊験がなくとも ご心配なく。麓の温泉の効能は抜群だ。


知られざる名峰。電車で簡単に行けて、きれいな景色を一日中楽しめて、 何よりも人の少なさが魅力のコースだ。駅からの45分は、趣のある村や 田んぼを縫うようにして、曲がりくねった小道をゆったりと歩く。山道に入 ると本格的な急登が始まり、短いながらも手応え十分な岩場を乗り越え ていく。頂上からは、兵庫県の山々がほとんど見渡せる眺望。その後も静 かな森を抜け、滝を通り過ぎ、見所満載のハイキングになる。登山道には 枝道が多いので、迷わないように注意。


登り始めからの急坂で体力を消耗し、いったい何のためにここまで来た のだろうと不安になるかもしれない。だがほどなく稜線の上に出ると、そ こからは実に爽快な山歩きだ。いくつかの小さな頂を越え、日本二百名山 のひとつに数えられる武奈ヶ岳の山頂にたどり着く。晴れた日なら数十キ ロ先まで見渡せ、東には堂々たる琵琶湖の姿を見下ろす絶景。ところど ころ山道がわかりにくくなっている場所があるので、正しいルートを示す 赤い目印を見失わないように注意すること。

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