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DISCOVER TAJIMA >Things to Do>Hiking / Cycling >Kinki Long-Distance Nature Trail - Mt. Taishi hiking course

Kinki Long-Distance Nature Trail - Mt. Taishi hiking course
近畿自然歩道 大師山ハイキングコース


A 10km (approx.) walking course through the mountains that surround Kinosaki Onsen. The majority of the course is through forests, but on the way you will get to see the scenic view from the summit of Mt. Taishi that received a Michelin Green Guide One Star. You can take the ropeway to get back down the mountain.
Route map
Start out from JR Kinosaki Onsen Station and head out through the mountains surrounding the hot spring town; the course's goal line is the Michelin Green Guide One Star panoramic view. Along the way is Hyogo Prefecture's local memorial "Tree of Unity" and 88 enshrined stone buddha (ojizo-bodhisattva statues who look over children, travellers and the underworld). Because the majority of the course is unpaved dirt road, it is necessary to have sturdy athletic shoes and clothes/equipment that is easy to move in, although the course does not have severe hills. However, caution is required during rainy and snowy weather. There are no restrooms or shops on the mountain trail so please plan accordingly. It is also recommended to bring a bell or something that makes a loud noise or something to repel bears. You can take the ropeway back down the mountain.
1) Kinosaki Onsen Station
The starting point for this route, which is designated as a Kinki Long-Distance Nature Trail, is "JR Kinosaki Onsen Station". Throughout the town there are several monuments dedicated to literary figures who have an affinity to the town. In front of the station is a monument of the literary figure Shimazaki Toson. Look for these memorials and monuments on your way to the mountain trail.
2) Super market
The street in front of the station runs straight and has a wide variety of souvenir shops, fresh fish markets, and several other shops. While enjoying the various shops you will see a small super market/grocery store on your left. Turn left here and walk along this road for a while till you come to "Kinosaki Literature Museum", which is at the entrance of the mountain trail. Those who have not brought drinks or snacks should prepare these now before entering the trail.
3) Kinosaki Literary Museum
Inside the "Kinosaki Literary Museum", which is located near the center of town, you will find information displayed on the various literarians and historical figures who have ties to Kinosaki Onsen. In front of the building is an engraved monument to Naoya Shiga, who wrote "Kinosaki ni te (At Cape Kinosaki)". You can also get information on the mountain trail from the tourist association located inside. If you face away from the museum and turn to the left, walking along the building, you will see a set of stairs that will lead to the mountain trail. There are some stone buddhas located along the stairs that are part of the 88 enshrined along the trail.
4) Atago Shrine
After traveling along the stone stairway from the Kinosaki Literary Museum for about 200m you will see Atago Shrine. It is a shrine with a spirit of fire prevention and protection and is a nice place to visit and maybe ask for protection if you wish. If the weather is good you can see the harbor bridge over the magnificent Maruyama River. While you are at the shrine, be sure to check the signpost next to it for the distance to the next destination, "Tree of Unity". From here onwards you will continue on a pleasant ridge trail. Because the trail is a little wider and easier to walk here, it is a good chance to visit the stone Buddha and enjoy the scenery as you continue along the trail.
5) Tree of Unity
It will be about a 60 minute walk from Atago Shrine to the "Tree of Unity". This combined tree was designated as a Hyogo Prefecture local monument in 1984 and is a symbol of the area. It is a rare site of a red pine and a cod roe growing together like a single tree from the root. There is a wooden walk board installed around the tree. Be careful, as it can be slippery when wet. The goal point, Mt. Taishi's summit, is just a little further from here.
6) Mt. Taishi Summit
Walk about 6 minutes past the Tree of Unity and you'll see a playground that is located at the summit of Mt. Taishi. Walk through the playground to the summit station of Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway. Go up the stairs next to the entrance to the observation deck. Here you can enjoy a magnificent view overlooking the town of Kinosaki Onsen, which won 1 star with the Michelin Green Guide. On clear days your can see out over the Sea of Japan. There is also a cafe at the summit station where you can take a break. On the north side of the station there is an engraved monument of Yoshida Kenko (Kenko Hoshi). Please use the ropeway for your descent from the summit. If you have time you can get off at the midway station, which is rare ropeway feature in Japan. At the midway station there is Onsenji Temple that was opened by the founder of Kinosaki Onsen, Douchi Shonin. There is also the temple's main deity, the eleven-faced bodhisattva. These are designated as a nationally important cultural asset. You can purchase tickets to the midway station or all the way down to the station at the bottom of the mountain. There is a walking path you can take from the temple to the bottom of the mountain as well.
7) Sanroku Station
After you reach the bottom of the mountain there is a footbath nearby for you to soak your tired feet. Before returning to JR Kinosaki Onsen Station be sure to check out some of the 7 public hot spring bathhouses located in town. Kiyamachi Street is also a nice walking path where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in the spring and see fireflies in the summer.
Route
Kinosaki Museum > Mt. Taishi summit > (Kinosaki Onsen ropeway in Kinosaki Onsen town)
Difficulty
★★☆
Route Category
Mountain
Type of Activity
★☆☆ Flat course(Elevation gain less than 100m)or less than 5km.
★★☆ Slightly undulating course(Elevation gain less than 500m)or less than 10km.
★★★ Rugged course(Elevation gain more than 500m)or 11km.
Distance About 10km
Required Time Walking time of about 1 hour
Starting Point Starting point: Kinosaki Literary Museum
Ending point: Kinosaki Onsen Town
Getting Here By Train / Bus: Get off at JR Kinosaki Onsen Station
By Car: City parking lot in front of the station, city parking lot in Kiya Machi, city parking lot by Kouno-Yu bathhouse
Road Conditions Dirt
Resting Place JR Kinosaki Onsen Station, Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway Summit Station
Signpost Presence Yes
Guide Availability None
Notes The course is difficult to walk in the snow during the winter
Contact Contact: Kinosaki Onsen Tourism Association
Phone: 0796-32-3663
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