During Japan’s Golden week I got the chance to hike Mt Kongo. It was my very first hike outside Philippines and I was both excited and nervous before the climb.
With its highest point at an altitude of 1,125-metre-high (3,691 ft), it is considered the highest mountain in Osaka Prefecture, Kansai, Japan.
Located in Kawachi region in Osaka, Mount Kongō is located between Chihayaakasaka and Gose, Japan and can be access thru Nankai Koya line if you are coming from the city and by taking Nankai Bus at Kawachi-nagano station
The Trail To Summit
There are several entry or jump of points going to summit of Mt. Kongo. We took the entry point near the Kongozanguchi Bus Stop. There is also an entry point near the ropeway station.
From Kongotozanguchi Bus Stop, it was just a few meters away from the mountain’s trail entrance. The entrance is basically a service area, there are some shops (small restaurant and a store selling gloves and other hiking accessories), toilet and parking area. There were two trail going up but we took the smaller path (right side ) since there were not much people going that route, I thought it would be more exciting.
Unlike the trail I was used to when hiking in Philippines, Mt Kongo’s trail was mostly paved with dirt stairs with small logs as stopper and railings and some concrete ones. Going up was like walking on an unending, sloping and winding stairs. It’s been already around eight months since my last climb so even though it seemed like an easy hike, it became a challenging one for me. Almost after 5 to 10 mins we would take a rest to catch our breath.
On our way up, I noticed that most of the hikers were older people (maybe 50 years old up). We encountered a family hiking on same pace as we were. The older man, he was more or less 70 yrs old but I was amazed that he didn’t even take a break. He was taking the step up very slowly, his companions were already catching their breaths and taking rests but he would just continue on his ascent. I heard him advised his daughter (with a little Nihongo that I know) to take a step at a slow pace and that it won’t be long til we reach the summit.
The hike (at our own slow pace J ) took us about 1 hour and 35 mins to the top. We started at 8 am and reached the top at 9:35 am. When we arrived, there were already lots of people in there. It was golden week so probably that’s why there were lots of hikers that day, there were even kids with their families’. Although I didn’t see any road where car can go up to the top but there were lots in there during that day.
There were toilets on top the summit, as well as cafes. Picnics tables and benches are also available in the area.
It is said that it is one of the tradition to eat ramen once you reached the top. Also you can visit Tenporinji and Yasashi shrine which is located on the top of the Mountain.
The Descent: Mt Kongo Ropeway
Going to Mt. Kongo and experience riding the Ropeway cable car would be something you wouldn’t want to miss. Although it was tempting to take the Ropeway going up to the mountain but I didn’t give in to it…because I thought it won’t be really as fun and exciting as going on foot to summit. So as planned we took the ropeway going down.
From the summit it took about 30 mins walk going down the Ropeway station. The trail wasn’t paved, no stairs- unlike the route we took on our hike up, but it wasn’t a steep trail.
After buying the ticket and waiting for a few minutes, the cable car started its way down. The view was really breathtaking, the pine trees covered mountains with some trees blooming with flowers… I was like “nature-struck” and even wished that the car would stop at middle even for a moment for me to take in everything-the beauty of God’s creation- that I was seeing. It was really an overwhelming sight to see.
How to Get There
If you are coming from the city (Osaka) take Nankai Koya Line to Kawachi Nagano Station. From Kawachi Nagano station it’s only a minute walk going to Bus station number 3 and take the Bus no.8 going to Ropewaymae station. You can alight at Kongozanguchi or at the Ropeway, wherever you want to start your trail going up the mountain.
Here is my expenses details
Train from home to Kawachi Nagano – 470 yen each (from namba I think it’s 550 yen each person)
Kawachi nagano to Kongozanguchi – 410 yen
Ropewaymae to kawachi nagano – 520 yen
Ropeway ticket – 750 yen each *peak season price (regular price is at 700)
Kawachinagano – home 470 yen
Total transpo: 2,620.00 yen
Water 2L: 78 yen
Trail food: 198 yen
Total expenses: 2,896.00 yen (around 25.00-26.00 USD)
*we didn’t have lunch up there or bought anything since prices are a bit expensive at the summit. We had lunch at home instead. 🙂
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“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”-Psalm 107:1