山の日

August 11, 2017: My first public holiday: 山の日 (Mountain day)

You’ll see a bunch of images with different hues of green after this so for the impatient ones, here’s the tldr; version:

I decided to go up Mt. Rokko. Hopped on a train from Tachibana station to Ashiya station. Walked around half an hour to the trailhead. Took a little over four hours to get to the highest peak. Walked around exploring the developed mountain top area. Took the bus to the cablecar station, then the cablecar back down to Kobe city. Walked almost an hour to get to Rokkomichi station and rode the train back to Tachibana station.

With that out of the way, here’s the long version:

Thursday night, I was trying to pick between Atagoyama and Rokkosan. I ended up picking Rokkosan as I haven’t been there before.

5:27 am – Got up
I got out of bed a few minutes after the second alarm at 5:25. It was kind of expected as I did some last minute research on Rokkosan that lasted a few minutes past 11.

6:53 am – Off we go

My hiking buddies

The weather looked like it was going to rain.

7:07 am – Tachibana station

7:21 am – Ashiya station
The closest station to the trailhead was Hankyu’s Ashiyagawa station but I opted for the walking option since, well, that was the plan anyways – to get a ton of steps throughout the day.

I just followed the river to Ashiyagawa station.

Don’t know the name of this river

7:38 am – Hankyu Ashiyagawa station
The river-following continues after Ashiyagawa station.

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Barely recognizable as a river

Here’s the first of many forks along the trail.

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Remember those three kanjis

The second fork came just a few minutes after the first.

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Luckily there were other hikers I could follow

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Remember the three kanjis earlier?

Back then I thought this was the trailhead.

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NOT the trailhead

This was the last flat surface before everything went rocky.

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Savoring the flat surface

There were numerous signs that warn not to feed and be careful of wild boars. Did I see one? At that point not yet.

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イノシシ warning

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First bathroom break

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A small waterfall and the trailhead are just a few meters away after this curve

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Starting point

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The small waterfall near the trailhead

A series of rocky climb started right at the trailhead. Some were manageable, but there were some where you have to grab on to something and pull yourself up.

A few times during the rocky part I was always looking back and checking out the view. As the altitude went up, views of Kobe city were getting better.

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Barely visible

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Still barely visible

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Just a trail marker

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Another one

Here’s one of the must-grab portions during the early climb.

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A dad (probably?) and his two boys

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See that dangling chain?

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Kobe city

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Just more rocks up ahead…

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…and views of Kobe city from behind

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A bunch more rocks

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Sitting under a power line

There were benches underneath.

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Moving on…

There weren’t many more rocks after the first power line.

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Not scary at all

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Another peek at Kobe city

This path led to the next power line I encountered. There’s also a height marker over there but I couldn’t figure out what for. Couldn’t use google translate as the internet was a bit spotty.

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A big rock

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At least I know I’m almost halfway there

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Another warning, re: wild boars

Still haven’t seen one at that point.

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A big red mushroom

That one was almost as big as my hand.

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Which way?

I crossed a tiny stream before entering the premises of a golf course.

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A tiny stream

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There’s a paved road up ahead

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Don’t know where this one leads to…

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…but the opposite direction leads to the golf course

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2.4 kilometers to go

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Slight increase in altitude

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What’s that up there?

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Creepiness: 4 out of 10

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Crossing a bigger body of water

There were many ‘stairs’ during this part of the trail.

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Going up

Ah, the fork that had me scratching my head.

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I followed them on the right

Both sides have these written on them: 最高峰. That reads ‘highest point’ when translated. The thing is, I can’t figure out what the other characters say. Both ways probably lead to the peak. I just waited for a bit for some people to arrive and followed their lead.

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Another uphill battle

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Another set of stairs

Remember that thing from a few images back? This was it up close.

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It was a dam

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Meet the cool kids (trees) on the block (mountain)

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I emerged from that hole

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Another set of stairs

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…and another one

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…and another one

That’s the last one. For now, at least.

12:05 pm – Mt. Rokko summit 六甲山頂

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There’s a cafe up there

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A signboard

That wasn’t the highest peak yet. There’s around 300 meters to go and it’s up on an incline path.

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Heh. Sausage fingers.

12:21 pm – 六甲山最高峰

And here it is, Rokkosan’s highest point.

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931 masl

Here’s the scenery from both sides:

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Left side…

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…and right side

I could be wrong about which side is which though.

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Shoutout to everyone up there

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There’s also a tower of some sort up there

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Didn’t know what that was

Views of Kobe city weren’t all that great from up there. Couldn’t figure out if the clouds were a flying a bit low or some part of the mountain range was blocking the view.

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See what I mean?

I went back down to the summit area and figured out a way to Shidare observatory.

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Saw some azaleas along the way

I was alternating between the road and marked trails during the around 60 minute walk to the observatory. It was a series of ups and downs with the occasional clearing.

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Can’t figure out where the sky ends and the sea begins

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More stairs

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Can you spot the difference between this one…

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…and this one

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…and this one

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See that tiny tower on the far left side? I was there about an hour ago. I think.

2:05 pm – Garden terrace observatory

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A cafe, souvenir shop and balcony with a great view of Kobe city

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Pretty

Shidare observatory was just a few meters away from Garden terrace. There was a fee to enter. I didn’t go in as my budget for the day was limited to only 2000JPY.

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Shidare observatory

After taking a quick rest, I headed over to the bus stop and waited for the bus towards the cable car station.

Saw these along the way:

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A viewing tower

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Another cafe

3:16 pm – Rokko cablecar Sanjo station

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Took this after getting off the bus

I changed shirts and spent the next 4 hours there.

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Another viewing point

The viewing point on top of the station was by far the best one that day.

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Some more azaleas. The cones kida ruined it though

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There’s a small shrine on the second floor

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I had planned on making a timelapse of the sunset but the west side of the previous two photos were blocked by some parts of the station building. This was all that I could get:

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Sunset at 6:52 pm

One of these days I’ll probably read up on how to correctly use these camera settings.

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Was this the night mode?

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Was this the HDR?

Haha. I totally forgot which is which.

At around 7:30 pm I called it a day, hopped on the cablecar back to Kobe city.

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My second time on one of these things

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The other car had an open design

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Time to go back up

7:51 pm – Rokko cablecar Shita station

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It was getting a bit late

I walked for almost another hour to Rokkomichi station. On the way there I happened to stumble upon two (TWO!) manhole cover designs of Kobe city.

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Design #1

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Design #2

Or at least I think those are manhole covers.

8:42 pm – Rokkomichi station

9:15 pm – Tachibana station

9:51 pm – Back home

I leave you with one word: tired.

And no, I didn’t get to see a wild boar.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: I totally forgot | オスカー

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