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
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.
7:38 am – Hankyu Ashiyagawa station
The river-following continues after Ashiyagawa station.
Here’s the first of many forks along the trail.
The second fork came just a few minutes after the first.
Back then I thought this was the trailhead.
This was the last flat surface before everything went rocky.
There were numerous signs that warn not to feed and be careful of wild boars. Did I see one? At that point not yet.
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.
Here’s one of the must-grab portions during the early climb.
There were benches underneath.
There weren’t many more rocks after the first power line.
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.
Still haven’t seen one at that point.
That one was almost as big as my hand.
I crossed a tiny stream before entering the premises of a golf course.
There were many ‘stairs’ during this part of the trail.
Ah, the fork that had me scratching my head.
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.
Remember that thing from a few images back? This was it up close.
That’s the last one. For now, at least.
12:05 pm – Mt. Rokko summit 六甲山頂
That wasn’t the highest peak yet. There’s around 300 meters to go and it’s up on an incline path.
12:21 pm – 六甲山最高峰
And here it is, Rokkosan’s highest point.
Here’s the scenery from both sides:
I could be wrong about which side is which though.
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.
I went back down to the summit area and figured out a way to Shidare observatory.
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.
2:05 pm – Garden terrace observatory
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.
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:
3:16 pm – Rokko cablecar Sanjo station
I changed shirts and spent the next 4 hours there.
The viewing point on top of the station was by far the best one that day.
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:
One of these days I’ll probably read up on how to correctly use these camera settings.
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.
7:51 pm – Rokko cablecar Shita station
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.
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.