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From Mt. Higashi Otafuku to Takarazuka via the Higashi Rokko Traverse and Mt. Rokko's highest peak

Walking the climax of the Traverse of the Whole Rokko Mountain Range.
  • Duration
    1Day , 5.5Hours
    Highest Point
    931m
    Elevation Gain
    880m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

The Rokko Mountains spread over about a 30-kilometer area north of Kobe City, from Shioya in the west to Takarazuka in the east. Mt. Rokko (Rokko-san) is the highest peak at 931 meters above sea level.
Its prime location near urban centers allows for relatively easy access to the trailhead. With everything from cable car accessible hiking to superb rock climbing, this hike offers something for a range of skill levels.
It also offers the shortest route to Mt. Rokko's highest peak via the bus-accessible trailhead at Higashi Otafuku-yama (Higashi Otafuku-yama Tozanguchi). The Higashi Rokko Traverse finishes at Takarazuka and lets hikers enjoy a great ridge walk.

Take a bus from Hankyu Ashiyagawa Station bound for Arima Onsen (Hot spring) or Ashiya Highland and you'll arrive at the Higashi Otafuku-yama trailhead in about 14 minutes. From the bus stop, the paved road eventually gives way to a forestry road, and shortly you'll find the trail on the left. After walking a while you'll come out on a ridgeline before reaching the first summit.
The fields around this summit are unusual for the Rokko Mountains.

A trail runs north from there, but you might like to hike the pleasant southern trail through the fields with its good view. When you reach the Amaga-tohge Pass, head north along the Totoya Trail (Totoya-michi), and ascend to Mt. Rokko's highest peak past the Ikken-jaya tea shop (Ikken-jaya). It's a relatively easy hike requiring about two hours from the trailhead.

To reach Takarazuka, take the traverse trail ahead of Ikken-jaya. You'll reach Takarazuka in about three and a half hours. The trail mostly descends, but there are a number of hills before the Funasaka Pass (Funasaka-tohge).

Once you reach Otani-nokkoshi Pass (Ohtani-nokkoshi), the trail levels out until Enpei-ji Temple (Enpei-ji) at the end. The slope heading down from Enpei-ji Temple can be slippery, so take care.

The road between the temple and Hankyu Takarazuka Station is paved. Follow the temple's approach until you reach Koshien University (Kohshien Daigaku). From there you'll pass through a residential area until reaching Takarazuka Station.

Other Info

Historic Enpei-ji Temple was founded in the sixth century. There's a legend that says salty water welled up nearby, and this is thought to point to the origins of Takarazuka Onsen (Hot spring). The hot spring facility Nature Spa Takarazuka is at the foot of Horai Bridge (Hohrai bashi) just in front of Takarazuka Station. They welcome visitors who just stop in to use the baths.

Notes

Be sure to bring enough water and trail food for the three-hour plus hike between Ikken-jaya and Takarazuka as you won't find any along the way.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
1Day , 5.5Hours
Highest Point
931m(Mt. Rokko's highest peak)
Elevation Gain
880m
Horizontal Distance
15.9Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping
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Eating

Ikken-jaya

Hot-Springs

Natural Spa Takarazuka

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Access

This hike is in southern Hyogo Prefecture. The Hankyu Kobe Line's Ashiyagawa Station is the closest station to Higashi Otafuku-yama trailhead. It's 23 minutes by Tokyuu express train from Osaka's Umeda Station. You may need to change to a local train at Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station.
It's a 14-minute bus ride from Ashiyagawa Station to Mt. Higashi Otafuku-yama trailhead.

Links

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