Hike the Tengu Trail up Mt. Maya, Descending via the Aotani Trail / Kobe hiking | HIKES IN JAPAN

Hike the Tengu Trail up Mt. Maya, Descending via the Aotani Trail / Kobe hiking

Hike the Toughest Trail on the Rokko Traverse, Tengu Trail, to Mt. Maya
  • Duration
    1Day / 4.5Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • 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. Mt. Maya (Maya-san) is roughly at the center of the Rokko Mountain Range (Rokkoh-sanchi), and it has the steepest slopes on the traverse trail. The lights of Kobe from the Kikuseidai Lookout near the summit are considered one of Japan's top three night views.

From Shin-Kobe Station to Ichigahara, you'll pass Nunobiki Falls (Nunobikino-taki) and the viewpoint. From the start of the Tengu Trail (Tengu-doh), it's a long hike up to the summit of Mt. Maya. After another steep ascent up the Inazuma Slope (Inazuma-zaka), you'll come to the Gakko Forestry Road (Gakkoh-rindoh). You can take a breather here.

The gentle ascent gets steeper as you continue through a rocky area. When you reach the juncture with the Adventure Route, you'll be close to the summit of Mt. Maya with its radio tower. Near the summit, the Kikuseidai Lookout is adjacent to the Maya Ropeway Summit Station.

From the summit, go down the Aotani Trail (Aotani-michi), which was once the approach to Mayasan-Tenjo-ji Temple.On the way you'll reach the site of Tori-Tenjo-ji Temple, which burned down in 1976. Pass through the former temple gate and descend a steep path, and in about 45 minutes you'll reach Gyoja-do Temple (Gyohjadoh). From there a gentle trail follows the Aotani-gawa River for a while.

Once you descend another steep slope, you will arrive at Myoko-in Temple (Myohkoh-in). This is the end of the trail. Continue straight downhill and you will reach Hankyu Oji Koen Station.

Other Info

Mt. Maya's Tori-Tenjo-ji Temple was founded in the mid-7th century. At its peak it had 3,000 priests, making it one of the largest temples in Japan. After burning down in 1976, it was rebuilt to the north of the summit.

The Kikuseidai Lookout beside the Maya Ropeway Summit Station's Hoshino Station has a view of Osaka Bay. It has Kansai's finest night view, considered one of the top three night views in Japan.

Season:All year around


Mt. Maya is also accessible via cable car and ropeway. You can hike up the Tengu Trail or Aotani Trail and take the ropeway back down, or vice-versa. Decide your route according to your physical condition.

The Tengu Trail is one of the tougher ones on the Rokko Traverse. Be sure to do the hike at a comfortable pace.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


1Day / 4.5Hours
Highest Point
702m(Mt. Maya)
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail


Ontaki-chaya, Sakura-jaya, Akebono-chaya





Mt. Maya is in southern Hyogo Prefecture, just north of Kobe. Shin-Kobe Station is the nearest station. You can access the Kobe Municipal Subway or the Sanyo Shinkansen there. It's 28 minutes on a Tokyuu express train from Osaka's Hankyu Umeda Station to Sannomiya Station. Change to the Kobe Municipal Subway and you'll arrive at Shin-Kobe Station in two minutes.
From there it's a 70-minute walk to the start of the Tengu Trail.



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