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hiking mt. iwawaki

A nice day hike just outside of Osaka City!

This past weekend, I went on a hike! Mt. Iwawaki (岩湧山, English site) is very close to Osaka City, near the city of Kawachinagano. From Namba Station, it’s only about a half hour to Kawachinagano Station, and another half hour via the express bus to the Takihata Dam stop, which is a couple minutes from the entrance to the Diamond Trail. It’s under ¥1000 (about US$9.50 at time of writing) total.

The forest around this portion of the Diamond Trail is managed, a fact that is immediately apparent by the vast stands of uniformly tall, slender cedars dotted with mouldering trunks and stumps at their feet. On one portion of the hike, I could hear the low drone of a chainsaw somewhere down the mountainside. One of my partner teachers mentioned that most mountain forests in this region of Japan are similarly managed/commercial nowadays…

It was a nice hike, about 10km and 3.5 hours (almost 4 if you count breaks). According to my little hiking app, I got 815m of elevation. Neat! I exited near Kimitouge Station in Wakayama Prefecture, though the trail continues on from there for a few more miles. Many hikers in Japan enjoy a soak after a hike, and I am no exception. Before catching the Namba-bound train home, I stopped by the Spa & Resort Kiimiso (Japanese site) for a late lunch and a dip in the bath. It’s a quiet town and in its off season, so I was the only person in the onsen!

「長い旅行に必要なのは大きなカバンじゃなく、口ずさめる一つの歌さ。」 ースナフキン
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