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Photo By: PIXTA/ zak
Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Kobe
Population
5,550,742

Mount Rokko

One of the most popular destinations for tourists and city natives alike, the peaks of Mount Rokko provide an inviting target for all trekkers.

By Conn McCloskey

Just west of Osaka lies Kobe, Japan’s sixth most populous city. But beyond the intense hustle and bustle of Sannomiya or the seaside glamor of Kobe Mosaic lies the Rokko Mountain range, providing a natural backdrop to the city that has sprung up at its feet. One of the most popular destinations for tourists and city natives alike, the peaks of Rokko and its numerous activities provide an inviting target for all trekkers.

The summit, named Rokkosan-Saikoho, is located directly north of Kobe, unmissable with its vast coating of foliage, displaying a myriad of colors as the seasons change. Standing at an impressive 931 meters tall, the mountain exudes a certain energy that no intrepid explorer, lover of nature or even the casual day tripper can resist.

A Mountain for All Seasons

Mount Rokko

Photo by: PIXTA/オフィスK Mount Rokko in Autumn, a site to behold.

If one is to enjoy all that Mount Rokko thoroughly has to offer, the ideal hiking periods are from late June to July, when the alpine flowers of the region come into their magnificent bloom, or in mid-September to October, when the change of seasons transforms the leaves to a beautiful crimson, just before Winter’s approach.

The lush foliage of the Rokko mountain range was once stripped away to fuel Japan’s booming industrial growth during Japan’s modernizing Meiji era. Restored to its once natural beauty, today’s Mount Maya, a peak within the range, is host to a herb garden, Japan’s first-ever golf course, a stunning view of Osaka Bay and of course, copious hiking trails. With such a list of activities, a mere day dedicated to Rokko is not enough.

A Place of Adventure

Mount Rokko

Photo by: PIXTA/オフィスK Rokko Alpine Garden in bloom.

Those who do choose to venture towards the Rokko range and indulge in its many natural attractions and recreational activities, be it golfing, enjoying a cable car ride to see the gorgeous panoramic view of Kobe, or visiting the Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden will surely come away from the experience with a great sense of awe and a renewed lust for adventure.

Things To Know

Hiking the mountain

Before making the journey to the mountains, know that various hiking trails throughout the mountain can be pretty long, especially for amateur hikers. However, during the summer months, numerous supply stations can be found throughout the trails.

Walking up the mountain to Rokkosan-Saikoho, the highest point, can take approximately 5 hours, so starting in the early morning is recommended.

As a bonus, Arima Onsen is nearby, affording a relaxing end to your journey. 

How To Get There

Address

By train

Mount Rokko is easily accessible from various stations located throughout Kobe, access varying based on your intended activity. For a ride in a cable car see Shin-Kobe station. For a great hiking start, see Ashiya station.

To travel by rail from Kobe, Sannomiya JR take the Tokaido-Sanyo line to JR Ashiya station for 3 stops (roughly 11 minutes). If in Osaka, go to Osaka-Umeda station, take the Tokaido-Sanyo line special rapid for two stops and 30 minutes to JR Ashiya station.

By car

A 35-minute drive from Sannomiya, or a 30-minute drive from Osaka Umeda.

Where To Stay

Arima Onsen Taketoritei Maruyama
  • 1364-1 Arimacho, Kobe-shi Kita-ku, Hyogo, 651-1401 Japan
  • ¥50,600 - ¥259,600
  • 5/5 (577 reviews)
  • 2.1 km
The Gran Resort Princess Arima
  • 1338 Arimacho, Kobe-shi Kita-ku, Hyogo, 651-1401 Japan
  • ¥34,800 - ¥95,600
  • 3.9/5 (168 reviews)
  • 2.1 km
Arima Zuihoen
  • 1751 Arimacho, Kobe-shi Kita-ku, Hyogo, 651-1401 Japan
  • ¥17,900 - ¥19,500
  • 2.1 km
The Gran Resort Arima
  • 1740-1 Arimacho, Kobe-shi Kita-ku, Hyogo, 651-1401 Japan
  • ¥9,300 - ¥37,200
  • 3.78/5 (67 reviews)
  • 2.1 km
Arima Onsen Miyukiso Hanamusubi
  • 351 Arimacho, Kobe-shi Kita-ku, Hyogo, 651-1401 Japan
  • ¥39,050 - ¥78,100
  • 4.24/5 (2,250 reviews)
  • 2.2 km

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