Hiking in Kansai: Abandoned Fukuchiyama Railway

Hiking in Kansai! Gotta love it. Get away from the city. Get some air. Listen to a river, look at some GREEN… Sweat a lot.

The hiking trail we went on this time was interesting in that it followed an old abandoned train route (廃線). The course was interesting, and other than the heat, not a laborious hike at all. It goes along an unused JR Train line (fukuchiyama-sen 旧福知山線) for about 5 kilometers to JR Takedao Station. The trail goes right on top of the old train tracks, through tunnels, and follows a river the entire way.

Hiking Course Starting Location:JR Namaze Station (生瀬駅)
Course Finish: JR Takedao Station (武田尾駅)
Total Distance: 5-7 km? Something like that.

JR Namaze Station is about 30 minutes by train from Osaka/Umeda going out towards Amagasaki.

There are a few hot springs in the Takedao area, a great way to end the hike!

You can see the old tracks in the picture above. In this shot the track is pretty buried in the earth, but in other areas of the path they are still sticking out in full view.

Crossing the bridge was great. You cannot walk on the tracks across the middle, but there is a foot bridge attached to the side. A little creepy, but not so bad as it wasn’t that high up.

If you look closely you can see the tracks in this picture as well. The sides of the path are totally overgrown.

Also, at the end of the trail there is a great cafe by the river called Sakuraya. They serve giant kakigouri (crushed ice with flavoring and red beans and stuff…) that really hits the spot after the sweaty trek. If you start your hike from Namaze and go all the way to the end, you simply cannot miss this cafe, it’s pretty much the first commercial building you will see after getting off the path.

Good times. Wake up early one day and give it a try! You might want to bring a flashlight for the tunnels. It’s really pitch black inside, and the trail goes through about 6 tunnels if I remember correctly. Some are quite long… We ended up tagging along with some well-prepared old lady hikers one time!

Here are are a few Japanese blogs that have reviewed the same hiking course.

あろーい日記

プチ美々屋

There are also some Japan hiking books in English available that look like they might be the guides to have for anyone serious about hiking in Japan

Hiking in Japan: An Adventurer’s Guide to the Mountain Trails

Hiking in Japan (Lonely Planet Walking Guides)

Note, the hike that I just did here is -not- serious. More like a casual slacker hike. These books though, have entire day trips, and multi-day hikes. If you’re serious about hiking, you might want to check them out.

Good times!

– Harvey