Last summer, I had the chance to take on one of the Kansai’s regions most famous hikes. I hiked the Takedao Tunnel trail with my friend John. He visits Japan every couple of years and we like to get outdoors and explore the Kansai. He is actually the person who introduced me to geocaching many years ago.
This hike is part of the abandoned JR Fukuchiyama Line near Takarazuka. It is an extremely easy and beautiful hike. The trail is grade A and it is a very flat hike.
We took a local train on the JR Fukuchiyama Line towards Shin-Sanada and get off at Namaze Station. The trail is a 15-minute walk from the train station. For detailed instructions on how to get there check out this Hiking Japan post.
The hike takes you along a river with beautiful views of the mountains and hills surrounding the old rail line.
The entire hike takes about 2-3 hours at a leisurely pace. It is very flat so running shoes will be fine to wear, BUT….you will walk through several abandoned and very cool rail tunnels so you MUST bring a flashlight. Bring at least one. A flashlight and a headlamp will be even better. Without a light, it would be impossible to navigate some of the tunnels.
Along the hike, we saw many other people enjoying the outdoors like we did.
We made our way to the next local train station, Dojo Station and took the train back.
This hike is doable any time of the year, but I would like to try it again in the Fall when the leaves are changing color. Next time I will also bring my son with me. This is an easy hike even for children.
I strongly recommend this hike to anyone living in or visiting the Kansai region of Japan. the views are spectacular and its easy enough for even young children to do.
John and I did find ourselves lost a little as we decided to blaze off the beaten path. My fear of heights also stopped us from climbing some precarious rocks, but in the end, we had a great time.
Kevin O’Shea is the host of the Just Japan Podcast. He is also the guy behind JustJapanStuff.com. Kevin is a Canadian educator who lives in Beijing, China with his family. Kevin called Kobe, Japan home for 10 years.
Follow him on Twitter: @jlandkev