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June, 16 th 2019
Friendship. This week’s trail I created a very long time ago. It connected two trails we already had done. Rainy season has not started yet and the trail was located within my favourite area, the Takarazuka mountains. I was thinking about a hike at Koyasan, but since I had no proper time for planing (which is actually needed for this trail) I luckily decided for this trail last minute. It was the right decision and I wondered how many people came in the end, even though almost nobody signed up. And something was different, Melanie found this week’s hike only via my website not using social any networks. It means this website finally worked out how it was supposed to, which made me very happy. My dream is it to create an independent kind of trail’s library, so people can just download and start into their adventures. In this case not even alone. I met Melanie at the meeting point at Ōsaka Station and only minutes later some new and and also a bunch of familiar faces appeared. We changed our plan and took the Hankyu Line instead of JR, so I had the chance to check my favourite bread store for some Brötchen (German bread rolls). I failed the last weeks to get ones of them, but now early in the morning I was successful and bought directly three packs. Next week will be saved! It was the amazing start into an even more amazing day. We changed trains at Takarazuka, where Abhi joined us. At Takedao Station we met Michael, which went to the wrong station in the morning, but made to catch up with us. Altogether we started into the trail and today’s adventure. The first part of the trail was part of the abandoned railway hike, the very first hike I organised when I arrived in Ōsaka last December. This hike is nice, but not very challenging. Soon we left the trail and climbed up into the surrounding mountains. We followed a small path with many stairs along a dry riverbed, the deep green mountains to the left and right to us. It was such a beautiful and peaceful place, and the deep green was refreshing and delighting us. Soon we were ready for a lunch break and stopped at a little picnic shelter. Since it was occupied by another group we sat in a circle next to it. Today’s group was very special. There were many new people, but it felt like already being friends for a long time. I enjoyed this atmosphere a lot and I almost couldn’t stop laughing. So many beautiful souls. We continued climbing and got sweaty. Laughing loudly we climbed up to the summit, which was a bunch of stones within the woods. We took some funny photos and continued and soon we arrived at a hillside with cut trees, so we had an amazing view and enjoyed it for a while. We made more funny pictures until we continued on the trail which was guiding us into the forest. I don’t know how it came, but at some point Abhi climbed a tree for no reason, but among all the trees his choice was not the best. Juzer tried to follow and started climbed another tree, but struggled a little bit on the first try. Even though this action was just nonsense, my climber’s pride was stronger than my reason, so I climbed that tree. Juzer tried again and climbed up very high. What a bunch of kids we were! We continued onto this lonely forest trail. This trails was created freely and I was expecting we will bump into a messy path and maybe we wouldn’t be able to continue at some point. At least the chance that this could happen was very high, since the heavy typhoon last September destroyed many trails in Kansai and we actually could see and feel the power of nature’s destruction first hand. But the trail kept being well. And also the weather. Rainy season has not started yet, but the temperature dropped down, so we could enjoy our hike without sweating too much. We climbed down and had to cross a road. On the first sight I couldn’t see any trail continuing, but hidden next to a barrier was a small path within a bush. We followed this trail and had to climbed up again. We were already tired, but still had some kilometres to walk. We continued through the forest and at least the atmosphere grew even more nicely and we never stoped laughing and kidding. I guess Michael took a great part of it, because he is a super funny and delightful personality. It is so much fun to have him around. We merged into the second trail we already did during Sakura season to see the plum bloom (read about it here) and I was surprised about this well going trail today. We arrived the summit of Nakayama, where we had a nice view. We decided to keep on going since it was super windy and a wall of rain was coming soon. We climb down and the trails at Nakayama are very special. The soil is yellow and the surrounding fern is huge, so it kind of feels like being in a jungle. Just before the end of the trail is a view point, where one can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city of Ōsaka. I’m still amazed by the city I’m living in. I love Ōsaka and enjoy being here. And this is the real face of the city, surrounded by the mountains and the sea. We took another break and when we started talking only about food, we decided it would be time to finish soon and hunting for some food. The trail ended at a temple, Nakayamadera temple. When we were here last time, it was busy here during plum bloom. But today it was absolutely lonely. No people were around. It looked like in a ghost village. It was quiet and left at a place which was supposed to be crowded. The group was behind so I walked alone through the temple area. The loneliness and quietness of this place created a very special atmosphere and I could feel how my mind calmed down and my body started to relax. Energy flooded my body. How peaceful. This temple is loved by tourists. For good reason. It’s amazingly beautiful. I would say together with the Shitennōji temple next to me place it is my favourite one. The Tennōji temple has a different atmosphere and its located in the pulsing city centre, while this one was located in the foot of the mountains. Many people visit and love Kyoto, because the city and their temples shows their imagination of Japan. The Nakayamadera temple is kind of the same, for me this temple is pure Japan. It is clean. Almost too clean. But so colourful. Peaceful. I cannot describe. They have a blue pagoda (usually they are red, never seen a blue one). Having the unique experience to walk one through this temple was a gift and a special moment for me. Most of the time I forget about that I’m living in Japan, since I’m so used to it. But in this special moment I realised again that I’m in Japan right now and I was so deeply satisfied to actually live my dreams. It was the amazing end of a perfectly amazing day with beautiful people in beautiful nature. Together we went to Umeda to have dinner together and enjoyed my favourite Udon (noodle). I’m more than delighted by today’s trail. I absolutely recommend to hike this trail. It is a super nice day trip with beautiful nature and Japanese culture. By the way, we saw so many of Gingko tress. It must be amazing during Momiji (autumn colouring) and for sure we will come back.
Access: JR Takedao Station – Kannon-Nakayama Station (Hankyu) / JR Nakayamadera Station