The Harima Alps are a series of small rock formations on the border of Himeji and Kakogawa cities in Hyogo Prefecture. While not very Alpine in nature, the hike does feature some really nice species of native pine trees, wild boar, desert-like vegetation, and not a single cedar tree!
From either Osaka, Kyoto, or Sannomiya stations, take the JR Shikaisoku (新快速) train bound for Himeji (姫路). Get off at Kakogawa station (加古川) and change to a local train bound for Himeji. The stop closest to the trailhead is called Sone (曽根駅).
Route: Head through the ticket gate at Sone station and turn right. Follow the road to the next intersection and turn left. Walk a few blocks, passing a small lake on the right, and you’ll come to a rather busy road. This is called Highway 2. Turn right and walk along highway 2 for about 1km or so. You’ll pass a couple of convenience stores on the right-hand side, so stock up on supplies (there’s no water on the hike). The mountains on your left side are the “Alps” and that’s what you’ll be traversing for the next 5 hours or so. Keep walking along highway 2 until coming to a small shrine on the left-hand side. The trail is directly behind this shrine. The path climbs steeply through a dense forest. Be on the lookout for wild boar in this area.
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