Mt. Shiraga is a bald, rocky peak sandwiched between Sanda and Sasayama cities in central Hyogo Prefecture. The unspoilt panoramic views and tranquil forest make it one of Kansai’s hidden treasures.
From Osaka (大阪) station, take a kaisoku train on the JR Fukuchiyama line (福知山線) bound for Sasayama-guchi (笹山口) and get off at Furuichi (古市) station. The train ride takes about 1 hour. You can also take the JR Tozai (東西) line from Kyobashi (京橋) station if you’d like. Take note that Furuichi is an unmanned station.
Route: Go out the only exit at Furuichi station and turn right on the road in front of you. Hang a quick left at the first road you come across, followed by a right on the main street through town shortly after that. You’ll pass by a few old houses before reaching the railroad tracks. After crossing the tracks, the road merges with route 372 and you’ll see an elevated walkway on the right side of the street. The walkway parallels the road and is about 1.5 meters above the street. The road bends to the right and the elevated walkway ends. As soon as it ends, take a right on the street running through the countryside. You should see a small sign white sign that says “白髪岳●松尾山 住山ルート”.
The road passes through a lot of fields and a few thatched farmhouses. There’s very little traffic, so it’s a nice taste of country life. Follow this road for roughly 45 minutes, and you’ll reach a fork in the road. Just before the fork, you’ll find a huge billboard-sized map (案内図). Turn left at the fork, following the sign that says “白髪岳方面”. The deserted forest road passes through an orchard before climbing up into the forest. It should take about a half-hour to reach the trailhead near the end of the forest road. If you’re coming by car, then you should be able to drive this far, though the road is rough and there’s not much parking here. Anyway, you’ll find a small gazebo and a water source here, so fill up your bottles. The path starts next to the gazebo and follows the stream for a short way before suddenly and quickly veering off towards the right, into a cedar forest.
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