Takedao Tunnel Hike (武田尾)

 

Takedao-Mukogawa-Kobe

Also known as: Mukogawa Gorge (武庫川渓谷)

This is a gentle afternoon stroll along the old, abandoned  JR Fukuchiyama Line railway tracks. There are several dark, delightfully creepy tunnels to pass through, so a headlamp, cell phone light or flashlight is imperative.

While the main route is flat (trains aren’t so good at hills), there are several side trails which go straight up the mountains. These are real hikes and a lot of fun. 

 

 

Access: 

From Osaka station, take train on the JR Fukuchiyama Line bound for Shin-sanda (新三田) and get off at Namaze (生瀬) station. A local train takes about 40 minutes, so if you want to save time, then take a rapid (kaisoku) train to either Kawanishi-Ikeda (川西池田) or Takarazuka (宝塚) stations, and change to the local train there. The return train is just two stops further north from Namaze, so take a local train all the way back to Osaka or again change to a rapid at Takrazuka or Kawanishi-Ikeda if you’re pressed for time.

Route: When you exit the train at Namaze station, go out the ticket gate and head down the main road (with a Co-op Mini supermarket on your left) through the small tunnel that goes under a mountain. After the tunnel the road curves towards the right and meets a busy main road. You’ll see a bridge with a red railing directly in front of you. Do not cross the bridge. Instead, turn left, staying on the left shoulder of the really busy road on the narrow sidewalk. Follow this main road for about 20 minutes (past a Cosmo gas station), until you reach a large freeway overpass. Walk under the huge expressway and take your first right, turning down a paved road that has some curvy switchbacks. There are no signposts so it’s very easy to get lost, but make sure the road you take descends towards the river. At the end of the paved road turn left and follow the dirt road that will eventually turn into a proper hiking trail. Just as the trail starts, you’ll see a huge metal sign in Japanese with the kanji (告) telling you that this is not a hiking trail! Don’t worry, it’s just JR trying to inform you that it won’t take any responsibility if you injure yourself or get attacked by a zombie. In the summer the trail can be quite overgrown because the company that owns the land (JR railway) doesn’t do any trail maintenance. The path follows the left bank of the river most of the way, and if you look down you can still see the wooden railway ties in place, but the rails have been removed. Also, keep your eyes peeled on the left side of the path and you can see old railway signs from time to time.

Gallery of Takedao Train Tunnel Hike (Spoilers)

 

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