Kansai Outdoors: Explore Outside While Social Distancing
The number of hikers and campers have increased since the pandemic because people are looking for safe ways to travel while practicing social distancing. This article will introduce some camping grounds and nature hiking trials around Kansai for you to fully enjoy the great Kansai outdoors while keeping a safe distance from other people.
🌳Kansai Outdoors: Wakayama🌳
Of all the odd rock formations dotted along the Koza river, the Ichimai-iwa Monolith is the largest and has been designated as a Natural Monument of Japan. This 500-meter-wide monolith that rises out of the depths of the river to a height of 100 meters, was created through wind erosion of rhyolite. The reddish-brown monolith with a seamless and crack-free surface looks like a screen. The area around the rock is a natural park that includes facilities such as walkways, canoes and campsites.
Cape Shionomisaki is located on the southernmost point of Honshu. Here, you can find a campground, Shionomisaki Lighthouse and an observation platform where you can enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.
Access: From JR Kushimoto Station, take the Kumano Kotsu Bus. Get off at Shionomisaki bus stop and it is a short walk away.
Information: Around The Area
Daimonzaka is an old route representing and symbolizing Kumano Kodo, as it has been bustling with people who paid pilgrimage to the three main Kumano shrines. Near the Daimonzaka bus stop is a path leading to the town built around Kumano Nacho Taisha. On both sides of the 600-meter long, moss-covered stone stairs is a long avenue of cedars. Only light that is filtered through the trees shines, so it is dark even during midday. Traces of Kumano Kodo still remains in this historical path. It is about a 40-minute walk to Nachi Taisha. The Meoto-sugi cedar trees (married couple cedar trees) that stand at the entrance of Daimonzaka, is said to be about 800 years old.
Access: From (JR Line) Kii-Katsuura station, take the Kumano Kotsu bus bound for Nachisan Daimonzaka. After getting off the bus, it is a 5 minute walk away
Information: Around The Area
🌳Kansai Outdoors: Osaka🌳
This gorge connects to the headwaters of the Akuta River, and offers stunning views completed with cliffs, unique rock formations, and waterfalls. There is a path running along the gorge that serves as a hiking trail and offers spectacular scenery to enjoy differently in every season. From the cherry blossoms in spring, the bright greens of summer to vibrant colors in the fall. The area around the gorge is particularly famous for its cherry blossoms. There are several hot spring inns nearby as well.
🌳Kansai Outdoors: Nara🌳
Mt. Nijo is located on the border of Nara and the Kawachi area of Osaka. It was once called Mt. Futakami, as the view of the sunset behind the peak, particularly from the Nara side, was so beautiful that people thought it must be a sacred portal to the Western Pure Land. Near the peak of Odake is the tomb of Emperor Otsu, son of Emperor Tenmu who was executed on charges of rebellion by Emperor Jito. The peak of Medake has been made into a park, and is also popular for its hiking trails.
Access: Nijojinja-guchi Station offers convenient access to Otake, while Taimadera Station gets you to Medake.
🌳Kansai Outdoors: Kyoto🌳
Kinun Gorge runs from the Kiyo Falls to Takao, while the point up to the river junction downstream is called Kinrei Gorge. The path developed along the river has been named the Tokai Nature Path and is known as a hiking route. The Kinun Gorge route is approximately 4 km. Hikers can enjoy not only the fall foliage, but also cherry blossoms, wisteria, and new greenery. Since it is a trail on the Tokai Nature Path, a good course to walk is from Takao → Kinun Gorge → Kiyo Falls → Kinrei Gorge → Hozu Gorge.
Access: From Kyoto Station, take the JR Takao Keihoku Line bus to Yamashiro Takao.
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