Part 1 – climbing to the top of Mount Ikoma!
Since I started to teach in the Smith’s school of English in Fuse, Higashi-Osaka, I have been looking out of the schools window. It gives me a great view over Higashi-Osaka city with the beautiful Mount Ikoma in the background.
The mountain is not too high, so it is not difficult to climb. Also, there are many well-signed routes up. Many of the English conversation students here at the Fuse school have already climbed it, so I always wanted to try.
Early in February I finally did. It was quite cold, but there was no wind. It was the perfect day to climb Mount Ikoma. I decided to cross over to Ikoma city in Nara and maybe visit Les at his Smith’s school of English in Ikoma. I got on the Kintetsu train in Fuse station, right next to the Smith’s school of English in Fuse. With the semi express I reached Kintetsu Hiraoka station in only 11 minutes. First I visited the famous Hiraoka shrine (Japanese link) It is a beautiful shrine is in the mountainside of Mount Ikoma.
From Hiraoka shrine, I chose one of the many trails up the mountain. Soon, I could enjoy the great view over Osaka. The well maintained trail leads through the forest, so it is a very beautiful and peaceful hike. After about one hour, I got tired and doubted if it really had been such a good idea to climb Mount Ikoma. But when I reached the peak, all doubt was gone. I enjoyed the view and my Bento at the amusement park on the top.