Over the years teaching at my Smith’s School of English in Sakai Higashi and Nakamozu which are part of the Smith’s School of English, pay by the month（月謝）, English conversation schools franchise system in Japan, I often hear my younger students mention that over the previous week their school had taken a trip to Mt Kongo (金剛山). Mt kongo is a 1125 meter high mountain in the Senshū (泉州)region of the Osaka Prefecture(大阪府), Kansai(関西), Japan(日本).
Mt. Kongo is the highest mountain in Osaka , which stretches along the border of Osaka and Nara prefectures（奈良県). Near the top are Katsuragi Shrine (葛城神社)and Temporinji Temple(転法輪寺)which En-no-gyoja(役行者), the founder of Shugendo(修験道), opened in 665. There is also the ruin of Chihaya Castle(千早城). There are many hiking routes through some great forests.
Instead of hiking from the base of the mountain I took the easy way up and caught the cable car close to the top. At the top my family and I had a packed lunch in the picnic area. Then we attacked the summit (a nice and easy 30 min each way hike to the Katsuragi Shrine). We had a rest, and enjoyed the cooler temperature and the fresh air. I always enjoy finding peaceful places such as this away from the the city. Also I was very surprised to see that the cherry blossoms were still in flower on the mountain.
I would recommend this activity for anyone wanting to escape the heat this summer. There are hiking trails to suit all levels of fitness. Take the Nankai Koya Line(南海高野線) to Kawachi Nagano Stn(河内長野駅). In front of the station a Nankai bus (南海バス)will take you to the start of a few or the hiking trails, or you can stay on the bus to the last stop for the cable car.
Enjoy exploring your area of Japan!!
Smith’s School of English Sakai Higashi and Nakamozu (スミス英会話堺東校)(スミス英会話なかもず校)
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