#014 – ROKKO-SAN
#015 – MAYA-SAN
On a cold, December morning, as the year drew to a close, we headed out Kobe way to Mount Rokko – the backdrop to the city squeezed in between mountain and sea.
A thin veil of cloud slunk across the early morning pale blue yonder as hikers milled outside Ashiya-gawa Station, one of the popular start points for heading up into the Rokko Mountains.
We opted for a bus ride up into the hills, passing through suburbia that clung to precarious looking ground. Memories of the Great Hanshin Earthquake still linger across Kansai, but I surmised the views out over Osaka Bay outweighed residents’ concerns of slip sliding away off the hillside.
Warmed up with a vending machine can of hot coffee, The Missus, The Kid and I set off into the quiet, brown woodland.
Success came easy and within a couple of hours or so we’d topped out on Rokko, a mountain shoved upwards by near on half a foot when the Hanshin quake struck back in 1995.
“We can make Maya before nightfall,” I said double checking the map. The way on would take us through the mountaintop township and, on a chilly, greying day like that, the sun nothing more that a cold white splodge in the sky, the prospect of hunting down a steaming curry rice was too much to resist.
After said lunch was well settled in our bellies the walk to Maya-san was more tarmac trudge than anything else. An uninspiring affair to say the least. But, the fact we’d knocked off our first doubleheader was a spirit lifter nonetheless.
Two years on the Kinkan trail, we quietly closed the ledger for the season. The tally: 15 mountains down; a measly 117 to go…