Takatsuki Walks : A Trek to Kabusanji Temple

My second trip to Japan started from Kansai Region which located at the middle of Honshu Island, the largest island in Japan. My flight was booked 6 months ago prior to travel schedule through Jetstar airline from Manila to Osaka.

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Landing at Kansai International Airport

From the time I landed in Kansai International Airport. I knew that I have to plan my day. I had rough plan where to go, but I was not in the mood to be in a busy area where most tourist go, so I checked the other itineraries that I had in my phone while walking inside the airport. After passing immigration area, I picked-up the pocket WiFi I rented together when I bought Japan Rail Pass at JAL ABC counter at Terminal 1. And then I connect to the internet immediately. I withdraw few thousand yen as my initial budget. While sitting in waiting area as I was checking my phone within the Terminal 1, I heard my name was being called. And the call was repeated. I felt nervous that time, I wondered why they calling my name. Then, I went to the information and I told them my name was called. Then, they presented my blue wallet where my old passport was and other stuff. That was the time I realized I was missing of it. Then, they requested me some ID and I presented my current passport. I was very thankful that my stuff was returned to me. It was a relief. It was the second time during my travel in Japan, that a lost item returned to me. I remembered my jacket of my father which also lost in Narita Airport in Tokyo after we passed the immigration area last 2015, which also returned to us. Japan has great credibility in terms of helping someone who lost something.

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Nankai Line Limited Express Rapi:t train

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Kansai Airport Station

After my wallet incident, I checked everything and when felt settled, I went outside the terminal and walked towards Kansai-airport Station. I bought ticket to reach my hotel first as my week JR Pass is not yet activated. I took Nankai Line Limited Express Rapi:t train from Terminal 1 to Namba Station in Osaka, it stopped at Shin-Imamiya Station where my hotel that I booked for 3 nights in the city was located.

I was able to use my Agoda points to have an affordable single room in the city. The accommodation is quite expensive during my travel in Japan because it’s Spring-Summer season. I arrived to my intended Station and looked for my accommodation which is just few steps from JR Shin-Imamiya Station, the Hotel Shin-Imamiya. At the hotel, I approached the hotel lobby and talked to the customer officers and informed them that I will leave my luggage since it still early for my check-in. Instead of waiting for my check-in time,  I started exploring the city.

I left the hotel still thinking what to do for that day. And I go back to my notes of tentative plan while in Osaka in my phone. I have this notes of climbing or hiking which is away from Osaka metropolis. I found the itinerary of climbing a bit to the temple though there are other trekking trails available but I just decided to do a bit of trekking up only to the Buddhist temple. I followed the instructions mentioned in the website how to get there.

I used one of my pasmo cards that I brought which I bought during my first trip in Japan with my family last 2015. I told the gate officer that I wanted to top-up my card and they allowed me to get in so I can top-up my card. Then after topping up, I went back to the gate and started using it. Then, I transferred to the JR gate which was wrong because I entered the first gate is Nankai Line which different from JR Lines, one of the things not to mix with train line. My card alarmed which I don’t understand at first then I approached the gate with officer so they can check my recently topped-up card. And they fix it in just few seconds.

I took JR Osaka Loop Line train and transferred at Osaka station. Next, I took rapid train JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station. I walked from train station to the bus terminal (JR Takatsuki ekikita Bus Stop) just outside the JR station. At first I got a challenge which bus that I should take. Looking at the bus numbers and my google maps, I was quite confused. Even though I don’t speak Japanese, I still tried to asked help while speaking in English. I showed to them the website that I was looking for and showed them the temple photo and they seem to understand, I am telling them the name of the bus stop based on the Google Map information I had.  The Japanese seems to understand which place that I wanted to go and the one I was talking to, talked to the bus driver that I got in and I felt he told him where he can drop me off.

While inside the bus, I used Google maps with enabling GPS in my phone. It helped me to track where I am at the moment and I will know if I am near the bus top that I should be getting off.  I always check the screen near the driver as it tells me exactly the next bus stop. I got-off at Kabusanguchi Bus Stop. Then, I found myself in a small town which located and surrounded by hills and farms. And the temple that I was looking for is located in one of the hills. I crossed the road and I walked following the tracks using Google Directions in my phone.

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At Kabusanguchi Bus Stop

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The map I saw after crossing the road

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The unknown road that I took towards the mountain

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A spot where I found the First Trail (not in the picture) as start of walking / trekking trail to Kabusanji Temple

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The shortest walking trail to Kabusanji Temple – First Trail

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One of the lasting Azalea flower

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Mountain Gate (Torii Gate) towards Kabusanji Temple – Second Trail

There are two walking trails available to reach Kabusanji Temple that I saw. First is walking trail only for people and another one starting from the Mountain Gate or Torii Gate where vehicles can pass through as well. These two trails will combine to the mountain road towards the temple before reaching the parking lot. Since I hesitated to take the shortest trail, I ended up following the longest trail where the Mountain Gate is. Along the way, I saw some people who do regular exercise and coming down from the mountain.  Then, some few cars going the same directions that I was which is going up to the temple.

The walk was not arduous since I mostly walk in the road which I can say a gradual climb to the temple. While I was walking, I was wondering, what I was thinking and did the trekking by myself. Then, I answered my own question, I just wanted to go to the place where few people is visiting. But because I wanted to do a trekking, even though my destination is a temple of another faith, I still pushed the plan, not only because I wanted to hike a bit, but to see the place,  nature and its surroundings.

Based from official website of Osaka, check here, the temple named Kabusanji Temple has been in the mountain for over 1300 years and there was a belief that the dragons are said to live. Well different faith has different beliefs when it comes to mountains. Even myself has another way to view about mountains.

I passed the parking lot, which means that I was halfway distance to the temple. Before I reached the gate of the temple, I saw a cafeteria just beside it. And there were few people in the cafeteria and looking at me which seems wondering why a foreigner like me was there in the first place.

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Niomon (With Koimainu – statue pairs of lion-like creatures guarding the entrance and Gate of Deva – A Deva King image is enshrined in this gate)

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Around the temple gate

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Temple Cafeteria

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To Honzanji Trail (Right Side Road)

I continued my walk until I found a familiar structure nearby, I knew that I already found the one that I was looking for as I had seen the gate of the temple that I saw in internet. I took a couple of photos of surrounding areas where I had seen a cafeteria not far from Niomon or Main Gate. I entered the gate where a pair of Koinamu displayed at both sides and the Gate of Deva.

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King Deva at Niomon (Main Gate)

I explored the surroundings as I entered the Niomon or Main Gate. And in every couple of steps that I made, I took photos. I crossed with few people on my walks whom visited the temple mostly for prayers and not for touristm as what I do. Within the temple I saw sub-temples or buildings.

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Jakujo-in Temple (Left) and stairs towards Hondo

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Kejyo-in

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Hotoin

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On the way to Hondo

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Mizuko Jizo

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Before reaching Hondo

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Hondo (Main Hall)

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Shakado

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Kaisando

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Kannondo

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Reihoin

I walked around the temple, without knowing if I am doing something bad while I was there. Based on the information I got, from official tourism website of Osaka, the main temple has the Buddha, but because I have to make reservation and pay to enter and see it, I was not able to see it. I am not a Buddhist so I just quietly walk around the garden of the main building.

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Jakujo-in Temple

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Jakujo-in Temple Garden

While returning to the bus stop. I took sometime to appreciate the farm area. And the mountains that surrounds the small town. For me, the scenery is very relaxing.

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Remote town of Takatsuki with farms

My next destination was still around Takatsuki area which is to see Akutagawa River, the famous place during cherry blossom season but because its late spring, no cherry flower can be seen, even though that was the case, I followed the information since I was around the city.

While at Kabu sanguchi, I looked for the bus stop sign, but I cannot find it. I am trying to find the same sign of the bus stop that I got off  at the other side, when I went to the Kabusanji Temple. But I was having a hard time to find it. I approached the old Japanese man and asked him if he can help me find the bus stop sign. Then, he looked for it and he cannot find it as well. So he called the younger male and even asked for help to find the bus stop. I was ashamed a bit because I knew that I bothered these people but, they helped me to find the bus stop sign. The reason I cannot find the bus stop sign is because the sign is dusty and stands in not so noticeable spot. That explains why I cannot find it immediately, the young male even told me what time bus will arrive. I was very thankful to them, I just told them “Sumimasen” saying sorry politely as I bothered them by asking for help.

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Kabusanguchi Bus Stop towards JR Takatsuki Station

I waited for the bus and after 5-10 minutes, I took the next bus came and then I got off at Hattori bus stop. Like the same thing that I do, I looked for Google Maps and tried to look for the destination that I wanted to be which is Akutagawa River. I walked a lot already so I planned that the Akutagawa River to be my last destination to enjoy in the area even though there are still 2 more suggested places to see in Takatsuki.

I walked from Hattori bus stop and I turned right and follow the directions that Google Maps it telling me. One thing that I enjoyed about the walk even though I started to feel exhausted with my feet were the flowing water that are soothing to the ears. The sound is very natural and that’s what the website tells me as well. Though I still don’t see the river, I can really feel that it’s just nearby. I found the river and there I took some photos and rested a bit.

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Akutagawa River

Then, I walked back to the bus stop that I can possibly hopped on that will send me back to Takatsuki Station. When I reached Takatsuki Station, I walked a bit in the nearby station before going back to my hotel and end my day since I haven’t got much sleep as I traveled early in the morning.

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Near Al Plaza beside Takatsuki Station

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Takatsuki Bus Stop and Takatsuki Station

Tips :

There are two things that I usually used during my trip in Japan, visit Hyperdia.com and Google Maps to see where I am and its Directions to see how I will go to the specific destination that I wanted to be. Google Maps information seems to be reliable when I checked Hyperdia specifically for the next trains that I can hopped-on.

Notes :
Plan to visit Takatsuki City ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Takatsuki :
1. Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
Official Website : Takatsuki City

Plan to visit Kabusanji Temple? Please check latest information here.
Location : 3360 Hara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1051, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Kabusanji Temple :
1. Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
2. Take bus Haraohashi 53 and get off at Kabu Sanguchi Bus Stop
3. Follow the walking trails from bus stop to Kabusanji Temple
4. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Kabusanji Temple

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