Enjoy the best of nature approx. 90 min from Umeda, Osaka, in the mountain resorts of Mt. Rokko and Myoken Forest!

2020.12.01

Osaka may be the largest city in the Kansai region, but if you hop on public transit, you can reach areas full of nature in about 90 minutes.
Here we'll be introducing two mountain resorts: Mt. Rokko, and Myoken Forest.

If you travel through Umeda, Osaka's largest shopping area, you'll have no need to bring along a bunch of outdoor gear before you set out.
Put together everything you need in Umeda and head out into nature!

Shops to check out before you head out into nature!

Columbia/MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR

This outdoor gear shop was renovated and relocated on September 18th, 2020. It carries clothing, shoes, and other items for all kinds of outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, trekking, climbing, winter sports, and more. The GRAND FRONT OSAKA location carries items from multibrands, including Columbia, MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR, SOREL, and Columbia montrail, to suit a variety of needs.

Mall: GRAND FRONT OSAKA SHOPS & RESTAURANTS
Floor: Minami-kan (South Building) 4th Floor
Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
*Some business hours may have altered.

Marmot

Marmot is a brand that earnestly pursues comfort in the outdoor field, as with its adoption of Gore-Tex®, the first in the outdoor world to do so. It has also continued to receive the trust of customers across the world as an alpine brand that aims to create a sustainable environment.

Mall: GRAND FRONT OSAKA SHOPS & RESTAURANTS
Floor: Minami-kan (South Building) 5th Floor
Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
*Some business hours may have altered.

GATE2 FIELDER’S CHOICE

Why not stock up on some healthy food before heading out for an active day in nature?
At GATE2, you can enjoy large salads made with fresh vegetables brought in from the market daily. The menu includes regular salad bowls, as well as the option to choose your own ingredients and make your own original salad bowl. You can also add an optional rice bowl mixed with 16-grain rice or a tortilla wrap. There is also a vegan menu.
Salads will be prepared in front of you once you make your order. If you're in a hurry or have a large order, you can also place your order in advance.
Takeout is of course available, as is eating at an in-shop counter or terrace seating.

Mall: GRAND FRONT OSAKA SHOPS & RESTAURANTS
Floor: Minami-kan (South Building) 1st Floor
Business Hours: Weekdays 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. / Weekends & Holidays 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
*Some business hours may have altered.

Mount Rokko

Mount Rokko is a mountain belt stretching along the west to the north side of the city of Kobe. The area is designated as a national park, and it's full of rich natural surroundings, including the shifting plants and flowers of the four seasons, and many animals and birds.
Mount Rokko developed as a place of leisure beginning in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), and is beloved by Kansai area residents to this day as a mountain resort. Because Mount Rokko was developed by Westerners living in Japan, the mountain has the perfect fusion of Japanese nature and Western leisure styles that hadn't existed in Japan until that time.
There are several observatories near the summit where visitors can look out on the cityscape between Osaka and Kobe, as well as the Setouchi Sea.

To reach Mount Rokko from Umeda, Osaka, first head to Hankyu Rokko Station, JR Rokko-michi Station, or Hanshin Mikage Station by train, and then take public transportation to Rokko Cable-shita Station.

Rokko Cable Car

Climb through the green to the top of the mountain in this classic, retro cable car. In autumn, you can also enjoy the beautiful colored leaves. It's a moment of excitement not to be missed when the ascending and descending cable cars pass one another.
Also be sure to check out Rokko Sanjo Station, which retains its original appearance from 1932, as well as the conductor's charming uniform!

Same service on weekdays, weekends, and holiday
First run of the day: Runs every 20 minutes from 7:40 a.m. to 8:40 p.m.
Final run time: 9:10 p.m. for both upward and downward bound cars Rider Fees
Adults (over 12 years old) 600 yen one way, 1,100 yen both ways
Children (over 6 years old and under 12) 300 yen one way, 550 yen both ways
*Prices as of September, 2020 (Currently)

Rokko Music Box Museum

With the oldest made in 1830, this museum houses a collection of truly precious music boxes.
At the museums regular concerts, you can enjoy not only a demonstration of the music boxes, but a chance to learn about their history and inner workings. There are also special concerts that use the music boxes to tell a story.
In the Rokko Music Box Museum, there's also a music box workshop that implements the kind of research and technology you'd expect of a museum, where visitors can try their hand at making their own music boxes.
The staff will show you what to do with passion and patience, so even first-timers can participate with ease. It's a really memorable experience to change the tone of the music box with your own hands.

For meals and rest-stops, enjoy the Viennesse-style menu at the Strauss Café. You can enjoy taking in the greenery through its large window, and if the weather is good, you should definitely try sitting on the terrace seating in the garden to get the most of Mount Rokko's natural surroundings.
The cake set is a popular menu item, which can be enjoyed at your leisure with a drink. The chef's hamburg steaks and curry are authentic menu items, as well.

Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Reception closes at 4:20 p.m.)

Business hours will change to the following for the special event "The Night Museum - An Art-filled Nighttime Stroll."
10/17 (Sat), 18 (Sun), 24 (Sat), 25 (Fri), 31 (Sat), everyday from 11/1 (Sun) - 23 (Mon, national holiday)
Time:
Mon - Fri until 6:30 p.m. (Reception closes at 6:00 p.m.)
Weekends & Holidays until 7:30 p.m. (Reception closes at 7:00 p.m.)
*Museum opens at 11:00 a.m. on weekdays from 11/9 (Mon) - 20 (Fri).
Entrance Fee: Adults (Middle school age and above) 1,050 yen/Children (Age 4 to elementary school age) 530 yen
*As of September, 2020 (Currently)

Museum closed: Thursdays, January 1st
*The museum may be opened on some Thursdays.

[ Strauss Café ]
Business Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Last order at 4:00 p.m.)
Closed on days during which the Rokko Music Box Museum is closed.

Mount Rokko Country House

With a large lawn in the middle, this is a space where you can run around as much as you'd like. There is playground equipment for families, including tramplines, sledding, pedal boats in the pond, and full-scale obstacle courses. Rokko Country House can also be used for a wide range of purposes such as team-building training activities.
The restaurant, Alpen Rosa, has a halal-friendly menu, and visitors can use the prayer room if they apply in advance.
In winter, you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the area when it becomes Mt. Rokko Snow Park. Ski lessons are also offered in English. Please contact the facility about English ski lessons in advance.

Rokko Country House
Entrance Fee: Adults 700 yen, Children 350 yen
*As of September, 2020
Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Reception closes at 4:30 p.m.)
Closed on: Thursdays (Operates on holidays, during summer vacation, and some other time periods)
Rokko Country House will cease operating for 2020 on November 23rd. Mount Rokko Snow Park will begin operating on November 14th, so please check the website for business hours.

Mount Rokko Genghis Khan Palace

This "genghis khan" (the name for a Japanese dish with mutton and vegetables) specialty restaurant re-opened in the spring of 2020. Enjoy chatting and grilling a teppan barbecue full of healthy lamb meat, world-famous Kobe beef, and seafood. From seats arranged in a circle, you can overlook the cityscape of Kobe and Osaka, the Seto Inland Sea, and enjoy the nightscape when it gets dark.

9/1 (Tue) - 11/23 (Mon, national holiday)
Weekdays: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Last order / 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Last order
Weekends & Holidays: 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Last order
*Last order for lunch on weekends, holidays, and weekdays is at 2:00 p.m.
No regular closing day
Regular closing days will be observed during winter

Rokko Shidare Observatory

This observatory was designed by world-reknowned architect Hiroshi Sanbuichi, who created the building with theme of architecture becoming a part of the earth. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the Akashi Strait, the Osaka Plain, and Kansai International Airport through a frame made from carefully selected cypress trees from Yoshino Forest in Nara Prefecture, as well as a $10 million nightscape.
It's also a delight to see the sunlight filtering through the frame of the structure, as if it was filtering through the leaves and branches of a real cypress tree.
The observatory itself is also made of cypress, and the temperature inside the building is kept constant throughout the year using the chimney effect of the structure, and the natural vaporization heat of ice, rather than mechanical air conditioning. The sight of the sky from within the observatory is also something completely unique. You feel as if you're completely surrounded by nature.
At night, the structure is illuminated with LED lights that beautifully reflect the four seasons on Mount Rokko, allowing visitors to enjoy a different sort of beauty here at night.

Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Reception closes at 8:30 p.m.)
*Will be closed on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in 2021
*Shortened business hours during winter
Different illuminations can be seen in each of the seasons.
Take a look at the year-long schedule on the observatory website: https://www.rokkosan.com/gt/shidare/?lang=en
*Subject to change due to weather/season.
*Business times will change in the event of poor weather.
Entry Fee: Adults (Middle school age and older) 310 yen / Children (4 years - Elementary school age) 210 yen

"Lightscape in Rokko"

"Lightscape in Rokko" is a light-up event that uses the latest LED technology to create over 10 million colors and light up the entire observatory from within with light that is extremely close to natural light. You can enjoy this incredible light spectacle together with the $10 million nighttime view from Mount Rokko.

Myoken Forest

Located at the Mount Myoken's summit, Myoken Forest has flourished since the Edo Period (1603-1868) with pilgrims to its temple, Nosé Myoken-zan.
In 1925, a cable car opened on the mountain, making it easier to access the summit.
The area has long been famous for its production of high-quality charcoal, and because it is considered the perfect woodland area in Japan for these items so vital to people's daily lives (the charcoal and firewood needed for heating), it is also known for its periodical use in logging.
To access the forest from Umeda, Osaka, head to Kawanishi Noséguchi Station from Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station, and then take Nosé Electric Railway towards Myoken-guchi.
Alternatively, if you ride towards Nissei-chuo, you can change trains at Yamashita Station to head towards Myoken-guchi.
Take a bus from Myoken-guchi Station to Kurokawa Station, the Myoken Forest cable car.

Cable Car

This cable car covers an elevation of 223 m in 5 minutes. The slope it covers looks impossibly steep when looking up from below.
It's perfect for enjoy all the beauty of nature in every season, from the cherry blossoms in spring to the green of summer, and the colorful leaves of autumn.

[ April - October ]
Weekends & National Holidays: 9:20 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

[ November - March ]
Weekends & National Holidays: 9:20 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

One-way Adults 360 yen, Children (elementary school age) 180 yen
Round-trip Adults 700 yen, Children (elementary school age) 350 yen
*May close during winter

Polaris Entrance Station (Artwork)

Nosé Myoken-zan, the temple at the mountain's summit, is a shrine to the star Polaris. In connection with the temple, Nosé Electric Railway and the artist Takahiro Suzuki created this "station" for a train heading to Polaris.
We may not know when the next train will arrive, but this station itself will remain here forever as part of the scenery. It's the perfect spot to take some unique photos on top of the rails that you just won't be able to take anywhere else.

Cygnus Forest Train

This mini rail car was handmade by workers from Nosé Electric Railway. The train is operated by a driver who runs the train from a control room. The controls and the train, which could easily be mistaken for a real train, are well worth a look. The train is popular with children, but can also be ridden by adults.
Visitors can enjoy taking in the rich natural surroundings as they ride along on this little rail car.

Business Hours: Sat, Sun, holidays 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (Times change depending on the season)
*May be unable to operate depending on the weather.
*Closed on weekdays.
Price: Adults 300 yen, Children (Over 3 years) 200 yen

Myoken Forest Lift

When the weather is nice, you can get a panoramic view of Osaka Bay, where spring cherry blossoms, summer hydrangea, and autumn cosmos bloom beautifully. For about 12 minutes, you can take a walk in the air.

Business Hours
[ April - October ]
Weekdays: 10:10 a.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Weekends & Holidays: 9:30 a.m. - 5:20 p.m.
[ November - March ]
Weekdays: 10:10 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.
Weekends & Holidays: 9:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
*Varies by season.
*Closed in winter

Nosé Myoken-zan Temple (Main Hall)

The worship of Polaris at this temple on Mount Myoken can be traced back to the year 750. It's a temple with an incredibly long history. It has been visited by many pilgrims with deep beliefs since the Edo Period (1603-1868). The buildings in the temple complex stand just as they did in the Edo Period.
One of the sights at this temple are its eight horse statues. It is said that the eight stars of the Big Dipper ("the Plough") and Little Dipper ("the Horseman") protect Polaris. Since ancient times, it has also been said that dedicating horses to the Buddhist gods is beneficial, and there was a custom of dedicating horses to make sure one's wishes came true. It is because of these practices and beliefs that Myoken-zan Temple has eight horses to protect it. It's a bit difficult to find all eight, but see if you can!
When viewed from above, the Hoshimine ("Star Peak") congregation hall forms the star-shaped symbol of the temple, and when you look down from the summit, you'll also be able to see a wonderful view of Osaka Bay.
If you make a reservation in advance, you can also try your hand at copying sutras and tracing Buddhist images.
*Available only in Japanese.

Entrance Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Myoken Forest Barbecue Terrace

Enjoy delicious Japanese beef at a reasonable price at this barbecue spot. All the ingredients and equipment are provided, so visitors can arrive empty-handed. The barbecue itself uses local charcoal, which is known for its long-lasting fires. Visitors who wish to bring in their own ingredients may also do so.
There are even comfortable covered terrace seating areas. Beer and soft drinks are also made available.
Enjoying a barbecue with your friends and family in the dappled sunlight is the perfect way to relax.

Advance reservations are required for barbecues.

[ Entry Fee ]
Adults 600 yen / Children 300 yen (Elementary school-age) / Young Children Free

[ Example Menu ]
Set of Kameoka black beef sirloin and boneless rib
3,000 yen for one person
80g sirloin, 80g boneless rib, vegetables, sausages, sauce, charcoal, paper plates, chopsticks
*Includes entry fee
*Other menu items available

*A separate entry fee will be required for those bringing their own food.
*Aside from meat, seafood, vegetables, and fried yakisoba noodles can also be made available.
*A facility use fee is required separately from the entry fee and food sets.

Outdoor Obstacle Course

There is also an outdoor obstacle course in the barbecue terrace area, so children also have space to play.
We also recommend taking a break from your barbecue and enjoying the view from the observation deck.
On clear days, you can even see to Osaka Bay!
For more information, see here: https://noseden.hankyu.co.jp/chottabi/en/

Recommended Hotels

The two resort areas introduced here can be enjoyed on a day trip from Osaka, so we recommend visiting them from Umeda, Osaka, which is convenient for shopping, and for moving between Kansai International Airport and other parts of Kansai. You can enjoy both the outdoors and the city all on one trip!
The hotel we recommend in the Umeda, Osaka area is the Hankyu Respire Osaka, which opened in November, 2019.
Around a 3 minute walk from JR Osaka Station, and around a 5 minute walk from Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station or Osaka Metro's Umeda Station, it's located centrally in the city, and a perfect space for relaxation.

Hotel Hankyu Respire Osaka Website: https://www.hankyu-hotel.com/en/hotel/respire/osaka

Both of the mountain resorts we've introduced here, each with their own ambiance, are easily accessible from Umeda, Osaka.
These are areas full of seasonal beauty, sporty activities, scenery, and other delights different from the city, so be sure to consider adding them to your plans!

*Due to the influence of current societal conditions, some shops may have different business hours.

*Information in this article is accurate as of the date of posting. There is a possibility that details regarding these products and services have changed, or that some shops have since closed.

Coupons

All Mall Coupon

500 yen off

This coupon can be used in the following 6 shopping malls: :
GRAND FRONT OSAKA SHOPS & RESTAURANTS, HANKYU SANBAN GAI,
HEP FIVE, HERBIS PLAZA/PLAZA ENT, NU chayamachi / NU chayamachi + and Diamor Osaka