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Mt. Kongo
The highest peak in Osaka, a towering sacred mountain that stands at the cross road between Buddhism and Shintoism

The abundance of climbing routes available helps beginners feel right at home. A tourist hot spot that offers all the bounties of nature of the season

At 1,125 meters above sea level, Mt. Kongo is the highest peak of the Kongo-Katsuragi mountain range that straddles the Osaka-Nara border. This is a popular tourist destination offering visitors a chance to enjoy nature unique to each passing season, from the cherry blossoms and wild grasses and flowers of spring, to fresh greenery and the refreshing cool breeze in summer, the brilliant autumnal leaves in autumn, and the beautiful ice-covered trees in winter. The area has a number of well-kept mountain climbing routes, providing a safe, enjoyable climbing and hiking experience to both beginners and seasoned climbers alike.

Mt. Kongo has long been known as a sacred mountain that synthesizes Buddhism and Shintoism resulting from a fusion and harmony of the two. Tenporinji Temple, which stands in the vicinity of the mountain’s peak, was built in 665 by En no Gyouja, the founder of Shugendo - Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto, Buddhism, and other religious concepts. It is said that the temple was built following the construction of the Katsuragi Jinja Shrine, which enshrined Hitokotonushi no Okami, the ancestral god of En no Gyouja himself. Although the Tenporinji Temple was abandoned leaving only the Katsuragi Jinja Shrine following an ordinance issued in the Meiji Period to distinguish Shinto and Buddhism, the main hall was rebuilt in 1961. In 2011, the principle image of the temple was relocated, restoring the temple to its present form. Mt. Kongo draws many practitioners of Shugendo from all over Japan to take part in the Renge Festival, where lotus flowers are offered to En no Gyouja on the anniversary of En no Gyouja’s death, July 7.

The approach up the mountain features a number of historical landmarks and points of interest, including the Chihaya Castle ruins, where Masashige Kusunoki is said to have held off the forces of the Kamakura bakufu at the end of the Kamakura Period, the Shakunage-no-michi trail, and the Chihaya Nature and Astronomy Museum. Don’t miss out on all there is to see and do!
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  • Chihaya, Chihaya Akasaka-mura, Minamikawachi-gun, Osaka 585-0051 Japan
  • • 35 minutes by Kongo bus (heading to Chihaya Ropeway-mae) from Kintetsu Tondabayashi Station. Get off at Kongo Tozan-guchi. From there it is about a 90 minute walk to the mountain peak
    • 1 hour from the Hanshin Expressway Miyake Exit via National Route 309
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