Mt. Katsuragi is a favorite for those seeking abundant natural beauty and fresh mountain air away from the urban centers of Kansai.
Reach Mt. Katsuragi by train and bus from Osaka, Nara, and Kyoto.
The mountain's ropeway base station, Tozanguchi Station, is most easily accessed by bus from Kintetsu Gose Station, across from JR Gose Station. Buses depart from stop three and take 15-20 minutes.
From Kyoto, take the Kintetsu Line rapid express train to Kintetsu Gose Station via Kashiharajingu-mae and Shakudo stations. The journey takes about 1 hour 35 minutes.
From Abenohashi Station in Osaka, take the Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line to Kintetsu Gose Station via Shakudo Station before taking the bus to Tozanguchi Station and the mountain ropeway.
From Nara Station take the JR line to Gose Station via Takada Station. The journey is approximately 1 hour 10 minutes. From here head to Kintetsu Gose Station, a 5-minute walk away.
Mt. Katsuragi is home to a well-maintained network of hiking trails through its verdant forests. The Kujira-no-taki course, which roughly follows the route of the cable car, passes some lovely waterfalls and takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes to the summit.
If you have another hour or two to spare, walk from Kintetsu Gose Station via the ancient shrine of Kamoyamaguchi-jinja ending at Takagamo-jinja shrine, which enables you to see more of the charming town at the foot of the mountain.
In May, azaleas transform the plateau into a stunning, deep pink hue. It is incredibly crowded during this time, and so it is worth arriving here in the evening. Stay at either the camping site or lodge at the summit and get an early start the next morning.
While the spring is the most popular period for local tourism, Mt. Katsuragi offers nature-lovers for much of the year. Flowering grasses including raspberries and violets bloom until the summer season, and the sweet fragrance of gold-banded lilies fill the air during the warmer months before the amaryllis flowers emerge in September. In winter the mountain is typically covered in snow.