Mountain climbing in Osaka City!? Conquering five lowest mountains in Osaka

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Osaka City (Osaka Pref.)
Mountain climbing in Osaka City!?
Conquering five lowest mountains in Osaka

This article is based on the coverage conducted in Augast 2021. In principle, the coverage was conducted taking counter measures against Covid-19 (to wear a mask, etc.) recommended at that time in Osaka Prefecture.

The most popular tourist attraction in Osaka, “Universal Studios Japan”!
One station away from there. There are only a few people around JR Sakurajima station.
I am starting my day from this quiet end of the line. I have come here for “mountain climbing” today. Or, trail running. No, maranic (Translator’s note: marathon + picnic = maranic).
Though Osaka City is on flat land and famous for not having mountains, there are low mountains, actually.
And I’m going to climb five mountains that are especially low in one day.

First mountain - Tenpozan

I headed to Tenpozan, the lowest mountain in Japan to start with.
5-minute walk from Sakurajima station, there is Tenpozan ferry landing, and I boarded a free ferry which would take me to Minato-Ku from Konohana-Ku.
Tenpozan is visible on the opposite shore. What? Mountain?
I reached the top quickly. It’s 4.53 m high.
I met two men at the top and I had my photo taken there.
The two told me that they were going to walk “Eight lowest mountains (three mountains added to the five lowest mountains in Osaka)” in two days, starting now.
We wished good luck to all of us, and then I headed to my next destination, Tezukayama.
People cheer on me when I run along the high street and it raises my spirits.

Second mountain - Tezukayama…On the way to Tezukayama, I climbed Showazan.

I took two ferries to get to Tezukayama.
I ran the high street through the industrial area, and got to “Jinbe” ferry landing first.
I left Minato-Ku crossing the river and got to Taisho-Ku on the opposite side. Sea breeze feels nice on my sweaty body.
Taisho-Ku has many residents who are originally from Okinawa and it’s fun just walking this exotic town.
I climbed Showazan on the way, though it is not included in the five lowest mountains in Osaka.
It’s 33 m above sea level. The view is really nice.

You see the blue sky! It was 34℃. I popped in a convenience store to have some rest.
This shop, known as “Daily Okinawa”, is famous for having a variety of Okinawa products, and I bought Okinawa lime flavoured jelly! It cools down my body!
I kept running in Taisho-Ku towards west, and finally arrived at “Senbonmatsu” ferry landing. I boarded the third ferry of the day.
“Senbonmatsu ohashi” bridge looks spectacular from the ferry!
I arrived at an industrial area of Nishinari-Ku.
Since I got a bit hungry on the way to my next destination, Tezukayama, I had Osaka’s classic snack, Octopus balls, for lunch.
As soon as I entered Sumiyoshi-Ku after going through the industrial area, the scenery changed drastically. This is “Tezukayama”, one of the most famous high-end residential areas in Osaka.
Somehow, Mount Tezukayama sits in the middle of this residential area. It’s interesting that the mountain is actually an ancient burial mound.
It’s 19.88 m high. I couldn’t climb it as it was surrounded by fence, but that’s fine.
I made my way to the next destination.

Third mountain - Shotenyama

The next destination is Shotenyama.
I ran along the street which trams pass through, and Shotenyama was just around the corner.
Because its summit is precincts of Shoenji temple, I paid a visit to the temple to pray for my safety for the rest of the journey.
I, exhausted from the heat, had a revelation from the god.
“Don’t push yourself too hard. Walk.”
I’ll walk for the rest of my journey.
14 m above sea level. I reached the summit of the third mountain.

Fourth mountain - Chausuyama

I went east, and then to north along the high street that runs north and south. I’m heading to Tennoji-Ku.
Following what the god said, I caught a tram.
It’s like a train journey and it’s interesting that the scenery I’m used to seeing looks different from the tram.
I got off at “Tennoji” station. Inside the JR Tennoji station building, there is a shop called “551” that sells Osaka’s local snacks, and I bought their popular steamed pork bun and ice lolly! I had a rest on the grass at Tennoji Park.
I strolled around the park which is huge enough to have a zoo, museum, etc., then I arrived at Chausuyama.
The mountain has a simple triangular shape that makes it easy to recognise its summit. Chausuyama, 26 m above sea level. Reached the summit.

Fifth mountain - Okachiyama

I went across Shitennoji temple next to Chausuyama to go to my final destination, Okachiyama.
I bought some famous tortoise shaped sponge cakes at the shop by the Torii gate.
Munched on cute tortoise shaped sponge cakes while I watched over tortoises in the pond.
After finishing the cakes, I just walked and walked toward east.
As soon as I entered Ikuno-Ku, I could see the last mountain, Okachiyama!
This place was made as a burial mound, too, but now the southern half of it is a park and the northern half is a mountain surrounded by fence. As I couldn’t go inside, I took photos, at least.
Okachiyama, 14 m above sea level. Reached the summit.
I conquered the five lowest mountains in Osaka!
The distance I travelled today is…22 km. I travelled casually spending four hours, it was enjoyable.
Here is the summary of the places I visited this time.

Tenpozan (One of the five lowest mountains in Osaka. 4.53 m high)
The lowest mountain in Japan loved by Osaka citizens.A man-made mountain constructed by piling up earth and sand they got from riparian works in 1831, about 200 years ago. There is a park now and it is loved by locals as a place of rest and relaxation.

Showazan (33 m high)
Constructed in 1970. Located in Chishima Park (Taisho-Ku).In 1970, it was the highest place in Osaka City.

Tezukayama (One of the five lowest mountains in Osaka. 19.88 m high)
A large keyhole-shaped burial mound in Sumiyoshi-Ku. Estimated to have been constructed between 4th and 5th centuries.
The only keyhole-shaped burial mound in Osaka City that retains its original form. It is not allowed to step in.
This is a high-end residential area with history, where local ruling families have lived since that time.

Shotenyama (One of the five lowest mountains in Osaka. 14 m high)
A burial mound in Abeno-Ku.
It’s interesting that Shoenji temple (constructed in 939) stands on the mound.

Chausuyama (One of the five lowest mountains in Osaka. 26 m high)
This mountain standing at the corner of Tennoji Park is also a keyhole-shaped burial mound, it is said to have been constructed back in around 5th century.
The place is famous for once being the headquarter of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (winter campaign of the siege of Osaka) and Sanada Yukimura (summer campaign of the siege of Osaka).

Shitennoji temple
One of the oldest traditional Buddhist temples in Japan. Constructed in 593. It is said that Prince Shotoku commissioned the construction.
The temple is famous for a stone called “Omo-karu ishi (heavy-light stone)”; it is said that when you lift the stone and if it feels lighter than you expected, your wish will be granted.

Okachiyama (One of the five lowest mountains in Osaka. 14 m high)
A large keyhole-shaped burial mound in Ikuno-Ku. There is a highway across the mound as if to divide it to two.
Shogun Tokugawa Hidetada had a headquarter during winter campaign of the siege of Osaka and won, then the mountain was named 'Okachiyama (Mount Victory)”.

Osaka-shi Watashibune (Osaka municipal ferry)
It is difficult to build bridges in the cities like Osaka, where water transport is common, so the city offers free ferries for pedestrians and cyclists. There are eight routes in service around bay area.

Going to Korean Town!

Ikuno-Ku, where my final destination Okachiyama stands, is famous for having many Korean residents and there is a Korean Town.
I can’t think of any other place to celebrate the day!

So, I arrived at the Korean Town (Official name is “Miyuki dori shotengai”) after walking about 10 minutes,
Shops playing Korean music, classic Kimuchi pickles, fancy colourful sweets, trendy knick-knacks, etc., the place is packed with things. It is very lively and many of the people here are young since the Korean pop culture is established.
A lot of delicious looking foods here and there and I get destructed!
Finally, I decided to have “Yangnyeom chicken (Korean fried chicken)”! I had it with a cold drink.
The delicious chicken with sweet & sour sauce is so good!
I strolled around for a while and bought a lot of souvenirs and groceries. I’m having Korean food for diner!
The day couldn’t have been better.
All the places I visited today were very interesting and I could have spent a whole day in each spot. So, it would be nice to go there again and look around taking more time.

Introducing my Route

The sports and disciplines
of the World Masters
Games 2021 Kansai
held in the neighbourhood.

Introducing the poster


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