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Abandoned JR Fukuchiyama Line is where the locomotive trains were once operating. It is not officially a hiking course.
The abandoned line of approximately 4.7 km along the valley of the Muko River has been prohibited from entering for a long time (since 1986). Although it was open to the public for hiking in 2016, it is still a non-recognized hiking course.
The railway remains, such as six tunnels and three iron bridges, remain almost unchanged since last time they were in use, and the holiday season is full of cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.
The course is flat, but there are no lights or toilets along the way. Be sure to bring a flashlight, especially in the tunnel because it is so dark that you cannot see your feet even in the daytime. Please confirm the other precautions in advance before passing through it. Since the mission as a railroad facility had been completed, it has not been improved anymore, and facilities such as bridges have become obsolete. There is a possibility of falling rocks and fallen trees. Therefore, no entry by anyone other than those involved or the installation of signboards is permitted. Before entering the tunnels, you will see the notice that in the unlikely event that an accident or other accident occurs, Japan West Railway Company are not responsible for it. It feels like a quiet easy walk during the day, but when it comes to darkness, the degree of danger and fear will increase. Please do not hike in bad weather or after sunset.
When you enter the Iwase / Nao Shio area through the abandoned line and start walking along the road, you will see the rich natural scenery of the Mukogawa Valley. You can enjoy the foliage of the thick trees and the flow of the river. If you follow the road for a while, a dark tunnel will appear.
Since there is no streetlight in the tunnel, a flashlight is a necessity. Sometimes there is water leaking above you and you may step into a "pond".
After passing through the tunnel, the second Mukogawa Bridge appears. Be careful while crossing the bridge because there are a plentiful of insects and worms that might hurt you with their shaped thorns.
You can also enjoy the cherry blossoms in the spring around Sakura Garden (Kurakusanso) in the middle of the trail.
There are toilets at both end stations but none in between so make sure you go before setting off.
Here are the access to the tunnels:
15 minutes walk from nearest station JR Fukuchiyama Line “Namaze Station” “Nishinomiyanajio Station”, 5 minutes walk from “Takedao Station”
● From JR Osaka Station (Approximately 40-45 minutes) Take the
JR Takarazuka Line / Fukuchiyama Line and get off at “Namaze Station”, “Níhinomiyanajio Station”, “Takedao Station”
● From JR Sannomiya Station (approx. 60 minutes)
Transfer to Amagasaki Station on the JR Tokaido Main Line, and get off at Namaze Station, Nishinomiyanajio Station, Takedao Station on the JR Takarazuka and Fukuchiyama Lines
Please look at the route from the JR stations to the abandoned line entrance from the link below before your trip:
It is a pleasant walking course that you can enjoy on the weekend if you want to escape from noisy Osaka for a while. There is also a hot spring near Takedao Station. Along the river, there is even ground that you can set up your tent and camp there for a BBQ party.