Mt. Kongo (a mountain between Nara Prefecture and Osaka Prefecture) (金剛山 (金剛山地))
Mt. Kongo (also known as Kongo mountain range) is a mountain located between Gose City, Nara Prefecture and Chihaya Akasaka Village, Minamikawachi County, Osaka Prefecture.
It is 1,125 meters high. The exact top of the mountain is located on the hill at the back of Honden (main shrine) of Katsuragi-jinja Shrine in Gose City and it is a forbidden zone. Therefore, the open field of the Kunimi-jo Castle site is regarded as a mountaintop. It is the highest mountain peak in Osaka Prefecture, and the highest peak of the prefecture (1,056 meters) is located at the half way up of this mountain.
It is located within Kongo Ikoma Kisen Quasi-National Park. It boasts the large number of climbers, which is one of the foremost in Japan, equivalent to that of Mt. Fuji. Kongo-san Ropeway which connects the point in the foot of a mountain in Osaka Prefecture side and the mountaintop, is the only cable way operated by a village in Japan.
It is known for frost-covered trees which can be viewed in winter. From the Edo period through until 1964, koyadofu (freeze-dried bean curd) was greatly produced along the foot of the mountain, taking advantage of the winter cold.
Mt. Kongo and EN no Gyoja (A semi-legendary holy man noted for his practice of mountain asceticism during the second half of the seventh century)
Mt. Kongo is known as a mountain where EN no Gyoja, the founder of mountain asceticism, who started practicing at the age of 16 when it was 1,300 years ago, and visited sacred mountains across the country, practiced mountain asceticism. In the vicinity of the mountaintop, there is Tenporin-ji Temple (Gose City) (Daigoha school of Shingonshu sect, Grand Head Temple of Katsuragi Shugendo [Katsuragi Mountain Ascetic]). Katsuragi-jinja Shrine (Gose City) where Hitokoto nushi (Japanese ancient god) as an enshrined deity is worshipped is nearby.
On July 7, the death anniversary of EN no Gyoja, in every year, Renge Matsuri (Lotus Flower Festival) was held by Tenporin-ji Temple, whose principal image is Hoki Bosatsu and by Katsuragi-jinja Shrine where Hitokotonushi no Okami is worshipped, which is syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism and is a rare case.
Mt. Kongo and Masashige KUSUNOKI
In the vicinity of Mt. Kongo, historic sites that are associated with Masashige including Chihaya-jo Castle which used to be the castle of Masashige KUSUNOKI, a hero of Taiheiki (The Record of the Great Peace), Kamiakasaka-jo Castle, sites of Shimoakasaka-jo Castle, and his birth place are scattered. In Kanshin-ji Temple which was a family temple of Masashige KUSUNOKI, there is a record that shows that Masashige spent his boyhood at Kanshin-ji Temple.
The number of climbing Mt. Kongo
Today, Mt. Kongo has a recording system of the number of climbing the mountain, which is rarely used in other mountains. If you become a member, you get stamps which indicate the number of climbing on the mountaintop each time you climb the mountain. Climbers who climbed over 100 times are awarded on May 3 in every year. So far, the climber who climbed 10,000 times is the person who has the best record. Even you climb the mountain every day, over 25 years are required to achieve 10,000 times. In the past, you got several stamps in a day, and currently, you can get one stamp in a day.
Since it is 60 minute-car ride from the Osaka City, it is known as a mountain for health and for counting the number of climbing. A number of people visit and climb the mountain everyday before work in the morning and after work in the evening.
Novels set in Mt. Kongo
Utsunomiko: The novel originally written by Keisuke FUJIKAWA
The view from Mt. Kongo
The site of Kunimi-jo Castle (the open field of the mountaintop) has a view of Osaka-wan Bay. As weather permits, Akashi-Kaikyo Ohashi Bridge may be clearly viewed.
At the viewing platform, Kansai International Airport, followed by Awaji-shima Island on the Osaka Prefecture side could be clearly viewed. Nara Basin, followed by Mt. Omine, on the Nara Prefecture side can be viewed.
Take Chihaya Line of Kongo motor Co., Ltd. at the Tondabayashi Station of Kintetsu Nagano Line.
Get on the bus, 'Chihaya Ropeway-mae bound' and get off at 'Kongo Tozanguchi' (the starting point to Kongo-san Mountain ascent) bus stop or at the last stop, 'Chihaya Ropeway mae.'
Get on the bus, 'Kongo Tozanguchi bound,' and get off at the last stop, 'Kongo Tozanguchi.'
From Kawachinagano Station of Nankai-Koya Line or Kintetsu Nagano Line, take the bus on Kobuka Route of Nankai Bus Co., Ltd., 'Kongosan Ropeway mae bound' (8 or 11 system), and get off at 'Kongo Tozanguchi' bus stop or at the last stop, 'Kongosan Ropeway mae.'
First order triangulation point
Name of the survey point: 'Kongo-san' (Mt. Kongo)
Latitude: 34 degrees 25 minutes 1 second.1818
Longitude: 135 degrees 40 minutes 38 second.3380
Altitude: 1112.08 meters high
Address: 475 Aza Katsuragidake, Oaza Takama, Gose City, Nara Prefecture
Information for nearby spots
Chihaya-jo Castle site
Chihaya Enchi Park, Osaka Prefecture People's Forest