Beautiful azaleas which people wait in line to see at a plateau create natural beauty in each season
Mt. Katsuragi stands between Osaka and Nara and is 959.7 m tall. It is located in Kongo-Ikoma-Kisen Quasi-National Park and has a gentle plateau where you can enjoy easy hiking from the top of the mountain to the southern slope. There are two courses: Kujiranotaki course and Kitaone course. On Kujiranotaki course, there is Mt. Katsuragi ropeway from the starting point for climbing at the foot to near the top of the mountain.
In May, azaleas cover the entire plateau and turn it bright pink. Their contrast with surrounding green leaves is spectacular. Many tourists visit the mountain at that time every year. During peak hours from 10:00 to 14:00, it is very crowded, even on week days. For example, there is a queue of cars outside the parking lots, and people have to wait for a few hours to get on the ropeway. Be sure to make plans to avoid crowded situations, for example, by staying at a lodge on the previous day.
From spring to summer, jewel-like flowering grasses, such as raspberries and violets, blossom one after another. In summer, gold-banded lilies have a sweet frangrance in cool air. In fall, Japanese pampas grass spikes turn the entire area at the top of the mountain gold. In winter, ice crystals like glassworks decorate trees. The environment on Mt. Katsuragi enables you to take part in leisure activities in the blessings of nature during any season, for example, by admiring lovely wild birds through bird-watching or taking a paragliding lesson.
Address: Kujira, Gose City, Nara
Phone: 0745-62-3001 (Gose City Hall)
Directions: 15 minutes from Kintesu-Gose Station (1 hour and 30 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station) by a Nara-kotsu Bus (bound for Mt. Katsuragi-Ropeway); get off at the last stop, then walk for 6 minutes to Katsuragi-Tozanguchi Station and ride the Mt. Katsuragi-Ropeway to Sanjyo Station. From there, it is a 15 minute walk to Mt. Katsuragi. (Car) 40 minutes from the Kashiwara Interchange on the Nishi-Meihan Highway.