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Newer Page 577 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Japan Osaka Namaze Hiking Tunnel

15 March 2014

Dont forget your torch

After a bit of a nothing day yesterday, today was a most excellent day.
The importance of having good internet on your holiday when you are me cannot be understated.
I wake up, look out the window, see blue sky, decide its a day to head somewhere to walk.
Go to google maps, trace the train lines away from my location, until I find stations near mountains.
Then start googling the station name and hike.
After about 3 minutes of searching I discovered an unofficial hike along an abandoned train track through many long tunnels, dont forget to bring a torch I was warned.
So off I set, stopping first at a station on the outskirts of Osaka (all of 10 minutes away) called Amagasaki. I only now found out that this was the site of the worst rail accident in Japan in over 50 years when 106 people were killed in 2005!

Anyway, I bought a torch from a convenience store near there, staffed by a 12 year old who helped me put in batteries and test it. She was so happy to be of assistance.
Then it was just a few more stations on the local train through idealic looking hamlets in the hills to a station called Namaze.
Once you exit that station, you have to walk along the road for a while and find a hidden turn off, then a hidden path. Without the internet you would surely need a guide to show you the way!

I took too many photos, so onto them now.

Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - This is the streets of Amagasaki where I bought my torch. Little did I know of the rail disaster at the time. Now that I think of it there was a statu

This is the streets of Amagasaki where I bought my torch. Little did I know of the rail disaster at the time. Now that I think of it there was a statue in the station, but theres lots of statues all over Japan.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - This is what the countryside looked like out the train window. I estimate the whole trip was 45 minutes from Osaka main station, and I was on a local

This is what the countryside looked like out the train window. I estimate the whole trip was 45 minutes from Osaka main station, and I was on a local train stopping all stations.
This cost under $3, and is a considerably shorter commute than many Australians would face every day. Food for thought.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Namaze is a bit of a nothing station. Near what appears to be a quarry. There is a busy highway and a shinkansen line nearby. Getting off the train wi

Namaze is a bit of a nothing station. Near what appears to be a quarry. There is a busy highway and a shinkansen line nearby.
Getting off the train with me was a troupe of boyscouts, with more gear than they could possibly carry. I thought they might be going where I was, but they set off in the other direction.
Good, following them would get me arrested most likely.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - My supplies. I dont actually know how long this hike will take, just that it starts from this station, and ends up at another one to catch the train h

My supplies. I dont actually know how long this hike will take, just that it starts from this station, and ends up at another one to catch the train home.
Nuts, coke zero, and my trusty one half lumen torch that puts out about as much light as my mobile phone.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - The train on the newer replacement line for the one I would be walking along. The trains spend a lot of time in tunnels here, something I found out la

The train on the newer replacement line for the one I would be walking along. The trains spend a lot of time in tunnels here, something I found out later when I reached my destination where the station was actually in the tunnel.
There appeared to be no town above it either, just walkers like me using it. How considerate. OK back to the present...


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Looking back towards Namaze. Those huge apartments on top of the hill are a couple of stations prior.

Looking back towards Namaze. Those huge apartments on top of the hill are a couple of stations prior.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - I found my turnoff which took me through someones farming land. I think this viaduct thing is a shinkansen line.

I found my turnoff which took me through someones farming land. I think this viaduct thing is a shinkansen line.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - And finally after about 30 minutes I find myself on the old rail line. Now to find out where it goes. I was super excited. Also, photo number 200!

And finally after about 30 minutes I find myself on the old rail line. Now to find out where it goes. I was super excited. Also, photo number 200!


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - The view back down stream is impressive. Would make for a good white water rafting course.

The view back down stream is impressive. Would make for a good white water rafting course.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Heres my first tunnel, time to discover if my torch works. The best way to experience this is to stop reading what I am typing now! No seriously... 1.

Heres my first tunnel, time to discover if my torch works.
The best way to experience this is to stop reading what I am typing now! No seriously...
1. go alone...yeah right who besides me would travel to Japan alone?
2. go when no one else is going, you want to be in these tunnels alone
3. have no idea how long the tunnels might be
4. take a torch of questionable quality with questionable battery life


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - There are about 6 tunnels in total, the shortest probably 100 metres, the longest felt like 500 metres, and curved around. It may have been less or mo

There are about 6 tunnels in total, the shortest probably 100 metres, the longest felt like 500 metres, and curved around. It may have been less or more than that, I was walking quite fast but also acutely aware of my surroundings!
Theres quite a few puddles and water dripping, but no rubbish, graffiti, or anything.
You just need to remind yourself this is Japan, there will be no drunks, rapists, assholes of any kind.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - No flash! My camera takes awesome photos in the dark by stacking frames.

No flash! My camera takes awesome photos in the dark by stacking frames.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - The raging river below continues to be impressive. An interesting blue green color.

The raging river below continues to be impressive. An interesting blue green color.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Here you can see the old sleepers. Some of the tunnels had them removed, others didnt. Hence you need a torch! I saw one other person, a jogger with n

Here you can see the old sleepers. Some of the tunnels had them removed, others didnt. Hence you need a torch!
I saw one other person, a jogger with night vision goggles! He had on some kind of strip lighting on his sleeve to alert people he was coming, but he really didnt appreciate me shining my torch in his night vision goggles.
I was apologetic but really what was he expecting? Also I had no idea what he said and he probably didnt understand me either.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - A particulary rocky section of the river.

A particulary rocky section of the river.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - At the end of another tunnel you get to a cool looking bridge. If a train comes now I will have to jump into the river below.

At the end of another tunnel you get to a cool looking bridge. If a train comes now I will have to jump into the river below.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Its not that high, and you dont actually walk across the track bit, but the walkway seen to the left.

Its not that high, and you dont actually walk across the track bit, but the walkway seen to the left.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - One last photo from the bridge.

One last photo from the bridge.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - By now I had been walking about 90 minutes, and enjoyed every minute of it.

By now I had been walking about 90 minutes, and enjoyed every minute of it.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - At about this time you get near the end, theres signs and proper fences and lights etc. I spotted a path heading up one of the mountains, yep I follow

At about this time you get near the end, theres signs and proper fences and lights etc.
I spotted a path heading up one of the mountains, yep I followed it.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - It was quite overgrown in parts, lots of leaf litter. But good fun, I slipped over a couple of times. Worrying when you never see anyone else.

It was quite overgrown in parts, lots of leaf litter. But good fun, I slipped over a couple of times. Worrying when you never see anyone else.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - You dont seem to get to a summit, this is the best I could do for an elevated photo.

You dont seem to get to a summit, this is the best I could do for an elevated photo.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - After an hour walking on this side track path thing, I got back to where I entered it from the abandoned railway line. A large group of people had arr

After an hour walking on this side track path thing, I got back to where I entered it from the abandoned railway line. A large group of people had arrived to disturb my serenity.
Time to head up to the station in the tunnel and head back to town.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Along the way back I spotted a huge mall at Itami, an outer suburb of Osaka. I decided to get off here for lunch. I noticed most stations have somethi

Along the way back I spotted a huge mall at Itami, an outer suburb of Osaka. I decided to get off here for lunch.
I noticed most stations have something similar as far as large malls go. These dont really exist in central areas of big Japanese cities, only in the outer suburbs or regional towns.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Inside it was very large, and much like a Westfield in Australia.

Inside it was very large, and much like a Westfield in Australia.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Complete with food court. Perfect for the solo diner.

Complete with food court. Perfect for the solo diner.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - Would you eat Korean food in Japan? Of course you would. Especially if it comes in this wooden thing to shield the tray from the volcanic heat of the

Would you eat Korean food in Japan? Of course you would. Especially if it comes in this wooden thing to shield the tray from the volcanic heat of the dolsot whatever the bi bim bap comes in.
This was actually delicious, and healthy.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - For the rest of the journey back I watched the driver closely. He had 2 observers. They all simultaneously point at something all the time, probably t

For the rest of the journey back I watched the driver closely. He had 2 observers. They all simultaneously point at something all the time, probably to show that they have seen the traffic light and that its green.
I also observed him pressing the dead mans button as it lit up. Very cool.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - And arriving back into Osaka station, theres the ferris wheel I went on last time I was here.

And arriving back into Osaka station, theres the ferris wheel I went on last time I was here.


Japan-Osaka-Namaze-Hiking-Tunnel - This afternoons snack, black and black. I made it home in time for the Malaysian prime minister press conference about the missing plane! Confirmation

This afternoons snack, black and black.
I made it home in time for the Malaysian prime minister press conference about the missing plane! Confirmation of all the rumors, could be in Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan!

Now to enjoy my in room massage chair.


NewerPage 577 of 968OlderFull Trip Report