One of the really cool things about Japan: For a few dollars, you can take a train to the beginning of some great hikes. We started at Ishikiri station and hiked up toward Mount Ikoma. On the other side of this mountain (and the next train stop) is historic Nara. Near the beginning of the hike was a grouping of three shrines and temples.
Partway up the hill was a an active brewery. We didn’t see anyone that spoke English so we never learned whether they made sake or some other spirit. Out back they had the remnants of an old water wheel that was originally used to polish the rice in preparation for fermenting. While we were photographing the wheel, a group of Japanese hikers stopped and shared snacks with us.
High up on the mountain, we came upon another temple that was only reachable by the hiking trail. At the end, we relaxed at the Ishikiri hot springs which advertised a fantastic view of Osaka. They did have a good view but it wasn’t visible from sitting in the hot tub. Too bad. At least our legs felt better after the 400-meter climb.
Click on a thumbnail for the gallery view.