Ganjakusan (岩石山 rock mountain) is a great little hike. The views are good and there’s a small replica castle near the foot of the mountain.
I went on September 30, 2019 by train. The trailhead is about a 15min walk from Soeda station (Google maps). There’s also a big parking lot at Soeda park (Google maps) near the trailhead. Access is great!
The trail is not difficult at all. It’s clearly marked and there are no particularly steep sections. The hike is mostly through trees, but there’s a couple of nice rest spots that open up. I saw a few deer along the way. There’s a small shrine and a good view from Tengu rock on the way up.
At the peak (454m) there is a viewing platform. The view is okay, but there are better views at the big rocks further along the trail.
I went down the mountain along a different trail passing Okunoin shrine. There is something that looks like a pull-up bar. I’m not sure what it’s for. Pull-ups? Haha.
Near the end of the trail is Ganjaku castle. It wasn’t open the day of my hike but I returned another day to check it out. It’s a small, but nice castle with an elevator inside taking you to the second floor. Entry is free. It seems pretty new.
There is also the lovely Soeda park here with a big pond and a temple. If you climb the steps by the pond you can find a giant statue of Fudō Myōō. Recommended!
I have two videos. The first one is of the hike and the second one is of the castle. Enjoy!
The course I took was just under 7km including the walk from the station and it took me just over 3 hours. For my activity data and trail map, please check my YAMAP hiking report here: https://yamap.com/activities/4671070
Thanks for reading!